“Blessed be God, Who has not turned away my prayer Nor His lovingkindness from me.” Psalm 66:20 (NASB)
Perhaps there are times when we feel as if God has not heard our prayers or maybe rejected them. God always hears the prayers of those who abide in Him and love Him. As so many of the songs we have in the book of Psalms in our Bible, this is an expression by the writer about what God had done for him. Written many centuries ago we can still believe this promise and it can become our own expression of praise to God. We know that God hears and answers our prayers and even in those times when we receive an answer different than our request, we know that God has not rejected our prayer. He may have answered it in a different way than we expected or hoped, but we know it is in a way that is best for us because He loves us and he does not withhold his love from us. Our promise today is that He has not rejected our prayer, and because he loves us so much, he has given us an answer that is better for us. Let’s trust Him today and enjoy His love for us.
“Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands.” Psalm 112:1 (NIV)
“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” Psalm 112:7 (NIV)
There is a positive result seen in the promises of these two verses from Psalm 112. With no title to this Psalm, it is evidently a companion to Psalm 111. We consider the promises in these verses. The exhortation at the beginning of 112:1 is never given too often; our Lord is the LORD God and He always deserves praise. The exhortation is for all thoughtful persons who observe the way and manner of life that appropriately fears the Lord. God’s favor towards the God-fearing is a display of His character and encourages gracious feelings in others. We study the divine precepts while we endeavor to observe them, and we rejoice doing so. Our promises are: We will have no dread that evil tidings will come, and we will not be alarmed when they do come. If our hearts are fixed in our reliance upon God, any change in circumstances will barely affects us; our faith makes our conviction steadfast. When the worst should come to worst we rest and remain quiet, patiently, waiting for God.
Compare line by line Psalms 111 & 112 and see the greatness of God and its reflection.
“Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments.” Psalm 112:1 (NASB)
“He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.” Psalm 112:7 (ESV)
The act of fearing the LORD is an emphasis throughout the Old Testament. The concept “fear of the Lord” occurs most prominently in the Old Testament’s Wisdom Literature such as our selected verse today. It is defined as the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10) or, as the responsible attitude of all humanity toward God (Ecclesiastes12:13). When it is used it conveys either devotion or dread of consequential punishment. Such a devotional attitude is both fitting and pleasing to our Lord God. We can and should fear God in both ways. When faith believers are walking in the fear of the Lord, they are also in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Such and attitude actually give us courage from our faith so that we are not afraid when bad tidings come our way. No one likes bad news but true Christians have no need to fear any news we receive. We have been given steadfast hearts, firm and trusting in the LORD. We can actually say, if we fear the Lord God, we really have no need to fear anything else in this world ⸺we are blessed because we fear only the Lord.