“Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands.” (Psalm 112:1)
Psalm 112 is one of my favorite parts of the Bible. The first verse begins with “Praise the Lord.” Praise is all throughout the Psalms and the Bible. If we were to express this to the Lord in today’s vernacular, we may say “God, you are awesome!” or “You are the greatest!” Praise takes our eyes off our own problems and enables us to lift our hearts to a greater level of relationship with God, which only helps us.
“Blessed is the man…” I have yet to meet someone who does not want to be blessed – to be encouraged and lifted up. This particular form of the word “blessed” appears twenty-five of its forty-four times in the Psalms compared to the rest of the Old Testament. How does someone receive God’s blessing?
First, the person who wants to be blessed must “fear the Lord”. Many people have incorrectly interpreted this phrase to mean that God wants us to be afraid of him. This cannot be true because in 1 John 4:18 the Bible says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” We know God is love so there must be another explanation for this term. To fear the Lord means to be in awe of God or to have great reverence for Him. God has our best at heart for our lives and would not ask or command us to do anything that would eternally harm us. He knows that if we rightly “fear” him then we will do the right thing and benefit too.
Second, the person who wants to be blessed “…finds great delight in his commands.” The word “delight” in the Hebrew, means “to find pleasure in, to have an affection for.” In other words, the person who desires the blessing of God is positively engaged in and even enjoys obeying the commands of the Lord. Some of us may find this unusual or difficult to comprehend. Many look at commands as burdensome but the person who has a right relationship with God realizes there is true life and meaning in following the Master.
Do you want to be blessed? As alluded to earlier, everyone says they want to be blessed, but only a few are willing to abandon themselves to God and trust him to do whatever he desires in them. Will you be one of these few?