Tuesday, February 20, 2024

2024.02.20 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 112

Read Psalm 112

Questions from the Scripture text: What does Psalm 112:1a command? What is the condition of the man who does what in verse 1b? In what does he delight (verse 1c)? How much? What will his offspring be (Psalm 112:2a)? Where? What does verse 2b say about them as a whole? What are in the house of the YHWH-fearing man (Psalm 112:3a)? But what possession of his stands forever (verse 3b, cf. Psalm 112:9c)? What do the upright have, in what condition (Psalm 112:4a)? What three qualities characterize the upright (verse 4b)? What does the good man do (Psalm 112:5a) with the wealth from Psalm 112:3a? What upholds his interactions (Psalm 112:5b)? What will not happen to him (Psalm 112:6a)? What will be done, to whom, for how long (verse 6b)? What will the righteous not do (Psalm 112:7a)? What is the condition of his heart (verse 7b)? How? Until when (Psalm 112:8)? What has the righteous done (Psalm 112:9a–b)? As an example of what (verse 9c, cf. Psalm 112:3b)? With what result (Psalm 112:9d)? Who else see this (Psalm 112:10a)? With what response? What happens to the wicked (verse 10b)? And what else of his (verse 10c)?

What is a godly man like? Psalm 112 prepares us for the opening portion of public worship on the Lord’s Day. In these ten verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that a godly man is ultimately like his God. 

God and the godly. This is the second in a pair of acrostic Psalms. Psalm 111 gave us the A to Z (alpeh to tav) of God; now, Psalm 112 gives us the A to Z of the godly man. There is intentional overlap here. God’s righteousness endures forever (Psalm 111:3b), and so the righteousness of the man who fears the Lord endures forever (Psalm 112:3b, Psalm 112:9c), because God is his righteousness! Thus, God is praised (Psalm 111:10c), and the godly are honored (Psalm 112:9d). 

Pleasure, not burden. For the godly, godliness is a delight, because God is a delight. The same word for pleasure in studying His works (Psalm 111:2b) is now used of the delight in His commandments (Psalm 112:1c). “Greatly” shows an even greater delight in the commandments! As the Spirit says, “This is the love of God, that we keep His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). 

Relations, riches, righteousness, and remembrance. “Relations” here refers to descendants and generation in Psalm 112:2. The godly man is blessed in his family (cf. Psalm 128:3) through generations (cf. Psalm 128:6). 

Riches may come in a temporary way to the wicked, but they come in a truly rich way to that happy/blessed man who fears YHWH. They are in his house(hold) in Psalm 112:3a; they are enjoyed and employed to God’s glory in the covenantal context of his family. These riches also benefit all around him, due to his godliness (Psalm 112:5Psalm 112:9). 

Righteousness is not only a manner of conduct but a conduit of blessing—blessing to himself as light in dark times (Psalm 112:4a), and blessing to others who enjoy the godly man’s kindness and compassion (verse 4b). The description in verse 4b is so similar to Psalm 111:4b that we must conclude that this is the life and character of YHWH being worked out in the one who fears Him. 

Remembrance. God’s wonderful works are done to be remembered (Psalm 111:4a), and God is ever remembering His covenant (Psalm 111:5b). Man is so fleeting! But a godly man is remembered by the Lord. Truly, though the whole cosmos be against him, he cannot be shaken (Psalm 112:6a, cf. Psalm 46:5). The godly are steadfast and unafraid because they remember that they are remembered (Psalm 112:7-8, cf. Psalm 46:1–2). 

On the outside looking in. Psalm 112:10 is sobering. The wicked are not the point of this Psalm, or indeed of history or reality. Just as the godly looks upon his enemies (Psalm 112:8c), the wicked appear at the end of the Psalm (almost as a footnote), seeing the honor of the righteous (Psalm 112:10a). They who hate God and suffer continual destruction from His presence and glory (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:8–9) shall suffer, as part of that torment, the continual awareness that the godly (whom they also hate) are blessed. 

The ever blessed God glorifies His goodness by redeeming for Himself those whom He makes to be godly and ever-blessed! Indeed, as the Psalm begins by commanding, “praise YHWH”! Hallelujah!

How ought you feel about God and His commandments? How are you enjoying His own priority upon generations? How are you a blessing to those around you? In what circumstances might you be shaken or fear? What hope of steadfastness does this Psalm give you instead?

Sample prayer:  We praise You, YHWH, Who make Your people happy and blessed in You. Your works are a delight to us, and Your commandments are a great delight to us. Grant unto us to be Your wealthy household, who are righteous with Your own righteousness. Be compassionate to us, and make us compassionate with others. Gather us to Yourself that we might remember how You are always remembering us. Give us that courage and confidence in You that will endure forever, even as we praise You forever, we ask through Christ, AMEN!

 Suggested songs: ARP112 “O Praise the LORD” or TPH112 “O Praise the LORD! The Man Is Blest”

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