Psalms 112-114

The (Long) Road Back


“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

As the people of Judah are returning to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple we are drawing a parallel in our walk with the Lord and are in the faith building process of putting off the old ways we have followed and replacing them with the new things. We have already talked about the importance of the Word of God and prayer. Today we are going to talk about praise.

Last time we read Psalm 111 which spoke of the works of God and for our study today we need to reread this Psalm.  God’s works are to be studied and remembered for they speak of God’s character and love for you and me. A proper understanding of who God is and what He has done is essential if we are going to put off the old ways and start out following the Lord on the right path. (Verse 10)

Psalm 114 also speaks of the works of the Lord from the point of wisdom and understanding.

Sandwiched between these two Psalms are two other Psalms that speak of praise. The Hebrew word for praise is halal, which means to be bright, splendid, to glorify, boast, etc. Here is where we come to a crossroads and must choose which road to take. Let’s call them the high road and the low road. Which road we take will be based on who gets the praise and what we do with that which we give praise. On the high road the Lord who has done the “works” is the one who gets the praise. On the low road man gets the praise.

Psalm 112 speaks of wealth and riches. These are not prohibited by God. In reality they are provided by God. However, it is our attitude toward them and what we do with them that comes into play here. We are warned in 1 Timothy 6:10 that it is the love of money, not the money itself, that causes people to wander from the faith. When we start to shine the light on what we have, the money we make, we are robbing God of the glory due Him and have taken the low road. If the low road had a sign post it would be called pride. Proverbs 16:18 describes where this road leads. Pride causes us to think we are smarter than the average person and our success proves it. In reality, God has put us in a time and place in life that He has blessed, but we do not realize what God has done because we are blinded by our pride. Pride also leads to boasting since we think we are so smart and successful we have something for “show and tell” on the world’s stage. The media loves these kinds of stories and endlessly promotes them, but if we wait long enough we see that Proverbs 16:18 is often the end result.

As we continue in Psalm 112 we see that wealth and riches are tools we can use to praise God by blessing others. The Apostle Paul speaks of this in 2 Corinthians 8&9. Jesus told us to lay up our treasures in heaven in Matthew 6:19. In 2 Corinthians 9:12 we see how to lay up our treasures in heaven. In verse 12  we read, “For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplyting the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.” NASB

Do you see what is happening here? The gifts of money the people were giving to support other ministries were resulting in thanksgiving to God for what those people received in their need. They gave thanks to God and I believe that thanksgiving overflowed and was credited to the account of the one who gave. In this way they were laying up their treasures in heaven.

How big our bank account is or how prestigious we have become will not transfer to heaven. One day we will leave it all behind. The currency of heaven is praise and thanksgiving. When what we have and achieved results in praise and thanksgiving to God we have taken the high road and “the new has come.”

What we have received in this life is up to God. What we do with it and who gets the praise is up to us. Beware, however, whatever road we choose to take has a destination. Fortunately, there are many stumbling blocks on the low road to get our attention. Also, we need to be aware, that as believers we are not immune to the temptation to take the low road. Hezekiah is a good example of a godly leader who got on the road of pride. You can read all about it in 2 Chronicles 32:20-26.

Our praise shows what road we have chosen to take.

Take the high road of praising God!

Pastor Dave