Not Afraid of the Dark

December 6, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Posted in Selected Psalms | 5 Comments
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Psalm 112 is a post-exilic Psalm. The Psalms are not, as a rule, “in order,” although there are some exceptions where one Psalm will refer to the next.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

Psalm 111:10

Psalm 111 progressively tells us to remember Who we’re dealing with here, so Psalm 111:10 is an admonition, and the blessings of heeding that admonition – the blessings of obedience – are found in Psalm 112.

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

Psalm 112:1

Psalm 112 is also in the form of an acrostic. I have to admit that I am a fan of acrostics myself: S.W.I.M.D.O.C.T.O.R.N.E.I.G.H.B.O.R.A.D.V.I.C.E.P.A.T.C.H. A good acrostic is not merely clever. It is something that helps our memory. Each line in Psalm 112 begins with a successive letter in the Hebrew alphabet.

Psalm 112 is also a good encouragement to have a Godly home. As you can imagine, the emphasis is on the man of the house. At first glance it looks like it is all about health, wealth, success, prosperity, and happiness. I’m surprised it’s not a big hit on TBN, but I suppose the view that “faith” means not having any problems would have to be rejected based on the following verses:

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Psalm 112:4-5 (emphasis added)

Darkness and discretion are two key realities – even for the “upright.” Being right with God is not about never going through trials and difficulties, but in them God in His grace and compassion sends us caution and vigilance so that we might glorify Him.

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

Psalm 112:7-8

Notice that this passage does not say that those who are favored by God will not hear any evil tidings. It says they will not be afraid of evil tidings. Note that it does not say that he will not be afraid because he doesn’t have any enemies. It says he will not be afraid because his heart is fixed, trusting the Lord. What’s your desire upon your earthly enemies? To see them destroyed? (Old Testament) Or to see them saved? (New Testament)

The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

Psalm 112:10

If you’ve ever had your enemy gnash his teeth at you (or on you – like Stephen), that can be scary, but God says not to melt away – because ultimately He will see to it that they melt away. The wicked shall perish, so let’s pray that God makes the wicked righteous so they won’t have to perish. That’s what He did for me!

Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

Psalm 112:1

We cultivate fear of the Lord, and defeat fear of problems, by getting to know the Lord more and more. We draw closer and closer. When I draw close to God, I bless my family and my generation.

His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

Psalm 112:2

Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Psalm 112:3-5

When God blesses us financially, He blesses us to be a blessing to others. To use a simple plumbing analogy, we are more like the faucet than the bathtub. If you start thinking of yourself as a bathtub and start to pool up your own blessings, God might very well cut off the water supply.

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  1. […] difficult circumstances, you may have heard the somewhat cliched Christian advice to “wait upon the Lord.” […]

  2. […] I have also seen it argued that it was Jeremiah. The psalm itself is about God’s Word. Like Psalm 112, it is in the form of an acrostic, but with eight lines for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet. […]

  3. […] Certainty of Christ’s Deity 36. The Other Ten Commandments 37. Leading instead of Watching 38. Not Afraid of the Dark 39. Waiting and Training 40. The Great Rescuer 41. Two Sides to Every Comfort 42. Light Shows the […]

  4. […] the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and […]

  5. […] The likelihood of death is not ususally the motivation for freedom from fear, but Jesus recognized that fear of God is the beginning of true wisdom. […]


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