1 Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
2 His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
10 The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!
In the previous days Psalm, Psalm 111, we saw a short ten verses praising the works of the Lord- and how great they are amidst the remembrance of his covenant. The final verse of the Psalm ends in proverbial fashion,
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding.”
Now in psalm 112 we have an immediate turn from the glory of the Lord in psalm 111, to the glory of the Lord through the works of his people. In fact it is interesting to look at these two Psalms side by side (C. H. Spurgeon told me that) - the glory of the Lord through his works in 111, and the glory of the Lord through a Christian’s works in 112. They are alike in both structure and content- both ten verses, and verse by verse there is much the same expression, and were probably written to go along side one another.
As we end 111 with the fear of the Lord, we begin 112 with,
“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!”
This verse rightly describes and fully defines a Christian; all that can be said about a Christian can be categorized into one of these two statements- he fears God and he delights in his commandments (maybe I am wrong in this, but in pondering I can think of nothing outside these two. Maybe one of you can). One who fears the Lord is spiritually knowledgeable (prov 1:7) and wise (prov 9:10); and one who delights in the Lords commandments does the Lords commandments- “and you shall know them by their fruits.” Psalm 119 is a wonderful expression of the delight a child of God has in the law of the Lord.
After this first verse the psalm goes on to describe the works and blessings of one praising God. And once again, in comparison with 111, a Christian’s works and blessings are in much the same beatitudes of Christ. It is no wonder his glory shines through both His own work and ours. And we can act as we should because the Lord has blessed his people, and he has shown them mercy and grace. And this blessedness, this bestowal of righteousness, is not temporal, but eternal. The God of glory will be praised through us for an eternity, “praise the Lord,” and the wicked's desires will perish (vs 9, 10). We are vessels for the Lords work and thus the Lords glory!
Lord, what and awesome responsibility- to represent you on earth. When I think of myself as your representative, I cringe. Who am I to be your servant- my deeds are wicked and unforgivable. And yet you have forgiven me. Not only that, you have blessed me, and given me the power to praise and glorify you in my works. How can my hope be in anything but you? Your glory shall shine forth with or without me, for it shines through your word and your firmament. May I only have a part and not overlook the small things you ask me to do in favor for what my depraved mind tells me is the grander. Humble me in my vanity that my works may be for you and your glory. To you be the glory forever and ever, Amen.
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