Do I really believe this?

Today’s readings: Ezekiel 29:1-30:26, Hebrews 11:32-12:13, Psalm 112:1-10, Proverbs 27:17

The promises in Psalm 112 are quite astonishing!

Praise the Lord!
   How joyful are those who fear the Lord
    and delight in obeying his commands.
Their children will be successful everywhere;
    an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.

The promises for who delight in obeying the Lord  start with the answer to every parent’s prayer – that their children will do well and be blessed. Later in the Psalm there is a promise of freedom from fear.

They do not fear bad news;
    they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
They are confident and fearless
    and can face their foes triumphantly.

Each day I deal with more people who are weighed down by fear. In fact, I often find myself facing fear as well. How can I deal with this?

They share freely and give generously to those in need.
    Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
    They will have influence and honor.

I don’t think it is an accident the exhortation to give to those in need immediately follows the promise of freedom from fear. This behavior is typical of those who are fear the Lord and are blessed by him, but it is almost circular – giving to those in need reinforces the fear of the Lord and the feeling of being blessed. I think this Psalm describes a set of connected behaviors, rather than cause and effect.

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