Lord, we delight greatly in Your commandments.
Read 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.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘Blest are the pure in heart, / for they shall see our God; / the secret of the Lord is theirs, / their soul is Christ’s abode.’ (John Keble, 1792–1866)
Do we expect the blessings this psalm promises? How do we read this psalm of confidence in a God who blesses those who ‘find great delight’ in God’s commands (1)? How do we read this psalm which asserts that God blesses those who ‘fear’ him with wealth and riches (1–3)? How do we read this psalm which proclaims that the ‘righteous’ (6) have nothing to fear in life and will triumph over their foes (8)? How do we read this psalm which announces the demise of the wicked whose evil plans will be frustrated (10)? There are simple equations here: doing right = a good life, doing wrong = a bad life. However, the math does not seem to add up. The consequences of choosing right or wrong sometimes do not seem evident in this life. Some psalmists envy the good life of ‘the wicked’ (Ps 73:3–14) ‘… why does the way of the wicked prosper?’ asked Jeremiah (Jer 12:1).
We can read this psalm only in the light of God’s eternity. Reversing the simplistic Old Testament equation, Jesus pronounced those people blessed whom the world would consider unfortunate (Matt 5:3–12) – but He did this from the perspective of the present and future reign of God. Our ‘treasure’ is not stored on this earth, said Jesus, but in an eternal future (Matt 6:19–21). The writer of Ephesians portrayed the vast perspective from which God views history, beginning before creation and continuing in God’s eternity. That is God’s arithmetic, and it adds up. It is only on that vast canvas that justice and injustice, the consequences of right and wrong, are being played out.
God of our future, help us to look beyond the pains of this life and fix our gaze on Your eternity, where true blessing is found, in and through Jesus.
Lord, help us to observe the benefits attaching to following Your law in this life.