Scripture reading – Psalm 112
Psalm 112, like Psalm 111, begins with a word of praise to the LORD and an affirmation that the man who “feareth [reveres] the LORD” is “blessed” [happy] because he “delighteth [desires; takes pleasure] greatly in his commandments [Law; ordinances; precepts]” (112:1).
Consider with me four characteristics of a “Happy Man” found in this brief psalm.
What manner of man realizes he is the object of God’s grace? The man that “feareth the LORD” [lit. reveres the name and rejoices in the character of God] and “delighteth greatly in His commandments” (112:1c). Such a man will find the Law and Commandments of the LORD a delight (Psalm 1:1-2), and his “seed” (sons and daughters in the faith) will know the overflow of God’s grace in His life (112:2).
Believers are not spared from dark days. We too suffer sickness, bereave the deaths of loved ones, and face the disappointments of betrayals and broken promises. The righteous, however, are assured: “there ariseth light in the darkness” (112:4a). David had observed in an earlier psalm, “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). The upright are inclined to be “gracious, full of compassion, and righteous,” because they reflect the character of the God whom they love and serve!
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: He is gracious in demeanor (pleasant and pleasing); he is generous (“lendeth” to those in need); he exercises “good sense,” guiding “his affairs with discretion” (112:5), and he is well “grounded” for a “[good man] shall not be moved for ever” (112:6).
Finally, a “Happy” man is “righteous” (112:7-9).
There are three qualities of a righteous man listed in the concluding passage of today’s psalm. The first, a righteous man is fearless: “he shall not be afraid of evil tidings” (112:7a), for he has a settled confidence in the LORD. The heart of the righteous is “fixed, trusting in the LORD” (112:7b), and “he shall not be afraid” (112:8b). He is also freehearted, generous, and giving to the poor (112:9). Rather than a hoarder of riches, he behaves himself as a steward of God’s blessings, ministering to those in need.
Closing thoughts – What is the response of the wicked to a man who is blessed, upright, good and righteous? (112:10)
Psalm 112:10 – The wicked [immoral; ungodly] shall see [look; behold; regard] it [the joy and happiness of the righteous], and be grieved [troubled; provoked to anger]; 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].”
What do the wicked see in the righteous man that provokes envy and anger? They see he is blessed in his generations, established in his way, trusting in times of trouble, established and unafraid, enduring and honored, and full of joy and happiness!
In the words of David, “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:6).
Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith