Weds 29th March - Psalm 112
1 Praise the Lord.[b]
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
7 They will have no fear of bad news;
their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor.
10 The wicked will see and be vexed,
they will gnash their teeth and waste away;
the longings of the wicked will come to nothing.
- Psalm 112:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the lines of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
- Psalm 112:1 Hebrew Hallelu Yah
- Psalm 112:9 Horn here symbolizes dignity.
Meditation on Psalm 112
Psalms 111 and 112 are a pair of psalms. There is no title to these psalms and no author noted.
One of the interesting aspects of these two psalms is that both are similar in style and content. They are acrostics in that each line begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
Psalm 111 focuses on God, while Psalm 112 focuses on the people of God.
They both start with the challenge and encouragement to ‘Praise the LORD’.
Psalm 112 begins where Psalm 111 ends.
Psalm 111:10a says: ‘the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom’
- PERSONAL AND FAMILY BLESSINGS Verses 1-2
Psalm 112:1 says: ‘blessed are those who fear the LORD.’
The concept of ‘fear’ here is not that of ‘oh no, I’m in trouble’ but that of reverence towards God for who He is and what He has done. We are in awe of Him. As Psalm 111:2 says, ‘great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.’
This reverence towards God is not passive but active as we long to know Him better. As Paul prays for the Ephesians when he says, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that you may know him better.”
We get to Him know better by ‘finding great delight in His commands.’ The Bible is not some set of rules and regulations that we have to keep. It is the living and active word of God for us today.
The blessings are transmitted to the families.
We need to pray for the next generation in our families – are we, as the next generation up, giving the children and young people a good example?
- THE BLESSINGS OF GOD Verses 3-5
These families were blessed materially and spiritually. Whilst their money may run out, their righteousness does not fade or wear thin.
The psalmist also recognises that there may be times when darkness descends on the family or on individuals within the family.
And yet, even in those darkest moments there is a light that shines brightly and cannot be extinguished.
We may be ‘gracious and compassionate and righteous’ but the dark times come. In the darkest tunnel there is that heavenly light. The Lord is not waiting at the far end of the tunnel. No, He is in the tunnel with us, reminding us, as He says to us, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”. John 8:12
Whatever ‘wealth and riches’ we have been blessed with, we are expected to be those who are ‘generous and lend freely; who conduct their affairs with justice,’
Sometimes our ‘lending’ may have to turn into ‘giving’.
The Lord has given us high standards to live out.
- WHAT AM I LIKE? Verses 6-9
The Lord doesn’t expect us to become / to be like a robot who responds to commands. Rather, He longs for us to become more and more like Him. He longs to see the characteristics that the psalmist outlines here in each one of us who, by the work of Jesus on the Cross and the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit are becoming more like Him in relationship with Him. We look forward to that day, as John describes in 1 John 3:2 ‘Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.’
What are these characteristics?
- Stirred but not shaken
- Our testimony will live on
- There may be bad news but we won’t be phased by it.
- There is a steadfastness – i.e. firm in our beliefs
- Our trust is in the Lord
- There is security
- There is no fear – we know who we belong to and where we are going, come what may
- On the victory side
- Generous – both with our time and with our money
- Righteousness is evident In our daily living – ‘to conduct one's life in an upright manner and with moral standards that reflect our relationship with the Lord.’
- Honoured by God
This is a challenging set of characteristics for us to live up to – so help me, God.
- NOT SO THE WICKED Verse 10
What a contrast.
- The wicked – those who live without God – are fearful of the consequences of their lives.
- The wicked – will ‘gnash their teeth’. This speaks of pain and of anger.
- The wicked will ‘waste away’. This brings us back to Psalm 1:4-6 ‘Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to
Isn’t this a challenge to all of us?
- to pray for the salvation of family members who don’t, as yet, know the Lord
- to pray for our friends and neighbours
- to pray for our nation
- to pray for the nations
And we respond in this way because God is good all the time.