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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Psalm 112

Psalm 112 is an important Psalm to the Christian and yet it's lesson is talked down and viewed in a bad light by the world and many of the people claiming the name of the Christ today. It will do any seeker of God and His ways, much good to meditate on the implications drawn from this Psalm, even if we cannot remember any more than the first verse. Today there are many New Testament Christians and it is forever my teaching and my thoughts there cannot be such a thing. The New Testament is absolutely the best commentary ever written on the Bible and in the four Gospels, even Jesus is found quoting from the Old Testament and in Matt. 5:18 we find that Jesus even emphasized the importance of the Law, as it was given to Moses.

Without the Law we would never have known that we were sinners in need of a Saviour and without the Law we would have no example of the righteousness needed to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Without the Law we would never have known that we were failing and must have the imputed righteousness of Jesus, the Christ. Without the Law we could never know the standard God desires for His children. The entire Bible, New and the Old Testaments were inspired to be written by Jesus. (John 1:1-5) Jesus, the God of the New Testament is the God of the Old Testament also.

Psa 112:1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

The Hebrew word Hallelujah is transated Praise ye the LORD in the KJV ad the ASV. The concept of fearing the LORD is one that is largly misunderstood today. The world, certainly, and much of Christendom have never come to grasp with the 1611 use of the word that has been held onto through today and it causes a great deal of misunderstanding.

When I was a young lad I feared my stepfather in the same way that I believe we are to fear God. I did not fear his wrath and his discipline nearly as much as I feared being a disappointment to him. Like my LORD, he had loved me in a way that my birth father did not even understand and just as I fear disappointing God, my Heavenly Father, I feared bringing shame to my step-dad. In much the same way that I was in awe of this man that loved me without reason so must we learn to hold God but ever so much higher. My dad earned a chest full of medals in WWII and Korea the numbered so many that the uniform of this five foot three and one half inch tall man would not carry them all. In greater contrast, everything we can see and billions of light years beyond our vision is the creation that God has put into place for our benefit.

God, later known as Jesus, the Christ, left us with the written example of His awesomeness and how can we ever afford to just put it aside and ignore it? We are not bound to the Law for forgiveness but it is our model of Holiness and because we fear the LORD our God it is the example of the holiness we must seek to attain if we are to ever model Christ

Psa 112:2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

When we look at the life of Abraham we see the truth of this verse. Many men lived during the time of Abraham and yet none of them have influenced the world in like manor. Even the Christian today proclaims Father Abraham as the father of our faith. There were many kings and there was Pharaoh, all of them thought themselves important but they have not influenced the world the way one meek man that decided to follow God has. His legacy has lasted thousands of years beyond his passing into eternity. In like manor the Godly man and the Godly woman leave a great legacy for their descendants to follow.

We can see this truth, also, in the lives of the people we know and interact with every day. We all know people that regret the mess they have caused in their children's lives. These messes are almost always because of the method employed in their rearing. These methods are most often learned traits passed down through the past generations. In the same manor we see young pastors and missionaries spring forth from the families that have learned to properly fear God. We are all shaped by the influences around us.

Psa 112:3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

Here we need to be careful that we do not step outside of the teaching of the scriptures and be found guilty of adding what is not written. Our LORD had, not even, a place to lay His head and yet there has never been a richer man on the earth. We, easily, forget that we have a dual citizenship and that the treasure and wealth of this world will burn away and mean nothing. We've been talking about spiritual matters and this verse continues in that manor. There is nothing I value more than the folks I have been used, of God, to lead to the foot of the cross, they and I will rejoice in fellowship with our LORD for all eternity. So in my salvation and the salvation of others I find my great wealth.

Add to this the fact that I have been adopted into the family of God and have been awarded an equal heritage with the Son of God and I have trouble even imagining the wealth that is mine, laid up in Heaven for me.

Psa 112:4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: He is gracious, and merciful, and righteous.

The word picture in the first half of this verse is one that compares with the Sun breaking the horizon. Just as the Sun illumines the pitch black landscape of East Texas into a beautiful green and multi-colored dream on the spring and summer mornings, God, upon entering our lives brings beauty to our world and our lives, such as we have never seen.

On the afternoon of my midnight salvation experience I lived in the same dull, boring, world I had always lived in. The very next morning I was still living in the same over priced, unsafe apartment that I had lived in for better than a year. And yet the same trees were greener and more alive than ever before. The birds sang the same songs they always had but now there was great joy in their songs. The day after I was saved everything had a different sound, look, feel and taste, for the first time in my life I was alive and the world was beautiful. The second half of the verse enumerates some of the things that begin to happen in us.

Psa 112:5 Well is it with the man that dealeth graciously and lendeth; He shall maintain his cause in judgment.

God's people, the people that do their best to live by the principals set forth in the scriptures, will know the peace that no man can ever understand. In my years with the LORD I have come to understand stewardship and at the same time I have learned what joy there is in filling the needs of those that will never be able to repay the debt. In Deuteronomy 15 we learn some very great lessons that are ignored by the world today. Here we are taught to deal graciously with the less fortunate.

Some years back I had sold a former police officer two tools that were worth more than a thousand dollars for $125.00. My fellow employees wanted me to file on him and to ruin his future as an officer of the law. This could have been easily accomplished because he had moved less than two hundred miles away and still in Texas. Instead of going after him I turned the debt over to God and forgave it being owed to me. While this is not always wise to deal with the people of the world in this, this is exactly how we should deal with our less fortunate brothers and sisters.

Psa 112:6 For he shall never be moved; The righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.

The most striking example I know of this point is the man, J.C. Penney, founder of the chain of stores by the same name. It has long been reported that this gentleman grew in his business and in his faith to the point that he tithed ninety per cent of his income and lived his life on the remaining ten per cent. His faith was never destroyed and I for one can never forget such a man, prospered by God for and in his faith.

Psa 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: His heart is fixed, trusting in Jehovah.

Before I was saved I worried over every news report and every rumor I encountered. Since I have learned to trust God I now watch the news and read the Jerusalem Post so that I can remain abreast of the state of the world and so that I can see what my LORD is doing about His soon return.

Psa 112:8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, Until he see his desire upon his adversaries.

When we are rooted in God, when we have realized that this Temporal World is not our destiny we realize the truth in the statement that God and I are the majority. Once we understand that this flesh and bone body is not all there is to us we can begin to grasp the truth that there is nothing in this world that we need to fear.

Psa 112:9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the needy; His righteousness endureth for ever: His horn shall be exalted with honor.

When we finally learn to place God in His proper place in the scheme of our lives and we have yielded, everyone one of us, to His plan for our lives, in much the same manor as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and J.C. Penny, we will be remembered for our legacy and our place in Heaven can be considered sure by ourselves.

Psa 112:10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; He shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: The desire of the wicked shall perish.

Unlike the Godly man and his family, those that fail to find the proper place for God in their lives have nothing but failure and suffering to offer their families to look forward to.