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God’s Word for You

Psalm 112:5-10 Fearless faith

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Saturday, January 8, 2022

5 Good things will come to the man
  who is gracious and lends,
  who conducts his business with justice.

Here the Psalm presents a remarkable picture: The godly man patterns his life after God and his grace. He will be gracious with what he says and does. He will lend to someone who needs, and if possible he will give without lending. He will be just in what he says and does. “The Lord secures justice for the poor” (Psalm 140:12), but for the most part the Lord works through people in the world, which means that we should be prepared to show justice and to be just with the judgments we make.

6 Surely he will never fall.
  The righteous will be remembered forever.
7 He will not fear bad news.
  His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.
8 His heart is secure.
  He will have no fear, until he looks in triumph on his foes.
9 He scatters seed—he gives to the poor.
  His righteousness stands forever.
  His horn will be lifted high in glory.

What are the temptations that the wealthy man faces? He may find that he becomes selfish. He might be afraid of the future, and of losing his wealth or power. He is tempted to abuse the power that wealth can bring. And he can become prejudiced against those who do not have what he has; he may even see them as being unworthy, or even worthless. This is the furrow of fear into which men plant the seeds that lead to slavery, murder, and genocide.

In these verses, the righteous man does not worry about losing the wealth he’s been blessed with, because he has an eye on true riches: The forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Verse 9 is an echo of Ecclesiastes 11:1, “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.”

10 The wicked person will see and be frustrated.
  He will gnash his teeth and melt away.
  The desire of the wicked will perish.

We have seen that Psalms 111-112 are a meditation on Psalm 1. This is especially clear here in the final three lines, which echo Psalm 1:4-6, especially the last phrase: “The way of the wicked will perish” (Psalm 1:6). There is nothing in eternity that earthly wealth can buy. What matters is the condition of our souls, so that the wicked man, the unbeliever, will see those who are in Paradise “and be frustrated.” He will gnash his teeth, but there won’t be anything he can do about his dungeon or his torture-rack. He will be there, locked away in his tower of torment for all eternity without hope of escape, and with his agony prolonged forever.

For a Psalm to end this way is a warning, and some other Psalms do the same thing. Sometimes we must end an acquaintance with a warning: Your sins will be your undoing if you reject Jesus Christ. But for everyone who repents for fear of their sins and turns to Jesus in faith, there is forgiveness and there is everlasting life.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.


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