“Praise the LORD! Happy are those who fear the LORD, who greatly delight in his commandments.” (Psalms 112:1)
The evening I sat down write on this was an evening after a very, very long day. It started too early and is ending too late. I have a lot of days like that! So I’m finding it a little hard to enter in to the praise mood that the psalmist has. My initial impulse would be to pick apart the motivation for praise, defending myself by saying not everyone is free to practice their faith as the psalmist suggests. Or that the promises that the psalmist alludes to do not come true for all people. And there seem to be a lot of them!
“Their descendants will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses, and their righteousness endures forever.
They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright; they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.” (Verses 2 – 4)
But closer to the truth is that I do not want to set aside my own grievances and pet peeves in order to do a “happy dance” with the psalmist. As I read further I see that the psalmist hinges this joy on doing right things.
“It is well with those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice.
For the righteous will never be moved; they will be remembered forever.
They are not afraid of evil tidings; their hearts are firm, secure in the LORD.
Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.” (Verses 5 – 8)
That is, they have sloughed through their hard days but have not allowed the difficulty of their lives to negatively influence them. They have acted righteously in all things and have held true to God’s tenets and the law of love.
“They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor; their righteousness endures forever; their horn is exalted in honor.” (Verse 9)
And moreover, they triumph those who have worked against them and tried to cause them distress.
“The wicked see it and are angry; they gnash their teeth and melt away; the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.” (Verse 10)
And as I think on these things and ponder them, allow the wisdom and joy of the psalmist to work within me, the weariness of my day falls away and in its stead is peace and a knowledge that though I have worked hard, I have accomplished many good things. And I can praise God that through strength and endurance from the Lord I have overcome what the day set against me. So yes, praise the Lord! Selah!