Discover His heart: He shines His light on the godly.
No doubt over the next few months our attention will be drawn to the Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” and the transformation in the life of Ebenezer Scrooge who was the antithesis of Psalm 112. Greedy and selfish, the old man held on to every cent he had for dear life and overlooked the needs of others in the process. Then he had an encounter with the values in life that really matter and could not keep from sharing and giving and blessing. Anything in this life we hold too tightly will prevent us from living the generous life of one who trusts in God.
Psalm 112 is a promise of success to those who fear only God, to those who revere and respect God and do not revere or respect calamity and to those whose respect for God is reflected in their behavior. “Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly.” (4-5) No Scrooges here. Acts of generosity come from hearts that do not hold too tightly to the things they possess and from those with an eternal viewpoint. Because of this, they live with an open hand to others.
“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.” (7-8) Only with an eternal viewpoint can we live without fear of when the next shoe will drop, what news the mail will bring or what calamity lies ahead. Those who fear the Lord do not hold too tightly to this life, knowing it is only a temporary dwelling, a stopping point on their way to eternity. They can live with full assurance that, “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28) They do not fear bad news.
“They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor. The wicked will see this and be infuriated. They will grind their teeth in anger; they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.” (9-10) Well, if we want to see our enemy slink away in defeat, we just need to be willing to let go of the things the enemy wants. When we give our lives and our possessions to the Lord and His purposes, the enemy has nothing to take from us.
The joy and freedom that awakened in the heart of Scrooge on Christmas morning are just a brief vignette of the joy and freedom we experience every day when we live generous lives, unencumbered by the concerns of this world. It is a life with promise, “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. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever.” (1-3)
Most of us have lived long enough to know that life is not without its challenges for the godly, but those who fear and respect the Lord and obey His commands walk in the promises and blessings of the Lord that have eternal value. Does it get any better than that? I don’t think so.
Moving Forward: Moving through this day with a generous heart and hand, unencumbered and loosening the grip on all that I am and all that I possess.
Tomorrow @ Proverbs 25