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!
Here’s what is wayyy cool about Psalm 112. The last verse of Psalm 111 is “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”! This whole chapter is about the person who fears the Lord. And it is God’s description of that person who fears Him and puts Him first.
Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!
Right away, the author makes sure that no praise goes to the man who fears the Lord. It is God who gets all the praise. This is true all through the Bible. We learn about God and obey Him so that we can praise Him more. And it is the man who fears the Lord who will “greatly delight in his commandments.” This means that we see obedience to whatever God asks as a joy, and not as a chore. In summary, Praise God! The man who fears Him finds joy in obedience. It’s not hard to see that our obedience to God comes directly from our hearts. It’s not a duty, but comes from awe and reverence toward the Creator of the Universe.
His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
This verse talks about how a man who honors and fears the Lord will have a blessed family. Something that also is a common theme in Scripture. Following the Lord brings blessing. And it can come in many forms, that author of this Psalm is talking about the result fearing God has on the family.
Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.
Now this is a passage that truly seems to go the opposite of the experience of many. Many times in the Old Testament, blessing is communicated in terms of riches. We can’t take from a passage like this that all people who fear God will have wealth and riches, because that is directly contradicted by many passages in Scripture, notably Job and the words of Jesus. The writer’s basic point is that there will be blessing for the person that fears God, and his righteousness endures forever. This means that God will hold that person forever, and his righteousness will last in the same manner as God’s righteousness… forever!
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
Oh man, this is cool. This verse states that the righteous one will have darkness. It doesn’t deny that. But it says that “a light dawns in the darkness.” That light is God. The “upright” or “righteous” is not left in the darkness. There is light. Additionally, the upright one is graceful (full of grace and forgiving), merciful (showing mercy to those who do not deserve it), and righteous (meets God’s standards). Obviously, none of these are possible without it being given by God, and made available through the cross of Jesus Christ. I love how the Psalms point to Jesus. He is the one that makes us righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
As God is generous, so will the one who follows Him be generous. This person deals rightly with people, doesn’t swindle, and is honest. This is a short verse that communicates a simple truth: the one who fears the Lord will follow after holiness (Christ-likeness) in all dealings.
For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever.
“The righteous will never be moved.” How cool is that? Why is it that one who fears God will not be moved? Because hard times don’t come? No. Because the answers will always be obvious? No. But because it is God that does the holding. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” God is the one that does the keeping. Awesome.
He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
This is the one that pricked my heart. This is sooo not true of me. I don’t feel like I have a firm heart, and I don’t feel like I am ready to take any news without fear. But this passage tells us that one who fears God is not afraid of bad news. Wow. Why? Because the heart is firm, and trusting in the Lord. Relying on the fact that He is in control, that nothing happens outside of His control, and so we know that God does not fear bad news, and neither should we. Certainly easier words to say than practice.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
The one who fears the Lord will not be afraid. “His heart is steady.” It is amazing how often the Bible doesn’t seem to meet our experience, but it is always trying to grow us into being more like Christ. And Christ demonstrated a steady heart, and one who was not afraid. That’s what God wants for us, and He is trying to grow us there bit by bit, step by step. One day we will look in triumph at our adversaries. One day we will look back, see those things and people that seemed to triumph over us, and we will indeed have triumph over them, because of God and because of the cross. Again, cool. So cool.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor.
Again, this verse talks about how the one who fears the Lord will be generous. As a result of this generosity, the one who fears the Lord will be honored. It doesn’t say exactly how, but this is consistent with the idea that the one who fears the Lord will be blessed.
The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!
At this point, the Psalm writer contrasts what the person who fears the Lord and the person who does not. The person who does not fear the Lord gets angry at the blessings and honor of the God-fearer. His desires, which are not God’s desires, will disappear. What an amazing contrast. The picture of the one who fears God is one who will not be afraid and will have a steady heart. The picture of the one who does not fear God is one who is angry, gnashing his teeth, and perishing. Wow!