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112. Psalm 112

Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

2His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

3Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever.

4Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

5A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

6Surely he shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

7He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

8His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see his desire upon his enemies.

9He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.

10The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.

9 He has distributed, he hath given to the poor Once more he affirms that the righteous never lose the fruit and the reward of their liberality. And first, by dispersing, the prophet intimates, that they did not give sparingly and grudgingly, as some do who imagine that they discharge their duty to the poor when they dole out a small pittance to them, but that they give liberally as necessity requires and their means allow; for it may happen that a liberal heart does not possess a large portion of the wealth of this world. All that the prophet means is, that they are never so parsimonious as not to be always ready to distribute according to their means. Next he adds, they give to the poor, meaning that they do not bestow their charity at random, but with prudence and discretion meet the wants of the necessitous. We are aware that unnecessary and superfluous expenditure for the sake of ostentation is frequently lauded by the world; and, consequently, a larger quantity of the good things of this life is squandered away in luxury and ambition than is dispensed in charity prudently bestowed. The prophet instructs us that the praise which belongs to liberality does not consist in distributing our goods without any regard to the objects upon whom they are conferred, and the purposes to which they are applied, but in relieving the wants of the really necessitous, and in the money being expended on things proper and lawful. This passage is quoted by Paul, (2 Corinthians 9:9) in which he informs us that it is an easy matter for God to bless us with plenty, so that we may exercise our bounty freely, deliberately, and impartially, and this accords best with the design of the prophet. The next clause, his righteousness endureth for ever, is susceptible of two interpretations. That immoderate ambition which impels the ungodly to squander away their goods merits not the name of virtue. It may, therefore, with propriety be said, that it is a uniform course of liberality which is here praised by the prophet, according to what he formerly observed, that the righteous manage their affairs with discretion. If any prefer to refer it to the fruit of righteousness, I have no objection. And, indeed, it appears to be a repetition of the same sentence which lately came under our notice. Then the prophet shows how God by his benefits preserves the glory of that righteousness which is due to their liberality, and does not disappoint them of their reward, in that he exalteth their horn more and more, that is, their power or their prosperous condition.


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