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Psalm 112

“For the righteous will never be moved; he will be remembered forever” (v. 6)

Holiness and wisdom are so closely connected in Scripture that the wise person is invariably a holy person and vice versa. This is strongly implied throughout the first nine chapters of Proverbs, wherein we read that the wise man avoids the adulteress. It is also evident in today’s passage, which falls under the category of wisdom psalms.

Psalm 112 opens by proclaiming a blessing upon the “man who fears the Lord” (v. 1), and since such fear is the beginning of wisdom (Prov. 1:7), this man who fears God is also a wise man. We find these blessings identified as including many children and much wealth (Ps. 112:2–3), evidencing the general principle that the Lord does in fact reward those who serve Him. Yet we must not miss the fact that Psalm 112 does not endorse a simplistic, “do what is right and all will go well” theology. Verse 4 recognizes that “light shines in the darkness for the upright.” The psalmist understands that even the holiest and wisest people will find themselves in times of darkness and trouble. On this side of heaven, righteous people do suffer undeservedly, as the book of Job reveals. Nevertheless, wise and righteous men and women can expect the Lord’s blessing both in this world and, particularly, in the world to come. God is sovereign in how He dispenses these blessings, and we must ultimately wait for our glorification for the promise of today’s passage to be completely fulfilled.

Particularly noteworthy is Psalm 112:6, which tells us that righteous people will never be moved and that they will be remembered forever. This does not mean righteous men and women never face hardship but that they persevere and are never finally crushed by their trouble. John Calvin comments that righteous men and women “are indeed liable to the incidents common to humanity, and even may often appear as if they were about to sink under the weight of their calamities; but their confidence remains unshaken, and by invincible patience they surmount all their adversities.” From generation to generation, righteous people are remembered for their integrity and for their faithfulness to the Lord.

The kind of righteousness to which the psalmist refers is primarily the imperfect, practical righteousness that is the fruit of our sanctification, but we must also see here an allusion to the perfect righteousness of Christ that we receive in our justification. Only His perfection can establish us so firmly that we can never be moved from the state of salvation, and if we are in Him by faith alone, God remembers us favorably forever (Rom. 5:1; 8:1).

Coram Deo Living before the face of God

Calvin also comments, “With God as the defender of their righteousness, [righteous people] yet do not escape from being assailed by the slanders of the ungodly, but it is enough for them that their name is blessed before God, the angels, and the whole assembly of the godly.” Righteous men and women suffer adversity, but through it all they grow content that they will be vindicated by the Lord. Are you encouraged that God will vindicate the justness of your cause?

For Further Study
  • Psalm 15
  • Proverbs 12:3
  • Isaiah 28:16
  • 1 Thessalonians 3

Straightening Our Paths

Walking with the Wise

Keep Reading Labor and Rest

From the February 2015 Issue
Feb 2015 Issue