Psalm 112 - The desire of the wicked comes to nothing

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1) Praise the Lord!
Happy are those who fear the Lord,
who greatly delight in his commandments.
2) Their descendants will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3) Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
4) They rise in the darkness as a light for the upright;
they are gracious, merciful, and righteous.
5) It is well with those who deal generously and lend,
who conduct their affairs with justice.
6) For the righteous will never be moved;
they will be remembered forever.
7) They are not afraid of evil tidings;
their hearts are firm, secure in the Lord.
8) Their hearts are steady, they will not be afraid;
in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
9) They have distributed freely, they have given to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever;
their horn is exalted in honor.
10) The wicked see it and are angry; they gnash their teeth and melt away;
the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.

Psalm 112
5th Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, verses 1-9, (10)
Proper 17, Sunday between August 28 and September 3, Year C

A traditional Jewish and Arabic idiom wishes that what is said goes "From your mouth to God's ear."

Psalm 112 is a prayer probably every believer can put on their lips. The righteous (us) are rewarded; the wicked's evil schemes come to naught. And there is the added bonus that we get to see the wicked frustrated, fuming, and then they just "melt away."

Is this not what we hope for? A world where justice reigns, where righteousness is steadfast, unafraid, and sure, where wickedness never prevails.

Perhaps this is a longing for a simpler world, where good always succeeds, and evil always fails. The world we live in does not seem nearly so straightforward. And the God we know through the Biblical witness is quite capable of being God in this more complicated reality.

Take note also that this picture of a better world has certain qualities. The righteous are firm and unafraid in the face of evil. They are also generous, sharing what they have and supporting those in need. We may not always measure up to the standard of what we know is right.

But let us keep praying this prayer. There is nothing wrong with our desire to be in the right, to be protected from harm, to live in peace and blessing.

From our mouths to God's ear!

David Lee, The Wallula Gap. "Shifting Shafts of Shining". Used under (CC BY 2.0).
* New Revised Standard Version Bible (NRSV), copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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