Thursday

God blesses a righteous man

“Hallelujah. Happy is the man who fears the Lord, who is ardently devoted to His commandments,” Psalm 112: 1, (Jewish Study Bible).

In my commentary before Mother’s Day, I paraphrased Proverbs 31: 10-31. While studying that Scripture, I came across commentary that said that the counterpart for the woman in Proverbs was found Psalm 112, the description of a righteous man.

We often hear about the traits of the wonder woman of Proverbs, but how often do we hear about the super man written about in Psalm 112?

According to Psalm 112, a righteous man loves God’s commandments, he fears, or lives reverently before, the Lord; he is compassionate and gracious; he is generous and lends freely; he conducts his affairs with justice; he is never shaken; he has no fear of bad news because he trusts in the Lord; his heart is steadfast, or prepared, firm and/or established. The righteous man gives to the poor.

Because of his righteousness, the man’s children will be mighty and blessed; he will have wealth and riches; he will be remembered forever; he will have dignity and it will be well known. The righteous man will also see the defeat of his enemies.

At first glance, the verses might lead us to think that happiness is linked to material items and self-fulfillment. That, however, is not the case. Throughout Scripture, true happiness is linked to a right relationship with God. Wealth and riches do not necessarily mean financial blessings. Wealth and riches are a state of mind that is shaped by a right relationship with God, the one who fulfills all of our desires and fills our spiritual emptiness.

Following God’s values and purposes leads to stabilization in life, the New Interpreter’s Bible Commentary said. A stabilized life can lead to financial prosperity, but not always. In any event, with any such increased prosperity, the righteous man remembers those who are less fortunate by giving generously. It is out of his gratefulness to God that he gives to his neighbor.

It is interesting to note that when you get down to basics the same standards are also placed on women in Proverbs 31 as well, “a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.” According to this Scripture, a man who fears the Lord shall also be praised. God is equal in all his requirements.

For further study, parallel Psalm 112 with Psalm 1, 2 and 111.