Psalm 112 (ESV)
Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
The wicked man sees it and is angry;
he gnashes his teeth and melts away;
the desire of the wicked will perish!
This psalm has been on my mind and heart for several days now. I keep reading it, and wondering. . .
Do I show that I truly fear the Lord by obeying His commands with delight? Or do I have a complaining spirit, feeling somehow that I am “missing out” or that God is holding back something that could be mine if only . . .; or, worse yet, do I outwardly “check the boxes” and obey commands in order to gain favor or status, or to make myself look better than I truly am?
Do I understand that, by truly fearing the Lord by delighting in obeying His commands, I will influence my children for good far more than anything I may say to them?
Are the following terms a part of my life and actions:
am I gracious? (being kind to those who don’t deserve it)
merciful? (not dealing harshly with those who do deserve it)
righteous? (doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do, not because someone is watching)
are my dealings generous? (do I only give my “leftovers”? do I think of how little I can give and still look good?)
do I lend freely? (am I picky about who I lend to? am I resentful when I am asked to lend? am I more concerned abou the “thing” I am lending than about the person I’m lending to?)
do I conduct my affairs with justice? (do I treat others fairly? am I honest in all my ways? do I act at home and in private the same way I act in church and at work and in the community?
do I distribute freely? do I give to the poor? (am I generous or tight-fisted? when I see the poor, do I look down on them, or do I pray for them and ask God what and how I should give?)
That’s quite a bit to “wonder about” and to ponder. I want to be like this man. I want my righteousness to endure forever, through the faith of my children and their children. I want to “never be moved;” I want my actions and my attitudes to be consistent, whether in private or in public. I want my heart to be firm, trusting in the Lord, so that, even when bad news comes, I will not be afraid, for I know that whatever happens, my God is for me, and He has my best in mind.
After pondering this psalm, and meditating on it, I ask the most important question: what change will occur because of reading this?
I will not be sending out Christmas cards this year. On average, considering current postage costs and including producing the “yearly Christmas letter,” a family will spend about $30 to send out these cards. That same $30 will give milk to a child overseas for almost 2 months; send 5 Bibles to believers in countries where the scriptures are scarce; will purchase a brood of chickens so a family can have eggs. You can visit www.samaritanspurse.org and click on their Christmas catalog to see all the opportunities to give.
I have asked my children to take the money they would have spent on a Christmas gift for me, and use it to give to someone in need. They get to pick how the money is used, and just let me know what they have done. That will be my delight, and my gift.
My husband and I are currently praying and asking God for wisdom to know how we may live more simply so that we can be more generous. We Americans so often do not realize how much we actually have, in comparison to others in this world. We don’t have to wear rags or live in unheated shacks or go without food for days, in order to be generous with what God has so generously blessed us.
I don’t say any of this to brag; I’m only sharing my heart. I know that I can’t change the world. However, I can participate in God’s changing a life, when I “greatly delight in His commands.”
What is God saying to you?