1 Praise ye Yah. Blessed is the man that feareth Yahweh, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
Fear and delight may seem an incongruous combination. It is natural, chaste and beautiful in the class described. How precious is the man or woman so characterised. In the wilderness of human life as it now is it is pleasant to meet with those who are a little interested in the ways of God-who mildly delight in them, but think of the man who "greatly delights" in them! He is a treasure to God and man.
He is blessed in himself now and in the future that waits him: for God to whom all things belong intends to bestow everything at last on those who fear Him and delight greatly in His commandments. "Wealth and riches," as the Psalm says, "shall be in his house;" "surely he shall not be moved for ever." Darkness now may be his lot, but "unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness."
"He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in Yahweh."
2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.
For here is the glory of true godliness, that he not only fears God, but shows kindness to man. An unkind man fearing God would not be acceptable to God:
"A good man showeth favour and lendeth."
"He is gracious and full of compassion and righteous . . . He hath dispersed: he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever."
We need to ponder this. It is exactly what Christ commands. The stream is all against our conforming to this standard. Everything within us and around us will paralyse our hand unless we look to God in the matter. We will say with the world, "he does not deserve it." We will say with the world, "There are so many of them, it is no use." We will say with the world, "It will pauperise me to give them." A wise man - the man who truly fears God will not be swayed by these maxims. He will say,
"I practise kindness, not because the people around me deserve it, but because He has commanded it who say,
'Be kind to the unthankful and to the evil.'
I give when I can, not because I hope to heal the world's woes by philanthropy; but because God requires it, and you ask me if it is any use. I say 'No, not as regards the world, but I consider it of great use to please God.' This is the right way to work - with God in view, resolved to fulfil the part He requires, whatever the present consequences, or want of consequences. This is the only practicable course.
The world is such a morass of woe that you will never do anything when once you get a full view of its hopelessness, if you trust to your feelings or to human wisdom. A man can do anything God commands when once he is sure He commands it. This is the secret of the exhortation:
"Trust in Yahweh and do good;"
Do your part towards Him; never mind the big impracticable that lies before you.
"Trust in Yahweh with all thy heart and lean not unto thine own understanding."
"Do good unto all men as you have opportunity."
This is why we are to do it because He requires it, not because we are going to save the world by it, for that is impossible. It is a good, sound working rule that will keep a man in well-doing all his vain life, and that will glorify his memory in death - for God and man. It looks well when a man gets through - when we see him in his coffin, cold and quiet and at peace-life's fever past. It wreathes a holy memory round his head when we are able to say, "Well, poor fellow, he had an uphill fight, but he always strove to govern his actions by the will of God. He did a good turn to as many as he could. He loved not in word only, but in deed and truth." How differently we feel when the dead form of a man who did well for himself, kept his own skin whole, but left his unfortunate neighbour to shift for himself.
Bro Roberts - Regarding God and His Word
6 Surely he shall not be moved [never falter]: the righteous [tzaddik ] shall be in remembrance everlasting [olam].
...in that great day some forgotten saint will arise alone in the deserted cemetery amidst ruined walls and lonely woods. His companions and friends still sleep around him, and he is only counted worthy of the resurrection of the just.
The fields in which he toiled are possessed by strangers; the home where he lived and died, with all its touching recollections is trodden into dust.
As the hills and vales, and rivers of his birthplace present their well-known forms, the shadows of departed ages steal across his breast.
The sports of childhood, the passions of youth, the cares of manhood, the tranquility of age, are all associated with the scene before him.
With no unholy thought, he turns backward to the scenes of the past; and still feels a natural interest in all natural things. His resurrection, though it has equalled him with angels, has left him still-a man.
The brightness of the present does not quite efface the long-loved melancholy of the past. How appropriate would it be were he now glorified to be appointed ruler over the very spot where he once dwelt-were he to govern where he once served; to be honoured where once he was despised.
Were the incorruptible to show forth his power where the corruptible was struck down. Were the immortal to live where once the mortal died!
Herald of the Kingdom and Age to Come, Aug 1856.
7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in Yahweh.
8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.
9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.