Read Psalm 112
I used to love the tv show “What Not to Wear.” Two fashion experts would surprise unsuspecting people who needed wardrobe makeovers and offer each an entire closet-full of new clothes in exchange for their commitment to completely rid themselves of their old stuff. Then they would learn what not to wear.
The writer of Psalm 112 shares a different kind of expertise. If he were to produce a show today, it might be called “What Not to Fear.”
I can imagine him catching unsuspecting nervous people in the act of worrying about what might happen. Or maybe he’d find people who can’t say “no” for fear of disappointing others. The expert would spend time teaching people with anxieties of all sorts, stressed about might-be’s and I-don’t-knows. He would then help them evaluate their innermost hearts to learn what is worthy of fear and what’s not.
As part of the training, no doubt, he would teach them the meaning of the life that is blessed.
When he wrote Psalm 112, the psalmist used the Hebrew word esher. It means happiness. But it’s so much more than just feeling happy. It is a completion of the happy. Because happy as we know it seems like such a moody word, so temporal, whereas blessed implies solid standing in a place called peace.
“Blessed is the man who fears the LORD . . . “(v1).
This solid happy, the blessed life, begins with the right kind of fear. It’s the kind of fear that realizes Almighty God is Lord above all. That He is not to be messed with. Worthy of all respect and honor. The kind of fear that reverences His authority to the point of delighting in His commands, abundantly pleased with the laws of God because there is no other way to live.
Of course, due to the nature of the name of the show, the psalmist would need to spend time looking at what not to fear. “He will have no fear of bad news . . . “(v7).
No what-ifs. No should-haves. No fear of what might happen.
“His heart is secure, he will have no fear . . . “(v8) because of the hope he has. Unshaken because the fear of God leads to true hope. Steadfast because of perfectly placed fear.
And the show would end with a complete life makeover. Because when someone chooses to put all their fear in God alone and trust that He is truly the only one who’s worth it, life changes from the inside out.
Sounds like a pretty good show to me. In fact, it sounds like a pretty amazing life.