Summary: This Psalm contrasts the wicked man and the righteous man.
Only Two Types Of People In This World
There is the story of a rich industrialist who was disturbed to find a fisherman sitting lazily beside his boat. "Why aren’t you out there fishing?" he asked.
"Because I’ve caught enough fish for today," said the fisherman.
"Why don’t you catch more fish than you need?" The rich man asked.
"What would I do with them?"
"You could earn more money," came the impatient reply. "Then you could buy a better boat so you could go deeper and catch more fish. You could purchase nylon nets, catch even more fish and make more money. Soon you’d have a fleet of boats and be rich like me."
The fisherman looked at the guy and asked, "Then what would I do?"
The industrialist said, "You could sit down and enjoy life."
"What do you think I’m doing now?" Replied the fisherman.
If happiness could be found in having material things and in being able to indulge ourselves in whatever we wanted, then most of us in America should be delirious with joy and happy beyond description. We should be producing books and poems and art that describes our state of unparalleled bliss.
Instead we find that those who have "things" are trying to get more of them. We find high rates of divorce, suicide, depression and abuse. We see that happiness is not found in having all we want.
We want to shy away from using the word happy--because for most people, happiness is dependent on a state of mind and emotions. As spiritual people, we pursue JOY, and relegate happiness to people who are frivolous and giddy. But Psalms repeatedly gives us insight on what it takes to be happy. The word the Bible uses is "BLESSED." Psalm 112 talks about the man who is blessed and HAPPY. We’re going to look at that man today in our study.
Now, remember that Psalm 111 and 112--companion Psalms
111: 2 "have pleasure in" is same verb as "delights" in 112:1
111:3 righteousness stands forever 112:3 righteousness stands forever
111: 4 God is gracious and compassionate 112:4 man is gracious and compassionate
111: 5,9 faithful to covenant 112:7,8 faithfulness and steadfastness of man who fears God
But there is another comparison in Psalm 112. The Psalm compares the man who fears God and delights in God’s Word with the wicked man (in vs. 10). Contrasts the blessed man and the vexed man. Contrasts the happy man and the bitter man.
The Bible clearly describes two types of people. Those who fear God and those who do not.
John 1:11,12 says, "He came unto His own and His own received Him not. But as man as received Him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God."
There is a contrast in those verses between those who know Christ Jesus as their savior and those who don’t.
Between those who reject God’s offer of forgiveness and eternal life--and those who accept God’s free gift to them.
The Bible talks about those who are condemned because of their sin and those who have found God’s forgiveness.
The Bible talks about those who are saved and those who are lost.
The Bible talks about those who are righteous because they have had their sins washed away, and those who are trying to be righteous by their own good works.
The Bible talks about two kinds of people. You are either in one group or the other. You cannot be in both. You cannot have one foot on one side of the fence and one foot on the other. Where do you stand? To which group do you belong?
As I said, this psalm contrasts two types of people: the blessed man and the vexed man...the happy man and the unhappy man. Look at the guy in vs. 10--the man who does not fear God:
1. Vexed and angry
Galatians 5:20 "The deeds of the flesh are...strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions or splits in relationships..." Those are the things that characterize someone who DOESN’T have the Holy Spirit of God working in them.
2. Sneer and jealousy = envy, chagrin, annoyed. He is probably reacting to vs. 9--the honor and respect of the blessed man. The word "IT" in vs. 10 is not in Hebrew...it is understood and added to smooth out the thought. We assume it refers to vs. 9
3. His desire is perishing. He has great dreams, but they are unfulfilled and unfulfilling. Notice that this man has longings but the man of vs. 1 has delights.
CONTRAST: vs. 6 his righteousness lasts forever, but the works of a wicked man fade away. The eternal nature of allowing God to work on us vs. The temporary nature of self-improvement. There is a definite contrast between the unsettled feeling of a man who is still trying to find happiness and the man who has learned to trust God with all his heart...and allow God to direct his paths.