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 for ever.
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 for ever.
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 for ever;
their horn is exalted in honour.
10 The wicked see it and are angry;
they gnash their teeth and melt away;
the desire of the wicked comes to nothing.
I nearly always get something new out of a reading from holy scripture. It’s not always what I expect.
There are three kinds of people in this psalm – The Righteous, The Wicked and The Poor.
Think about the people labelled ‘the righteous.’ It seems like they are OK and they have enough to live and enough to give. They are‘ good people.’ They are generous towards the poor, and there’s nothing wrong in that.
Then there are the wicked and the poor. I wonder, does this system ever change. Is there the potential for transforming the status quo, or not ?
It almost seems like everyone is in their allotted stations in life, and the role of the righteous is simply to be generous.
Added to this is the grammatical structure of the psalm. The righteous and the wicked are both subjects in the sentences, whilst the poor are objects.
The righteous are gracious ….. they are active in the way they live
The wicked are angry … also active in the way they live
But where the poor are concerned, they are passive. The righteous have given to the poor. The poor are on the receiving end of charity.
I know there are many passages that speak of righting injustice, but this appears to accept the ways things are.