Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in his commandments!
2 His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches are in his house,
and his righteousness endures forever.
4 Light dawns in the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5 It is well with the man who deals generously and lends;
who conducts his affairs with justice.
6 For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
7 He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is steady; he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
9 He has distributed freely; he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever;
his horn is exalted in honor.
I had the chance to talk at length again with my father’s older brother this past summer. Uncle Ray is amazing. He is spry and still able to talk and remember things, despite his 96 years. This summer he remembered being a little boy, I think he must have been about 5 or 6 years old, when his father walked into the house and announced that the local bank had closed. It was the Great Depression and they lived in South Dakota. My grandfather had been doing well. He had savings in that bank. My uncle even described a loan which my grandfather had made to someone through that bank. In one afternoon, my grandfather went from a solid middle class sort of guy to someone on the edge of insolvency.
He eventually lost the farm due to a small loan he had taken out. He and his family would travel around the country for some time before settling in Wisconsin. He had had start over and rebuild his farm and career.
The psalmist tells us that the man who trusts in God is not afraid of bad news and his heart is firm (vs. 7). On either side of this verse, he speaks of the man who uses his wealth to help others. He deals generously and lends. A couple of verses later he says that he distributed freely, he has given to the poor. I am sure that there were a few moments of anxiety when my grandparents wondered what to do, but they never lost faith in God. This illustrates a little of how God took care of that man his family. Before the Great Depression struck, when my grandfather had resources, he had helped several other folks escape the terrible economy in Germany in the 1920’s. Now, when my grandfather needed help, it was these families who helped him and his family. It is well with the man who deals generously and lends (vs. 5). The psalmist speaks truth.