1 Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.
6 Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
10The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.
Tremendous blessings come upon the man who fears God and delights greatly in His commandments.
In God’s law order, wickedness does not prosper either here or in eternity. This gives the Christian much cause for rejoicing. That is why the Psalmist exclaims at the very beginning of the Psalm, “Praise ye the Lord!” If God is so sovereign and so connected to the life of the righteous and the wicked that He establishes the one and dislodges the other, He is worthy to be praised!
May God help all of us to play the part of the man described in the Psalm. As those who fear God, we truly experience a security incomparable to anything the world could ever provide. As we live and breathe with faith in God, in the fear of God, we are impregnable to the psychological and spiritual attacks that come from within and without.
This Psalm addresses the godly father who heads a godly home. It is as relevant today as it was 3000 years ago – perhaps even more relevant. God’s blessings will still attend a man who fears Him and delights greatly in His commandments. Conversely, when a man does not fear God and refuses to delight greatly in His commandments, succeeding generations in his line will not enjoy God’s blessings. However, when a man fears God and spends hours a day meditating and rejoicing in His Word, you will invariably see a blessing upon that man’s heritage.
The true believer is one who both fears God and delights greatly in His commandments. How can anybody delight greatly in the commandments when the law condemns the sinner? The answer to this is simple: one’s perspective of the law changes as he accepts God’s atoning sacrifice for his sins. In the words of Christ, those who have been forgiven much will love much (Luke 7:47). As they find themselves in this loving relationship with their Savior God, they no longer see His law as condemning, restrictive, and burdensome. You can tell a true believer by His perspective of the law of God; It is no harsh, legalistic taskmaster to him, but the will of his Father, and he embraces that will and delights greatly in His commandments!
These verses record the blessings that attend the father who fears Yahweh God. When a man is careful to correct irreverent communication and attitudes towards God in his home, when the head of the household diligently corrects the misuse of God’s names, titles, attributes, ordinances, Word, and work, when he quickly confesses his own sins and fears God’s judgment on his own household, when he detects unrepented sin among the family members, we have an example of a man who truly fears God. This man is blessed, and his seed will be mighty (or influential), in the earth. These men are few and far between. But if you can find them, you will find his children and grandchildren leading effectively in church, business, and state. One thinks of the missionary John Paton’s father, who raised 11 children, all of whom carried on a faithful testimony to Christ. Though he was but a humble sock manufacturer in a tiny cottage in Scotland, his faithful godly leadership in the home would impact a worldwide missionary movement for generations to come. His son’s missionary work in the New Hebrides brought the Gospel to a people held in bondage to Satan for millennia. It was John Paton’s autobiography that inspired thousands of missionaries to press this Great Commission project forward into the 20th century. It all started in a humble little cottage on the highlands of Scotland with a father who feared God and laid out a vision for God’s kingdom in family worship every day. That legacy will stand for eternity!
This faithful father may not have enjoyed great wealth during his lifetime. But the blessings of a Christian heritage do extend to material blessings (through the generations). The Scottish, Dutch, English, and the Jews have all enjoyed material blessings over centuries, largely because of a godly heritage from the past. Wherever these peoples take their colonies, (including such places as America, South Africa, Hong Kong, Australia, and Singapore), they usually leave a legacy of material prosperity.
What follows is a list of traits that further describe the God-fearing man. Wherever he goes, this man takes the light into the darkness. Where there was no love, joy, peace, longsuffering, and faith previously; where there was nothing but idolatry, infanticide, witchcraft, fornication, and drunken parties in heathen towns and villages, the light from this man’s life shines through. Where orphans died in the streets, now there are orphanages cared for by Christian charity. “He is gracious, full of compassion, and righteous.” Men who understand the heart of God are always looking out for how they can help others either by voluntarily giving of their own resources or by lending money to the aid of others who find themselves in a pinch.
He is also careful not to cheat others in business. The mark of true Christianity is not necessarily the appearance of the “fish emblem” on a thousand different business cards in an economy. You know that true Christians are present within an economy when there are thousands of contracts faithfully performed by men and women with the highest integrity. Over the centuries, some Christian sects have reduced themselves to empty rituals, and the economies where they operate are filled with bribery, graft, and other forms of dishonesty. They do not seek to produce the best possible service and product for their customers, and this is reflected everywhere in their economies. Thus, of the 16 least corrupt nations in the world (according to Transparency International), 13 are predominantly protestant, 1 is half catholic and half protestant, and 2 were protestant colonies. Of the twenty-one most corrupt nations in the world, five are predominantly Muslim, seven are Roman Catholic, four are communist (with Roman Catholic or Orthodox roots), and five are pagan animist.
