Ps 112 is a wonderful psalm which speaks into our current situation where we feel uncertain, afraid and anxious because of the constant barrage of bad news we face each day. It starts with praise (‘Hallelujah’) and as Ps 89:15 reminds us, we are blessed when we learn to acclaim God, when we learn the ‘passwords of praise.’
“To acclaim” means ‘to praise enthusiastically and publicly.’ Praising God simply means declaring out-loud the truths we know of Him. It means aligning ourselves with God says about Himself, truths such as He is good, loving, faithful and just. Praising God is important because it leads us to focus on Him rather than on our feelings or circumstances.
We are blessed when we choose to obey God’s commands (when we ‘cherish and relish’ these as Ps 112:1 says). God’s commands, John tells us, are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). They’re not severe, heavy, cruel or pointless. They are there to guide us, lead us into freedom and into everlasting life. This blessing has a ripple effect, because it spills over to our children and to their children (Ps 112:2-3).
God is looking for people who are gracious and compassionate and righteous, who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice. He is looking for people who will live in this dark, sin-filled world as Jesus did. That’s what He means when He calls us to be the light of the world: ‘let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.’ (Matt 5:14-16)The psalm gives great promises to those who will obey God in how they live, that light rather than darkness will dawn.As we learn to seek God first and seek His kingdom above everything else, God promises that ‘all these things’ – the material things of life – ‘will be given to you.’ (Matt 6:33) Learn to be generous and you will see in your own life the generosity of God.
The psalm goes on to give us even greater promises to those who are made righteous by God:
‘6 Surely the righteous will never be shaken; they will be remembered forever. 7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.’ (Ps 112:6-7)
In these difficult times it can seem impossible to live without fear of bad news and to have steadfast hearts, but although trouble will still inevitably come at some point in our lives (see John 16:33), we can live without fear because we know that God is working for our good in all things. (Rom 8:28) We have to view our lives from the perspective of eternity (see 1 Cor 4:17, Rom 8:18) and see that we do not have to fear the things others fear (Is 8:12). Our God is victorious (see Ps 112:9-10, Rev 19:6, Rev 21:3-5) and we are on the winning side! Therefore, we can live without gnawing anxiety, paralysing fear and sickening dread. God’s transforming power (2 Cor 3:17-18) is able to change us and from that place of inner renewal, we will be equipped to go forth into a world that desperately needs to hear something other than bad news, a world that desperately needs to know that there is a Saviour who has overcome the world.