In looking at Psalm 112, what we see at first glance, if we’re honest, are things many of us want : self-sufficient offspring, “wealth and riches” in our “houses”, and, alongside that wealth, outsized generosity.
Yet, if we take a slower pace through this passage another narrative emerges. Yes, there is blessing on this path but what may be hidden if we are moving too fast to see it, is that it all flows from fear of the LORD. Amazingly, we don’t have to flip assiduously through the pages of the Old Testament to figure out what that this fear looks like and how to do it. The next clause tells all: “blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who greatly delights in his commandments.”
Let’s look more closely. In vs. 2 it’s “the generation of the upright that will be blessed.” In vs. 3, though it is true that “wealth and riches are in his [the blessed man] house” it is also equally true that “his righteousness endures forever”. Yes there is philanthropy in vs. 5 but not merely almsgiving and “good deeds”. No this man “deals generously and lends…conducts his affairs with justice.” Where did this man learn such justice, uprightness, and righteousness mingled with such generosity, graciousness, and mercy that is producing all of this blessing in his life? He learned all of it from the God He loves and whose word he loves. Just compare Psalm 111:3-4, which are words clearly about the LORD:
Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
--with these words from Psalm 112:
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments! 2 His offspring will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. 4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
As we delight in God and in His word we become more like Him. We begin to see our lives take the shape of God’s own character and grow in righteousness, graciousness, and mercy. This is the character that sees God’s blessing and the character that is resilient even in trouble because its knows that good times and wealth are not the blessing—or in the words of the psalmist “…he is not afraid of bad news” and “…It is well with the man who deals generously and lends”—but rather God himself is the blessing. Praise the Lord!