I guess you have met a mother and daughter or a father and son and thought to yourself just how similar they are – maybe in looks but also maybe in personality and character. Hence, we often use the phrase “like mother/father like daughter/son” This is not surprising but of course, not always the case.
When you read Psalm 112, having just considered Psalm 111, you might find yourself thinking that there is a similarity somehow between these two psalms. If that is the case, then you would be right. In fact, they are both “Hallelujah” (Praise the Lord) Psalms, both acrostic (having 22 lines each beginning with successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet) and “they are also a matched pair in their subject matter, which tells of God in Psalm 111 and of the man of God in Psalm 112.” (# 29)
So, what are these similarities between God and his people described here? Consider the following:
|Psalm 111 – concerning God||Psalm 112 – concern the people of God|
|3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds,|
and his righteousness endures forever.
|3 Wealth and riches are in their houses,|
and their righteousness endures forever.
|4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.||4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.|
|5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.||5 Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.|
|7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.|
8 They are established for ever and ever,
enacted in faithfulness and uprightness.
|7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 8 Their hearts are secure; they will have no fear.|
|9 He provided redemption for his people;|
he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
|9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor, their righteousness endures forever; their horn [dignity] will be lifted high in honour.|
So, these two Psalms reveal that (1) the righteous God expects that his children also be righteous. (2) The One who is gracious and compassionate expects that his children are also gracious and compassionate. (3) As He is the provider of the needs of his people, He expects that we will also be generous and lend freely. (4) Just as His works and His words are trustworthy and established for ever, He expects that our hearts [will be] steadfast, trusting in the Lord. (5) And just as our God has blessed us and given all for our redemption, His expectation is that we too should be people who give our all as we freely scatter [our] gifts from His hand for the blessing of others.
Psalm 111 finishes with the words
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
And Psalm 112 then describes what this wisdom looks like in the everyday lives of God’s people who are those who follow his precepts [and therefore] have good understanding.
No wonder his final words in Psalm 111 are: To him belongs eternal praise.
To put it another way, Paul says in Romans:
So, here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 Message))
In summary, Wilcock writes, “The dominant thought with which 111 and 112 leave us is that of the reflection of God’s character that he looks for in the life of his people. It points back to the Genesis story, when God created man in his own image [in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:27)], and on to the creation of the new humanity, like God in true righteousness and holiness [Ephesians 4:24], and in due course to that of the new world: We know that when he [Jesus] appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is [1 John 3:2]… [in the mean-time]… we are being transformed into his likeness [2 Corinthians 3:18]… [this being due to] an entirely practical love for, and obedience to, God and his word [i.e., true wisdom], which his Holy Spirit owns and uses.” (# 5)