The Word Made Fresh
1Praise the LORD!
Those who respect the LORD
and embrace all the LORD’s laws are truly rewarded.
2Their children will be the strength of the land
and will be blessed for generations to come.
3They will enjoy wealth and plenteous riches,
and their right way of living will encourage others.
4They are the ones who appear as a light when times are dark,
for they are filled with grace and mercy and righteousness.
5It will go well for those who deal generously with others,
and readily lend, and always obey the law.
6They will not be persuaded to do otherwise,
and they will never be forgotten.
7They have no fear of bad news.
Their character is solid, and they are secure in the LORD.
8Their behavior is always steady, for they have nothing to fear,
and they will defeat all their enemies.
9They have been free with their wealth and have helped the poor.
They will be remembered forever for their goodness,
and their names be raised in honor.
10Evil people see this and are angered by it.
They grind their teeth, but they fade away
and their desires come to nothing.
1-10: The theme of the fear of the LORD is continued in this psalm. The emphasis here is on the blessings that the “fear of the LORD” (delighting in God’s commandments) accrues to future generations.
We are not to be afraid of the LORD: the oft-used phrase, “the fear of the LORD,” really means a high level of trust and respect for the God who made us and watches over us. If we do not sin, God will not punish us. If we sin, but then confess and repent, God will not punish us, but will allow us to suffer the consequences of what we have done. Otherwise, we would develop the wrong idea that we can get away with anything as long as we admit it and ask to be forgiven. Our sinful conduct has far-reaching consequences. The psalmist’s advice: don’t sin in the first place.