A devotional on Psalm 112
Note the repetitions in some of the Hebrew words for emphasis to show depth or longevity.
1 Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.
Are you one of those, beloved? Does the mention of his name cause shockwaves of immense awe and dread all at once? Do his commands thrill you, delight you, elate you? Do you incline to, bow down, and submit to them? If so, then you are blessed – esher – great happiness is yours. We think that happiness is getting or doing what we want and being comfortable. That is incorrect. Happiness or blessedness is in fearing God and in pursuing and obeying his commands delightfully. Grand promises are outlined for this person.
If you have no visceral response to God and are lackluster about his commands I beg you to ask Holy Spirit to spark a fire of passion in this most important area of your life. Then speak and do words and works to foster that and to grow deeply in love with this tornado.
2 Their children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
The seed of the blessed will be mighty – gibbor gibbor – warriors, overcomers, very powerful, champions, valiant, and prevailing. Wow! Speak that over each of your children today. By implication, if you fear Jah and delight in his commands you are called upright (– Yashar – right, straight, level, righteous, smooth, straightforward, pleasant, prosperous) and your generation will be blessed by your presence and your legacy. You can die happy, knowing that your work here is done.
3 Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
Wealth – hon – means sufficiency, enough, things of high value; to be ready, to consider as easy; vigor, generative power, successful effort, might, strength, ability. Riches – osher – means to accumulate, to grow rich. These things are in their houses – bayith – meaning their bodies, their dwellings, and their family; anything they build and repair. Righteousness – tsedaqah – means to be just in conduct and in character.
4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Light – or – illumination, happiness, prosperity, to be made luminous – shall be our heritage. This light is dramatically radiated or shot forth as beams and rises up even in the dark – choshek – amidst misery, ignorance, death, and sorrow. What a wonderful promise for
- the gracious – chanan – who stoop in kindness to an inferior, favor
- those full of compassion – rachum – the merciful, those who love deeply; having tender affection
- the righteous – tsaddiyq – the just and lawful; those vindicated by God.
KJV 5 A good man shows favor and lends; he will guide his affairs with discretion.
Good – tob – means pleasant, appropriate, rich, valuable, beautiful, ready. This person consistently exhibits favor– chanan – which flashes back to gracious as we just studied. Lends – lavah – has an interesting connotation of uniting or twining oneself; causing to borrow. He doesn’t just dispense, he invests. This may mean he is approachable to be asked to lend on top of being equipped and stocked for the lending. He gives with heart.
To guide – kul – means to measure, calculate, maintain, sustain, support, endure. It also means to feed, to provide sustenance. Affairs – dabar – mean speech, words, declarations, utterance as well as actions and business. Discretion – mishpat – means judgement, decision, sentence, verdict, reason. We see that a good man thinks through and calculates his words and actions. He is decisive, wise, and declarative. He uses measured words that feed others and provide sustenance because he knows that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit,” Proverbs 18:21.
This good man is invested in those he ‘lends’ to and he continues to support and sustain them with his words and actions. Frequently this will not mean that he enables them as doles out favors. He is discreet and also knows that sometimes to say no is the best love.
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.
They will not be moved. They will not totter or slip or shake or fall. They will not be dislodged. They will be remembered – zeker zeker – commemorated, scented, recorded, made mention of, still thought of. And that forever – olam olam – for a long time; from the vanishing point of the past and that of the future; eternity, perpetuity. “I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand,” Psalm 16:8-11.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn will be lifted high in honor.
While their thinking and dealings are very calculated, their gifting to the poor is lavish. It is a scattering. It is generous. It is broad and far-reaching. It is freely done and not with constraint or worry or anxiety.
“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD— the benefit of his gift will return to him in abundance,”Proverbs 19:17
Their horn –qeren – is figurative for height, power, and defense. Interestingly, it’s root word – qaran – means to shine or send out rays. Revisit verse four and the matter of light. It will be exalted in honor – kabod kabod – glory, abundance, splendor, reverence, dignity, copiousness, reputation, riches, weightiness.
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.