Changing Your Life with Psalms
page The Righteous Person
One extremely popular phrase used in so many speeches is that “the meek shall inherit the earth.” It is actually a verse in Psalms (37: 11): “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” To understand the meaning of this passage, it is important to read the entire chapter. It starts as follows: “A Psalm of David: Grieve not over the success of evildoers nor envy wrongdoers.” In this Psalm, humanity is encouraged to “turn away from evil and do good” (Psalm 37: 27) and not to envy the prosperity and apparent success of wrongdoers. This Psalm could easily be directed at the corrupt bankers and financiers who made billions while destroying their organizations.
Righteous people who become leaders (this includes CEOs) are urged to read Psalm 72 which is targeted to them. Solomon, David’s son, became king after his father died.
For Solomon. God endow the king with Your justice, and Your righteousness to the son of the king. May he judge Your people with righteousness and Your poor with justice. May the mountains bear peace to the people and the hills, through righteousness. May he judge the poor of the people and save the children of the destitute, and may he crush the oppressor… For he will save the needy when he cries out, and the poor who has none to help him. He will have pity on the impoverished and the needy; the souls of the needy he will save. From fraud and violence he will redeem their soul (Psalms 72: 1-14).
Psalm 112 praises the truly righteous person and describes what he or she is like.
Praise the Lord! Happy is the man who fears the Lord; His commandments he greatly desires. Mighty in the land will be his offspring; a generation of the upright who will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Light shines in the darkness for the upright; [since] he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. Good is the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice. For he will never be moved; the righteous man will be remembered forever. He is not afraid of bad news; steadfast is his heart, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady; he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph on his adversaries. He has distributed [charity] freely; he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever; his horn is exalted in honor. The wicked will see it and be angry; he gnashes his teeth and melts away; the desire of the wicked will perish!
Note how the psalmist ties wealth to fearing the Lord and using ones riches to help the poor through charity and/or loans. Wicked people will never have the joy or honor the righteous man has.
The secret of long life is mentioned in Psalm 34 (13-20). It involves turning away from evil and not slandering others or lying. It is a message to evil people to change their ways.
Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, guard your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are attentive to their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to excise their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he saves them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and those who are crushed in spirit, he saves. Many evils befall the righteous person but from all of them the Lord saves him.
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