Sunday, 27 November 2022
Praise the LORD!
Blessed is the man who fears the LORD,
Who delights greatly in His commandments. -Psalm 112:1
Today’s reading from Psalm 112 proclaims the blessedness of the righteous man. Who is the righteous man? -- one who is made right with God! In our own way, we are unable to attain to God’s perfect standard of righteousness, ‘for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23). But God has made a provision through Christ Jesus: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:21(NLT). As a new creation in Christ Jesus, we are to constantly reflect the attitude of the righteous man given in Psalm 112.
What are the qualities seen here?
· Fear of the Lord: Our relationship with our Heavenly father should be filled with awe, love and reverential fear for who He is and what He has done for us. The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death. (Proverbs 14:27)
· Delight in His Commandments: When our hearts are filled with adoration and honour for the Lord, we will take delight in obeying His commandments. The righteous understand the intended purpose of His precepts and take great joy in submitting to God’s Word. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)
· A Gracious and Compassionate Heart: Our attitude should be Christ-like always showing kindness and mercy and being sensitive to the needs of others even as God has been merciful to us. ‘Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.’ (Philippians 2:3-4)
· A Generous Lender: The righteous man’s mind is not set on amassing wealth and so he is able to generously and cheerfully give to the poor and those in need. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. (Proverbs 11:25)
· A Man of Integrity: A God-centred person will show integrity in private and public life. He will conduct all his affairs fairly and wisely, with discretion not being unjust or compromising in any way. To do righteousness and justice is desired by the LORD more than sacrifice. (Proverbs 21:3)
· Unwavering Faith: For the life rooted in Christ, although difficulties and persecutions arise, his heart will be steadfast in the Lord, knowing that protection and deliverance are from God-alone! Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
For the righteous, God’s promise of blessings stand. The generation of the righteous man shall be established and mighty (V. 2). Psalm 128 beautifully portrays the blessedness of the righteous man’s family. He will be prosperous (Vs 3)- not merely physical blessing but a spiritual prosperity and abundance of life. In dark and challenging times, the presence and Spirit of God guides him (V.4 &Malachi 4:2). He will not be afraid, because the Lord delivers him from all adversities. God will honour the righteous and establish his ways.
Striking a contrast and emphasising the need for righteous living, in Vs 10 the Psalmist reminds us that God frustrates the wicked plans of the unrighteous and they shall soon perish. ‘for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.’ (Psalm 37:2)
As we meditate on this Psalm, can we align our lives to the Word of God, drawing nearer to Him and striving to live a God-centred life?
A Command to Obey: Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. (2 Timothy 2:22)