Psalm 112:1-10 How to Receive the Best from God
Why serve God? I have often been asked this question. Since the 1960s, there has been an abandonment of Christian values and traditional morality in this country. Many seek abortions (over one million each year) to dispense with unwanted pregnancies. They claim the right to their own bodies, never suspecting that their unborn children have rights too, regardless of how they were conceived. That abortion is murder is denied by most. Homosexuals have also come out of the closet in order to demand their rights and receive full acceptance within our culture. As they continue to practice and affirm their lifestyle, they advocate that the church ordain them into its clergy and provide some sort of a marriage service for their commitments to each other. Many young adults now demand the symbols of success in order to satisfy their lusts and shore up their egos. unrestrained borrowing and corruption help us achieve those material goals more quickly. In the meantime the poor continue to suffer as we glut ourselves with gaudy things. We not only consume these things; we also consume each other. Relationships become as dispensable as a Styrofoam cup. Divorce and extramarital affairs are the order of the day. At the same time, in deep pain, we have become a culture of addicts. Legal and illegal drugs anesthetize our true emotions as we go up or down with caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, tranquilizers, and a host of “street drugs.” Many ask again, “Why serve God?” Won’t He take away my fun? Put me into a moral straightjacket? Make me seem odd to my friends? Does He really offer me a satisfying life?
Commentators identify this psalm as a wisdom poem. Many connect it to Psalm 111, suggesting that it is a commentary on its concluding verse, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; / A good understanding have all those who do His commandments” (Ps. 111:10). Its date and author are unknown. The thought moves from the call to worship and blessing (v. 1) to the rewards of that blessing (vv. 2–9) and ends with a footnote about the wicked (v. 10).1
We talk alot about blessings: We “bless” our food, we “bless” ourselves, We “bless” one another when we feel bad, or when tragic circumstances happen to one another.
Let us define what is a blessing. Webster’s dictionary defines blessing as the following:
a. To make holy
b. To ask divine favor for
c. To favor or endow
d. To make happy or prosperous
e. To praise or glorify
f. To protect from evil
I need to accept God as the source of my blessing because I cannot receive the best in life on my own.
“Hallelujah! Happy is the man who fears the Lord, taking great delight in His commands.” (Psalm 112:1, HCSB)
“Praise the Lord” – in Hebrew it means “Hallelujah.” It means to get excited about what God provides. We sing to Him because of all He does for us. The true nature of blessing then is this: We don’t ask for more of what we could get ourselves. We ask for what only God can give us.
The Principle is this: YOU CANNOT MAKE GOODNESS IN LIFE ON YOUR OWN!
You can do well on your own: Make money, have a family or live long life. But the BEST in your life is only brought by God. If we fear, listen to, obey, and praise God – or put Him first, we learn what true blessings are.
Only GOD can bring us a “blessing.” God makes us holy. God gives us favor. God makes us happy and prosperous. God protects us from evil. So God is the object of your praise and glory.
TS: So the condition for receiving a blessing is fearing, turning to, respecting God. So to get a favor from God, we must praise Him.
Five Blessings for Praising God
- MY HARD WORK WILL PAY OFF! (v.2-3)
“His descendants will be powerful in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.” (Psalm 112:2–3, HCSB)
In your family, raising children in a Godly home pays off. Your children will grow strong. Your children will reproduce your values to your grandchildren. Raising children will increase your reputation as a Godly family.
In your occupation, when you fear God and trust Him in all you do He will increase the profits of your hard work. But this is stewardship. God gives you something to handle. When you manage God’s resources well, He increases its value. He multiplies your work’s value (in money, in standard of living). However, you must acknowledge God in all you do.
- MY DARK DAYS WILL END SOON! (v.4)
“Light shines in the darkness for the upright. He is gracious, compassionate, and righteous.” (Psalm 112:4, HCSB)
God will replace prosperity for disaster
God could give you discernment to get through the dark days. For example: how to deal with your dark days, how to see light at the end of your tunnel. Again, the condition is repeated: for this blessing, you must honor, favor, fear, and praise God. Because gracious, compassionate, and righteous people honor, fear, and praise God.
- MY GOOD BEHAVIOR WILL BE REWARDED! (v.5)
“Good will come to a man who lends generously and conducts his business fairly.” (Psalm 112:5, HCSB)
When you treat people fairly, you receive fairness in return. When you are generous and not stingy, you receive generosity in return. Again the condition is applied through other relationships. Your generosity and fairness point other people to your God. God honors this, but only if you remind people and yourselves that it comes from God.
- MY FAITH IN GOD WILL MAKE ME STEADY AND SECURE. (v.6-8)
“He will never be shaken. The righteous man will be remembered forever. He will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord. His heart is assured; he will not fear. In the end he will look in triumph on his foes.” (Psalm 112:6–8, HCSB)
When you develop your relationship with God: People don’t irritate you. Circumstances don’t bother you. You develop patience for the good and bad times.
Steadiness and security in life is attractive. For example: emotional stability. No one likes people who are emotional roller-coasters. They are happy one day and sad the next, or happy one minute and sad the next. We also like people who are predictable. People who change behaviors without warning are difficult to relate to. We may not like people who are “grumpy” all the time, but we are secure in the knowledge that they are always this way.
The same is true with spiritual stability. People who trust God can handle the tough times. People who do not trust God whine and complain a lot about their problems. So when we place our trust in God and develop our relationship with Him, we handle life better.
- I WILL BE HONORED BY GOD AND THE WORLD. (v.9-10)
“He distributes freely to the poor; his righteousness endures forever. His horn will be exalted in honor. The wicked man will see it and be angry; he will gnash his teeth in despair. The desire of the wicked man will come to nothing.” (Psalm 112:9–10, HCSB)
When we “scatter gifts to the poor”: the act points to the behavior, the behavior points to our salvation in God. “I will show you my faith by my works.” – James says. People take notice of men and women who fear God. People respect Godly men and women because they are consistently Godly. Good people praise you. Bad people get mad at you.
“As it is written: He scattered; He gave to the poor; His righteousness endures forever. Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 9:9–10, HCSB)
So the application here is that God gives you all that you have. How you handle what you have been given, as a faithful steward or manager, will determine how God uses it to let other people see Him. For example: God gives you property. God gives you food. Good gives you opportunity to multiply what He has given you so that other people will come to Christ. Receiving the best from God does not mean that He mean only to bless you. Receiving the best from God means that He wants you to bless others, and the first best way to bless others is to share the Gospel. This is why Paul quotes this verse in 2 Corinthians. He wants the Corinthian Christians to share in the spreading of the Gospel by investing in his work as a missionary. This is the generous gift he is talking about in 2 Corinthains 9:
He was preparing the gift from the Corinthian Christians to share in the work with the Macedonian Christians as they share the Gospel to people in their region. This actually a form of the Cooperative Program in the days of Paul.
Notice what Paul says about the people who don’t invest much:
“Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously.” (2 Corinthians 9:6, HCSB)
So what is Paul saying: You want to get honor from God and the world? Then invest in the Kingdom. You want to the best from God? Then give to His kingdom. Give of yourself. Give of your work. Give of your talents. Give of your treasure.
The Psalmist says that the might and power of God (His horn) will be exalted. In essence, when God gives you things and you spend them for God’s kingdom, God is honored and exalted. People will see you do that – how you support God’s kingdom – and normal good people will recognize where your prosperity comes from. Wicked, evil, bad people – they’ll get disgusted. Why? You are not building their kingdom – you are building God’s kingdom.
Donald Williams and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Psalms 73–150, vol. 14, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 300–301.