Scripture Reading – Psalms 111-118
Today’s Scripture reading entails eight glorious chapters in the Book of Psalms; however, I will limit this devotional commentary to Psalm 111 and Psalm 112.
Psalm 111 – Getting Wisdom
Three of today’s psalms begin with the same theme and call to worship: “Praise ye the LORD”(Psalms 111:1; 112:1; 113:1).
In essence, “Praise ye the LORD” is an expression of thanksgiving that boasts in the LORD Who is the Eternal, Self-existent God of creation. The psalmist asserts he will “Praise the LORD” with his “whole heart” – his mind, thoughts, and understanding undivided and focused on Him (111:1).
His praise and thanksgiving will be declared not only in the midst of those who are numbered among the “upright” (meaning those who obey the LORD’S Law and Commandments), but also in the midst of all the people (“the congregation” – 111:1).
In what will the psalmist praise the LORD? His meditations are on His works, the wonder and expanse of His creation (111:2) and “His righteousness”— for He is just, and “is gracious and full of compassion” (111:4b).
Psalm 111:10 – The fear [reverence; awe that begets righteous behavior] of the LORD is the beginning [is fundamental; foundational; most important thing] of wisdom: a good understanding [discretion; ] have all they that do [make; perform] his commandments: his praise [giving thanks] endureth [stands; is established] for ever [eternity].
Psalm 112 – Four Qualities of a “Blessed” Man
Psalm 112, like Psalm 111, begins with a word of praise to the LORD and an affirmation that the man who “feareth” [trembles; reveres] the LORD is “Blessed” [happy] because he “delighteth [desires; takes pleasure] greatly in His Commandments [Law; ordinances; precepts]” (112:1).
Notice there are four essential characteristics of a “Happy” man in Psalm 112: A “Happy” man is Blessed (112:1), Upright (112:4), Good (112:5-6a) and Righteous (112:7-9).
Why is he the object of God’s grace? Because he “feareth the LORD” (lit. reveres the name and rejoices in the character of the LORD) and “delighteth greatly in His commandments” (112:1c). Such a man finds the Law and Commandments of the LORD a delight (Psalm 1:1-2), and the overflow of God’s grace in that righteous man’s life magnifies his influence (112:2) and blessed state (should his children follow his righteous path).
Secondly, a man is happy and “blessed” when he is “upright,” meaning just, righteous, a man who fears and reveres the LORD (112:4).
God’s people are not spared from dark days, for they too suffer sickness, death of loved ones, disappointments, betrayals and broken promises. The righteous, however, have an assurance: “there ariseth light in the darkness” (112:4a). David observed the same, writing, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
Believers are not spared dark days; however, they are assured the light of the LORD will pierce the darkness. What a precious promise! When we find we are “in the darkness,” the LORD promises He is “gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous” (112:4b).
Another quality of a “Happy” man is that he is a “good man” (112:5).
We notice four traits evidenced in a “good” man’s character (112:5-6).
He is gracious in his demeanor (pleasant and pleasing – 112:5a). He is generous (he lendeth to those in need – 112:5b). He exercises “good sense,” guiding “his affairs with discretion” (112:5). He is well “grounded,” for a good man “shall not be moved for ever” (112:6a).
Lastly, a “Happy” man is “righteous” (112:7-9).
We find three qualities of this righteous man in verses 7-9. He is fearless, “he shall not be afraid of evil tidings” (112:7a), for he has a settled confidence in the LORD. His heart is firm, “fixed, trusting in the LORD” (112:7b), and “shall not be afraid” (112:8b). He is freehearted, generous and giving to the poor (112:9). A righteous man is not a hoarder of riches, but a steward of God’s blessings and a conduit for ministering to those in need.
I conclude today’s devotional inviting you to take note of the wicked man’s response to the Happy man who is Blessed, Upright, Good and Righteous:
Psalm 112:10 – The wicked [immoral; ungodly] shall see [look; behold; regard] it, and be grieved [troubled; provoked; angry]; he shall gnash [i.e. grate or grind] with his teeth, and melt away [faint; be discouraged]: the desire [longing; delight; greed] of the wicked [guilty; immoral; ungodly] shall perish [be destroyed].”
Envy! The joy and happiness of the righteous is a grief, a sorrow to the wicked who grind their teeth like rabid dogs and “melt away,” defeated and consumed by their envy (112:10c).
In the words of King David, “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:6).
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith