Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Psalm 112:1-9 The Godly is Blessed

KEY TEXT: Psalms 112:1-3, 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...

KEY THOT: The godly is defined by two characteristics: fear of the Lord and a delight in God's commandments. Fear is generally thought of as something negative. In fact, we are told in 1 John 4:18-19 that "there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." This kind of negative fear "has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love." Such fear should not be present in believers who know Christ has already taken our punishment for our sins at the Cross. But the fear of the Lord has nothing to do with punishment but with a proper understanding who God is.  And this fear is positive: "the fear of the Lord is cleanenduring forever (Psalms 19:9). 

The fear of the Lord grows out of our knowledge of God's divine majesty, glory and power. This kind of fear is akin to the awe one feels when one truly understands the power of our own sun. Even though it is 150 million kilometres away, its heat and light is powerful enough to sustain life on earth, producing the four seasons in a year. But despite the awesomeness of the sun's power, it is but just one medium-sized sun in our own Milky Way galaxy system of 100 billion suns (stars). And our galaxy is just one of more than 100 billion galaxies out there in the Universe. And if that is awesome power, consider the fact that God's power must exceed the combined power of all galaxies in our Universe to be its Creator. This understanding of God's power and majesty will give us a proper and more humble perspective of who we are and a healthy fear of who God is.

The second characteristics of the godly is delight in God's commandments. We cannot become godly if we neglect God's word. The daily practice of reading/listening 10 chapters of the Bible is being promoted by the Prayer Altar movement. It has seen many lives transformed through this daily discipline. Unlike Bible study, it is simply enjoying God's word and allowing our spirit to feed and soak in it. While "study" is an intellectual activity, Bible reading/listening is a spiritual activity. Using a tool like the YouVersion audio bible app makes this a pleasant and delightful experience. This experience is akin to eating a delicious meal: we can simply enjoy the food without having to analyze the food's content or ingredients.

The blessings of the godly are many (verses 2-9): his "offspring will be mighty"; he will have "wealth and riches"; he will not be "afraid of bad news"; his "heart is firm" and "steady"; "his horn is exalted"; he is "gracious, merciful and righteous"; he will "never be moved"; he "will be remembered forever".

May the Lord grant us grace to fear him and delight in his word so that we might be godly and blessed by Him. Amen.

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