A Devotional Exposition
of Psalm 112
by Son Nguyen
1. Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who delights greatly in His commandments.
2. His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
3. Wealth and riches shall be in his house; and his righteousness stands forever.
4. To the upright there arises light in the darkness; he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5. A good man shows favor, and lends; he will guide his affairs with fairness.
6. Surely he shall not be moved forever; the righteous shall be remembered forever.
7. He shall not be afraid of bad news; his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD.
8. His heart is sure; he shall not be afraid though he sees his oppressors.
9. He has dispersed; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn shall be lifted up with honor.
An upright man's call:
1. fears the Lord 2. delights greatly in His commandments 3. gracious 4. full of compassion 5. righteous 6. shows favor 7. lends 8. guides his affairs with fairness 9. has scattered abroad 10. has given to the poor
1. blessed 2. his seed shall be mighty upon earth 3. the generation of the upright shall be blessed 4. wealth and riches shall be in his house 5. his righteousness stands forever 6. light arises in the darkness for him 7. shall not be moved forever 8. shall be remembered forever 9. shall not be afraid of bad news 10. his heart is fixed 11. trusting in the LORD 12. his heart is sure 13. shall not be afraid though he sees his oppressors 14. his righteousness endures forever 15. his horn shall be lifted up with honor
God requires both a holy inward and its translation to a benevolent outward manifestation: head (fears the Lord), heart (delights greatly in His commandments), inner bowel (gracious, full of compassion, righteous), outward (shows favor, lends, guides affairs with fairness, scatters abroad, gives to the poor).
God did not require us to do anything that He Himself doesn't perform. Look at the life of Jesus. He perfectly performed and exemplified each and every single one of the 10 things that an upright man ought to exhibit in himself.
A few thoughts on an upright man:
"Delights greatly in His commandments" - It's one thing to have a quiet time in the Word, or even better yet, memorize scriptures. It's quite another thing to really crave the voice of God through His Word as in the manner of longing for the sound of our one and only lover. We sap in strength and die slowly when that sweet sound, which nourishes and brightens our souls, is absent for not too long. Are we eager to hear His call? How long can we go on with our lives before we notice something vital is missing? Do we find that we just can't wait to receive His instructions in order to perform them at once for Him? Do we feel the pleasure of doing His work?
"Shows favor and lends" - We may have no money to lend but we can always show favor in our countenance as God says that a merry heart does good like a medicine to the broken-hearted. There many things that we can bless others with, even though we ourselves are poor or lacking in strength, like a warm touch accompnied by our comforting and kind words, our wisdom honed by the Lord's Word and Spirit, and our prayers that bring order and beauty of life into someone's dark and chaotic world for practically everything meaningful in this world is built on relationship and good words are the foundation of relationships.
God requires 10 things of us. Yet God rewards us with 15 things.
The "nice" things we do/are asked to do are often rather finite and infrequent (i.e. how long are we able to truly delight greatly in His commandments or how often do we show favor and lend to others?). But God's blessings to us are coming forth at all times without ceasing and they stand forever (i.e. "shall not be moved forever", "shall be remembered forever", "his righteousness endures forever").
A few thoughts on God's blessing:
"Shall be remembered forever" - The little things we do which may be so insignificant and unnoticed when seen in the context of the vast multitude of things going on in this world are remembered forever by God Himself. No good deed done imperfectly by a woeful sinner goes unobserved or unappreciated by God.
"Shall not be afraid of bad news/his heart is fixed/his heart is sure/shall not be afraid though he sees his oppressors" - These blessings are priceless as no amount of money can buy inner peace, eternal hope and security, and the kind of courage that not only help him to withstand the pressure and uphold himself but also allow him to be a rock for those around him when troubles come.
"Light arises in the darkness for him" - This is probably as significant a blessing from the Lord as any since no one who carries his own fires into the darkness will ever set foot on the path to be a man or woman of God. "Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the LORD and rely on His God. Behold, all you who light your own fires and provide yourselves with flaming torches, go, walk in the light of your fires and the torches that you have set ablaze. This is what you shall receive from My hand: you will lie down in torment." (ISA 50:10-11). Our most important decisions are often made in the darkness, with only God's light. Lighting our own fires is a natural tendency in every fallen person. Praise be to God for giving us His light so that we may walk with Him in the narrow and straight path.
God is perfectly mindful of us and He cares deeply for us. For each little step of obedience in love toward Him and His calling, He will meet us with infinite and greater blessings that will equip and secure us thoroughly, both now and forever. One other observation is that we can never ever work hard enough to attain the kind of inner peace that will hold up in the midst of the severest of affliction. Rather, it is a gift from God and a product of being obedient to Him in other areas. Perhaps, instead of praying that we won't be afraid of this and that, we should be asking Him to help us to delight better in Him and to share ourselves with others.
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