God has done so much for man that it boggles the mind. From the provisions of creation to the promises to Abraham to His intervention in history with the children of Israel to the sending of the Savior, at every turn God stepped in to provide precisely what man needed at exactly the right time. Indeed, even before Jesus came, the psalmist acknowledged this. However, sometimes men spend so much time marveling at the grace of God that they fail to consider the responsibilities of faith. Psalm 112 pairs with the previous psalm, so indicated by the acrostic based on the Hebrew alphabet, and answers Psalm 111’s citing of all that God has done for man by calling on men to respond in the only manner appropriate to such an outpouring of grace—with faith and faithfulness. In the opening declaration the psalmist writes, “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments” (Psa. 112:1). Thus, the righteous will respond to all that God has done with praise, with reverence, and with a careful consideration of the divine expectations for man contained in God’s Word. As the verses that follow demonstrate, this triad of characteristics produces a particular character and way of life.
Following God’s design for life develops people prepared to lead others in society and to provide guidance for generations to come (Psa. 112:2). By conforming to the character and conduct described in Holy Writ, individuals put themselves in a position to prosper in life, working to provide for themselves and for others in need (Psa. 112:3a). More than this, their spiritual behavior creates a legacy that not only affects their fellow men but also reaches into eternity (Psa. 112:3b). The righteous become a blessing to people they know (Psa. 112:4a), demonstrating interest, compassion, and fairness in all their dealings with others (Psa. 112:4b). Indeed, the heart of the righteous reaches out to others with unmistakeable generosity (Psa. 112:5a) while maintaining good judgment so that no one should take advantage (Psa. 112:5b). Even during hard times, the righteous maintain a steady faith because they do not allow the difficulties of the moment to dominate their view of eternity, trusting the LORD to provide and protect whatever might come to pass in this life (Psa. 112:6-8). Such preparation of the heart makes it possible for the upright to use their own blessings to help others (Psa. 112:9), just as the apostle Paul noted when he quoted from the psalm (2 Cor. 9:9-12).
The righteous life offers the only fitting response to all that God has done. Nevertheless, while the righteous respond to God’s goodness with praise, reverence, and study, unfortunately, not all are righteous. The wicked fail to appreciate God’s blessings, reject His favor, and allow bitterness and resentment to grow within until they can see none of the good God has done. Left only with their own desires, they have nothing of value to treasure in life, and their lives often show it (Psa. 112:10). How sad, with all that God has done from creation forward for the benefit of man, that some remain oblivious to these blessings and instead see only themselves. Having God in our lives improves everything about life. It gives us perspective and purpose. It develops within us compassion and character. It challenges us to do more for others and see beyond the moment. When we see what God has done for us, it is truly amazing what righteousness in us can then do.