Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Psalm 112 Blessed to Bless

Psalms 112:1-3 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.

For the parent who fears the Lord and delights to study and keep God’s commandments, there are promised blessings for him and his offspring: 
  1. His offspring will be mighty in the land” (v.2): His children will be persons of power and influence in the land—successful in every sphere of human society. They will rise up as leaders in government, in business, in the industry, in education, and in arts and media. They will be people who will make a difference in the land.
  2. Wealth and riches are in his house” (v.3a): He will be blessed materially too. God does not just bless His people “spiritually”—he blesses them holistically. God treats us as whole persons—not just spirit, or soul or body. He will ensure we are not lacking in anything that is good for our whole being.
  3. "His righteousness endures forever” (v.3b): Moral integrity and intelligence will define his character. He is not swayed by the latest liberal idea and so-called "scientific" discovery that is contrary to God’s word. He lives by the spiritual and moral principles and precepts as found in God’s word. His righteousness is firmly rooted in God's word, not in the latest fad and fashion. 
But he is not blessed for his own private enjoyment or edification: he is blessed to bless. He is like the “light (that) dawns in the darkness” (v.4). He is conscious of his role as God’s representative in a world dominated by moral and spiritual darkness. In his dealings with his colleagues, his staff or his subordinates, he is “gracious, merciful and righteous” (v.4). He conducts all his affairs with justice (v.5), and gives generously to the poor and needy (v.9).

Such is the generation of the upright who "greatly delights in (God's) commandments" (v.1). Through such godly generation, God transforms our society and ensures that righteousness and justice prevail in every sphere where the godly is placed. The righteous do not just represent themselves. As people who delight in God’s commandments, they are God’s agents of societal transformation in a world that is corrupted by sin and evil. They are called to salt the earth (promoting growth and life as God's fertilizers and disinfectants) and to shine in darkness (exposing unethical practices and evil deeds by doing good works). 

As a church, we are called to serve and transform our society, not just grow the church. The church is blessed to bless others, not ourselves. We are called as salt and light communities to align our society with God's kingdom norms of righteousness, justice, mercy and grace.

Father-God, may Your will be done and Your kingdom come. May You help us and our children to become “mighty in the land”, to be persons of power and influence as Your representatives in the world. Amen.

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