Ps 112 [The Living Bible]
112 Praise the Lord! For all who fear God and trust in him are blessed beyond expression. Yes, happy is the man who delights in doing his commands.
2 His children shall be honored everywhere, for good men’s sons have a special heritage. 3 He himself shall be wealthy, and his good deeds will never be forgotten. 4 When darkness overtakes him, light will come bursting in. He is kind and merciful- 5 and all goes well for the generous man who conducts his business fairly.
6 Such a man will not be overthrown by evil circumstances. God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it. 7 He does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what may happen. For he is settled in his mind that Jehovah will take care of him. 8 That is why he is not afraid but can calmly face his foes. 9 He gives generously to those in need. His deeds will never be forgotten. He shall have influence and honor.
10 Evil-minded men will be infuriated when they see all this; they will gnash their teeth in anger and slink away, their hopes thwarted.
I don’t know when last you read this beautiful Psalm.
It really is one of the most beautiful, and is undoubtedly inspired by the Holy Spirit.
I was spending some time committing it to memory this evening, in the New King James version, but just said, Wait, let me see how this reads in other versions, and this particular translation, The Living Bible, simply blew me away.
Right from the start, or straight off the bat, like my American friends would say, it lets you know there is no mincing of words here. “The righteous man” (as he’s referred to in other versions) is blessed beyond expression. I mean, expression. It’s not for lack of trying. It’s a bit out there in the outer field, far beyond what mere words can describe. Far beyond what you’re used to.
In descriptive and creative writing, you are bound to use the words “like”, “as”, and so on, trying to get across a picture of an unknown, using the familiar. I could say for instance, that the streets of Douala are “as” neat as those of Kigali, and you would get the picture, especially if you’ve been to Kigali. I could say the processed juice drink tastes exactly “like” real orange freshly pressed. And your mind begins to remember what fresh orange tastes like, and your brain could even trick you into tasting it. You notice some saliva being activated in response.
But the righteous is “blessed beyond expression”. That really makes me glad. That is totally humbling. You’ve seen wealthy people in this world, wealthy in the material sense of the word; but the righteous, his blessing surpasses what you have seen in the streets of Ikoyi, or in the best resorts of Switzerland.
How is this even possible? Well, an attempt is made at describing the effects of the blessing of God on the head of the righteous:
1. He’s blessed forward. Yes, forward. He is already assured that his seed shall be mighty upon earth, or like this beautiful translation says, “His children shall be honored everywhere”. Some may limit this to biological children, which is fine. But look at it this way – everything I give birth to, my dreams, my projects, my legacies, my books, my establishments, shall be great on the earth. Thousands of years from now, my “generations”, things I generate, are going to be remembered. And remembered in a good way. “Good men’s sons have a special heritage”. Hmmm.
2. “He himself shall be wealthy, and his good deeds will never be forgotten”-vs 3. Nice. This is saying, “Don’t even think his blessings are just in the future. He himself will be wealthy”. Whatever your description of wealth is, bring it on. It’s his. He’s bound to be wealthy. Nothing can stop him from being wealthy. It’s settled. Wealth and riches are in his house. Wealth is deep, and self-sustaining. Riches glitter. You’ll find him with both. Himself. He’s not going to “own” jets that are still being financed by banks, or just be leasing his house. He himself. It’s not ‘pretend’ wealth, for showbiz. If you see riches around him, none of it is going to be repossessed. It’s not worthless paper on overpriced stocks. It’s not perception built up by stunts and branding experts. The man is wealthy, unashamedly, because he uses them (his wealth and riches) for good causes, good deed. And they won’t be forgotten.
3. He’s an Over-comer. “When darkness overtakes him, light will come bursting in” –vs 4. Where in the world is the light coming from? Where is the light from, when darkness has already surrounded our friend, Mr. Blessed? I can assure you that this fellow is not going to scramble around for light. Out of his bellies are bursting forth rivers of living water. Wisdom on the inside, inspired by the Holy One, makes knotty issues become very easy cotton wool. The darkness is only worrying the spectators. This righteous man knows he carries the light. And he can bring it forth, at will. The fact is that the enemy will very much try to cover the good things the Lord is doing, and make it hidden. If it’s hidden, men will not see it and give glory to God. But thanks to God, it’s the light that triumphs. Very similar to verse 6 that says “God’s constant care of him will make a deep impression on all who see it.”
In fact, when you look at him, it’s the triumph over darkness that sets him apart as a man blessed of God. It’s the overcoming that beautifies the battle. Battles, and darkness come because of the crown that overcoming makes us receive. Of what use is over-coming if there’s nothing to overcome?
There are still lots to tell you about the righteous man and his journey on this plain.
However, this is a very good place to pause, and ponder.
It is very natural to want to have this man’s blessings, and to experience the things he does experience, but its sooooo good to read in God’s word, and know in my heart, that I’m a righteous man.
1 John 3:7 [NKJV]
Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous.
So, I can relax in that knowledge that all these things that His word says are mine. They are mine already. It’s me that’s being described in Psalm 112. I am who God says I am; I have what God says I have; and I can do exactly what God says I can do. Exciting!
Chukwudi Adepoju, 01 Jan 2013.