Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments!
Wealth and riches are in his house; and his righteousness endures forever.
Psalm 112: 1, 3
Someone once told me a simple but powerful answer to the question: “What’s the number one quality you look for in the person that you want to marry?” Their simple but powerful answer was: “The number one quality you look for in the person you want to marry is that he or she loves God. Because if a person loves God, they will love you. Because a person who loves God knows how to be patient, forgiving, and humble, all qualities that you want in a spouse.”
Psalm 112 answers another simple question: “How much does a person need in order to be considered rich?” And the simple answer is, “The person who has God is rich, and the person who does not have God is poor.”
In today’s world, riches are on the mind of a lot of people. We obsess about them. We feel entitled to them. We feel cheated if we somehow don’t think we have enough of them. To be poor is a negative. No one wants to be materially poor. Much of the “injustice” that is being battled in this country is about being rich and poor.
Psalm 112 tells us that the truly rich person is the person who delights in God. Why? The answer is actually pretty simple and somewhat common sense, yet it is the backbone of what it means to be a Christian. A person can have all the riches in the world but when they die, none of those riches go with them. Riches might make this life easier, but they don’t necessarily set us up for eternal life. What one possesses in the depths of his or her soul is what makes one rich. One can be materially rich but deep down is a liar. One can be materially rich but be a thief. There is a saying that we can fool all people at least some of the time and some people we can fool all the time but when it comes to God, we can’t fool Him any of the time. The one who is rich in God is the one who inherits eternal life. The one who acquires material wealth but is not rich with God may (or may not) have a pleasant life on earth, but is going to have an eternity of misery.
The Psalm tells us how to be rich in God. First, we are to fear the Lord, in other words to have a deep awe and respect of the Lord. (v. 1) Second, we are to delight in His commandments. (v. 1) Third, we are to deal generously with others and conduct our affairs with justice. (v. 5) Fourth, we are to have a firm hard, and trust in God. (v. 7) Fifth, we are to give freely, especially to the poor. (v. 9) The result of doing these things is that we will be exalted in honor by God (v. 9). And at the end of the our life, this is the reward that matters most.
Those who are wicked, we are told in verse 10, see generosity and the other attributes of the one who is rich towards God and they become angry. And that is also true in life. Many people are hurling anger, rather than praise, on those who are trying to follow the commandments of God. Thus, we have a choice when it comes to the reward we are working for. We can choose the accolades of man which will eventually pass with the end of our lives. Or we can choose the accolades of God which will last forever. The choice for God calls for us to live a certain way in our life today though. We cannot risk the eternal reward by putting off our pursuit of Godly things and a Godly way of life. Because life can end at any moment for any of us, and all that we will take with us are our spiritual riches. Thus, the one who delights in the commandments of God will make sure that he is acquiring spiritual riches each and every day.
Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments! His descendants 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. Light rises in the darkness for the upright; the Lord is gracious, merciful and righteous. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice. For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of evil tiding; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady, he will not be afraid, until he sees his desire on his adversaries. He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked man sees it and is angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked man comes to naught. Psalm 112
Work for the eternal reward today!
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The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.
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