Surely the righteous will never be shaken;
they will be remembered forever.
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;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor,
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn[c] will be lifted high in honor.
The first 3 months of 2020 has the world speaking one language and that is the language of fear. With the global outbreak of the coronavirus, common words and phrases that we used to say in passing without much consideration of their implication, have become words and phrases that are spoken obsessively with fear and trepidation.
Fever, cough, shortness of breath, social distancing, wash your hands, face mask, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, cruise ships, airline travel, lockdown, closures, stock market, telecommuting
These words will never have the same meaning to us because of the spread of the coronavirus and the media’s relentless stream of bad news. Some of the content in the news is necessary because we really do need to be serious about washing our hands with lots of water, soap and friction. There is no doubt that we are in the middle of a pandemic, and it isn’t something to dismiss or ignore.
Psalms 112:7 says, “They will have no fear of bad news.”
Who are the “they?” Can I say I have NO FEAR of bad news?
Let see, I have checked the stock market numerous times during the day and watched my 401K in one week lose all its gains from last year. I have been paranoid near people who cough. I recently bought Turkey Tail, a supplement that boosts your immune system (I am not a supplement taker). I have felt fear and dread after listening to the news.
So how can I become one of the “They” in this passage in Psalms?
I find the answer, in the first verse of Psalms 112:
Praise the Lord.
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
First, “They” are praising the Lord.
Giving praise to God is all about acknowledging who He is. Sovereign, loving, merciful, patient, forgiving and all powerful. The focus is on the creator – not the creation. The creation breaks down, susceptible to viruses and mutations. Let’s praise God and give him thanks for the miracle of the earth spinning on its axis, the sun rising and setting and spring showing up in the middle of all this darkness. Let’s give thanks and praise to a God who hears our prayers. Go ahead Diane and say, “I praise you Lord for your great power that is sustaining the universe.” That just lifted my mood.
Second, “They” fear the Lord.
When we fear the Lord more than people, places and things, then we have the assurance that God has got this. The definition of fear I’m talking about is the reverential awe of God and his love, mercy and judgement. Does God wave his magic wand and make everything perfect as if we are in heaven already? No. this earth is just not going to be nirvana. But God will work in our hearts to learn to love Him and our fellowman more in this crisis. We need to take care of each other.
Third, “They” delight in his commands
The Bible speaks good news to our weary hearts. God’s word is like a stream flowing over a dry riverbed and bringing back to life the vegetation on its banks. There is so much to take delight in when we read the Bible. Within its pages we find every answer to life’s problems. Jesus tells us in this life we will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world!!
Finally, “They” are blessed.
Do you feel blessed in the middle of this crises? Even if your 401K is way down? Even if you can’t go to your favorite concert? Even if you need to find childcare for your child because the schools are closed? Even if your travel plans have been disrupted? “They” are blessed because their hope and joy are not in any of those things. Their hope is in the Lord. We all have so many non-material blessings. We just need to name them one by one and thank the Lord for them.
Thank you, God, for encouraging me today with your words. I needed Psalm 112. Please help me become one of the “They” you speak of in Psalm 112. Amen.