The remainder of the Psalm details the blessings that attend this man described above. How much of what is done by millions of men and women who bustle about on the face of the earth will “go up in smoke?” What of their lives will yield any lasting value? Of course, only God can guarantee any lasting purpose for the works of our hands (Ps. 90:17). The man who fears God seals for himself a lasting remembrance- but this is no ordinary fear. It is a fear that brings a man to trust in God during the most difficult trials. He so fears God that he does not fear men, and he does not fear what will happen to him, or what mistakes he will make, nor does he fear failure. He fears God. This fear of God establishes him and strengthens him against the evil day. The hurricanes may blow at 200 miles per hour, but he stands rooted like an oak tree with roots two-feet thick, sunk 400 feet into the ground. Though the winds may blow to 400 miles per hour, he holds stubbornly to his God in fear and faith.
How many people are afraid of hearing the “bad news,” or the worst possible news? They don’t want to hear that they lost a job. They are afraid to hear that the stock market crashed and they lost 80% of the value of their life’s savings. They don’t want to hear that their best friends are leaving the church for good. They are so very afraid of evil tidings. The Psalm 112 man is so busy fearing God he has no time to sit around fearing bad news. He maintains the most mature and balanced perspective of reality. This is a stable, focused, and well-rooted individual!
The impact he makes on others is good and deep and it continues to bear fruit for years to come. The poor receive aid from him, and his kindness actually advances the spiritual and physical well-being of these dear people. In contrast with the welfare programs of the socialists that only corrupt the poor and multiply the fatherless families of the inner city poor through the generations, this man’s true charity program actually accomplishes long term good. International government aid programs are busy fragmenting family economies, distributing birth control, and creating more slothfulness, slavery, corruption, and dependence on the West. Thankfully, the Psalm 112 man is doing just the opposite. He gives a hand to the African indigenous tribes by teaching them the book of Proverbs while digging wells and sowing their fields with them. When Mugabe, the evil dictator in Zimbabwe, forcibly confiscated the farms and redistributed lands in his country, he destroyed his nation and created the worst economic disaster in the world. Incredibly, in the midst of this unspeakably evil situation, one Christian farmer voluntarily chose to stay with his land and teach the new occupants the methods of farming that would maximize their production. Out of this early sacrifice on the part of this godly man, came a ministry known as “Farming God’s Way,” an outreach that is transforming darkest, miserable Africa into the kingdom of Jesus Christ!
This is how the Psalm 112 man turns the machinations of the wicked into a beautiful, productive, godly ministry to others. The demons who inspired Mugabe can grind their teeth forever in the fires of eternal hell. All of the powers of hell and their humanist, socialist minions cannot stand before the man who fears God and loves his neighbor as himself. “The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.”(vs. 10)
1. Hopefully, this is the man we want to be! Who would not want to be blessed with seed that is mighty in the earth? Who would want his life’s work to be of no profit, useless chaff to be burned up in the fire? Let us not forget that this blessed life all begins with a man who truly fears God and trusts in Him. This is what will root and ground us in our lives.
2. If we will emulate this blessed man from Psalm 112, we will be charitable. Let this be our regular habit with us, to always (every day and every week), look out for the needs of the poor in our neighborhood and church. If our charitable endeavors come in fits and starts, then we are not yet patterning the Psalm 112 lifestyle. Charity must be a way of life for the Christian family.
The beginning of worship is the fear of God. Hebrews 12 exhorts us to worship and serve God with reverence and godly fear. Our worship would not be rote, disinterested, and boring if we actually witnessed hundreds of millions of people tumbling into the fires of eternal torment. If we could understand His sovereign power and the consuming fire of God’s judgment, there would be fear. If we would understand the severe mercy of the cross, because of the severe justice of God in reference to sin, we would fear Him and our trust in that sacrifice would root strongly in that fear. Then the rest of life would come into perspective, and we would render Him true worship.
1. What kind of a man produces children who make a huge impact in the kingdom of God?
2. How can we be sure that the wicked will not prosper?
3. How does the man who fears God conduct himself when he is the recipient of “bad news”?
4. Give several examples of men “whose seed became mighty in the earth.”
5. Give several examples of Didactic Psalms.
1. What do we say about people who are complaining about God’s law as something that is burdensome, “legalistic”, and condemning? If this is their heart perspective towards the law, how would you define their relationship with the law of God? How does this reflect on their relationship with God?
2. How can we be charitable to the poor? How do we maintain honesty in our dealings with others?