God’s Special Grace
(1) HALLELUJAH! (Praise Yahweh!) Blessed (is) the man who fears Yahweh, 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 (will be) in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. (4) Light arises in the darkness for the upright. (He is) gracious and compassionate and righteous. (5) Good (will come) to the man who is gracious and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice, (6) for he will never be shaken. A righteous man will be remembered forever. (7) He will not be afraid of bad news. His heart is firm, trusting in Yahweh. (8) His heart is secure. He will not fear until he sees (his desire) on his enemies. (9) He has scattered freely his gifts to the poor. His righteousness endures forever. His horn is exalted in honor. (10) The wicked sees it and is angry. He gnashes his teeth and melts away. The desire of the wicked will perish.
Like Psalm 111, Psalm 112 is also designed with an acrostic pattern. As in the previous psalm, each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet, two per verse in verses 1-8 and three per verse in verses 9 & 10 for a total of 22 lines in all. Again, this constitutes a representative listing of all the blessings God has prepared for those who are his.
Many repetitions are found in these verses, giving us the thrust of the psalm: “the upright” (vss. 2 & 4), “righteousness/righteous” (vss. 3, 4, 6, & 9), “gracious” (vss. 4 & 5), “fear/be afraid” (vss. 1, 7, & 8), “his heart” (vss. 7 & 8), and “the wicked” (twice in vs. 10). Note the repetition of the phrase, “his righteousness endures forever” (vss. 3 & 9). Also note the juxtaposition of “never...forever” (vs. 6).
I. Declaration of blessing for the man who fears Yahweh (1)
II. Description of the blessings that come to such a man (2-9)
- prosperity (2-5)
- security (6-8)
- a spirit of generosity and longevity (9)
III. Distinction from the envious wicked (10)
Yahweh will richly bless those who fear and obey him to the envy and chagrin of the wicked.
The third stanza of Trust and Obey, written by John Sammis, captures the essence of Psalm 112: “But we never can prove the delights of his love / until all on the altar we lay, // for the favor he shows and the joy he bestows / are for those who will trust and obey.” God’s grace, his undeserved favor, is experienced by all of creation to some degree. The theological doctrine of Common Grace includes the following benefits according to the theologian Louis Berkhof: God’s “curbing the destructive power of sin, maintaining the moral order of the universe, distributing in varying degrees gifts and talents, promoting the development of science and art, and showering untold blessings upon (us).”
However, God reserves his special favor for those who in loving obedience fear and submit to him. Those blessings, “the delights of his love...the favor he shows…the joy he bestows,” are set forth in Psalm 112. When those redeemed by the blood of Christ earnestly commit themselves to live for God’s glory, they will enjoy the delights of the Father’s love and experience all that he has prepared for those who are his special possession.