Text: Psalm 112
Just recently, I was reading Psalm 112, and as I thought about each verse, it struck me that this particular psalm described in detail the benefits of living right.
People in today’s society sometimes enjoy living on the wild side, flirting with danger and lawlessness. While facing danger and the threat of getting caught is often exhilarating, this type of lifestyle can often bring many problems into your life. This psalm shows the benefits of living right, that is, according to God’s standards as written in the Bible.
Verse 1–“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments.”
“Blessed” is the person who fears, or respects, God, who delights in His commandments. Blessed means happy. We all want happiness, and everyone seems to be searching for it, but the Bible teaches that respecting and delighting in God’s word will bring happiness into your life. The reason for this is because the Bible offers loads of advice about how to handle every day problems, how to treat others, and so forth. Following God’s commandments and the Bible’s wise advice will produce good results in your life, which will in turn make you a happy person.
2. Blessed children
Verse 2–“His descendants will be mighty on the earth, the generation of the upright will be blessed.”
All parents wish for their children to blessed. We want our children to be healthy and safe everywhere they go. We want them to feel loved and to feel secure. We want them to grow and learn physically, emotionally, and spiritually. In several different passages, the Bible teaches that God will bless the children of those who live right. Here are just a couple:
“Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. And He will love you and bless you and multiply you. He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your wine and your oil…” (Deuteronomy 7:12-13)
“The righteous man walks in his integrity. His children are blessed after him.” (Psalm 20:7)
If for no other reason, the benefit of your children being blessed should be a strong motivation to live right. As parents, we are our children’s primary role models. How we live will most likely influence how they choose to live. If we live a troubled life, our children are likely to follow in our footsteps. Do we really want that for them? But, if we try and live right, we will instill in our children how to produce happiness in their own lives.
3. Prosperity and success
Verse 3–“Wealth and riches will be in his house.”
I personally do not think this verse means God will give you a palace loaded with gold and jewels, but rather, that God will cause a righteous person to prosper and be successful. If you live right, God will give you what you need plus some to share with others.
The reason for this is because a person who lives by God’s will and word knows how to handle his money, how to use it and invest it wisely so that he has a good return on it. A person trying to live right will not blow his money or waste his food, possessions, and resources. Also, a person living right is willing to help others. All this results in prosperity and will produce more.
(Notice that in Verse 5, “a good man will guide his affairs with discretion.” In other words, he/she will handle his affairs wisely. He will not be a spendthrift or gamble away his money and goods.)
4. A worthy legacy
Verse 3–“And his righteousness endures forever.”
My great-grandfather was a righteous man. He lived his life honestly, morally, and generously. All my growing up years, I heard story after story about all the good things he did, and how he was always helping others in need. As I was raising my own daughter, I found myself telling her some of these same stories about her great-great grandfather. In this way, his righteous has endured for many decades after his death. It is my hope to even teach my young grandson the example of his ancestor.
We can leave our children money, possessions, land, and so on, but the best inheritance we can ever leave them is a legacy that they can follow after. Loads of money may buy them lots of worldly goods, but it doesn’t guarantee them happiness. Leaving them a pattern of how to live right will give them a recipe for happiness.
Verse 4–“Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.”
Just a couple weeks ago, I was experiencing a situation that made my world feel dark and heavy. I prayed for God’s help, and soon afterward, an event occurred that lifted my heart and made me feel like “light was arising in the darkness.” My world was brighter.
Those trying to live right will seek God–like flowers seeking the sun. If we never seek God’s light, we will never know the joy and peace that we are missing.
6. Confidence and security
Verse 6-7–“Surely he will never be shaken. The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings. His heart is established, trusting in the Lord.”
Confidence in anxious and frightening circumstances–what a wonderful thing to have! When we live our lives honestly and morally, we will have security during times of trouble because we know that God is with us. We know and have faith that He is our strength, and He will take care of us. Also, if we are living right, we don’t have to always look over our shoulder or worry about someone finding out about something wrong that we said or did. We have nothing to be ashamed of, and we don’t have to stress over whether our wrongdoings will come back to haunt us.
“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” (I John 3:21-22)
Verse 8–“His heart is established. He will not be afraid until he sees his desire upon his enemies.”
It is inevitable that at some point in your life, someone will try and mistreat you or take advantage of you, but if you live right, God will defend you.
“The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.” (Psalm 103:6)
“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You. Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them.” (Psalm 5:11)
9. Characteristics of the righteous person
In addition to the benefits of living right, Psalm 112 also points out the characteristics of a person who lives rightly.
–Fears and respects God (vs.1)
–Delights in God’s commandments (vs.1)
–Gracious and full of compassion (vs.4)
–Deals graciously, lends, gives to the poor, disperses abroad (charity) (vs.5 and 9)
–Guides his affairs with discretion (vs.5)
–Trusts the Lord (vs.7)
This psalm refers to the “upright” person, and I would like to make a note that the upright is not someone who is perfect. No one is perfect. But, an upright person is one who seeks God’s will and works hard to follow it. Someone who is dedicated to following the laws of his country is a law-abiding citizen. In the same sense, someone who is dedicated to following the laws of God is an upright person. Such a person is blessed, or happy.