Righteous Ones Will Praise God Forever
1. (a) What happy future awaits all whom God views as righteous? (b) What question is raised?
WHAT a marvelous future awaits all humans whom God views as righteous! Forever they will delight to learn more about Jehovah’s beautiful qualities. Their hearts overflow with praise as they learn ever more about God’s creative works. Central to such a glorious future is “righteousness,” which is emphasized in Psalm 112. But how can the holy and righteous God, Jehovah, view sinful humans as righteous? No matter how hard we try to do what is right, we make mistakes, sometimes serious ones.—Rom. 3:23; Jas. 3:2.
2. What are two miracles Jehovah performed out of love?
2 Lovingly, Jehovah provided a perfect solution. How so? First, by performing the miracle of transferring the life of his beloved heavenly Son to the womb of a virgin so that he could be born as a perfect human. (Luke 1:30-35) Then, after Jesus’ enemies put him to death, Jehovah performed another outstanding miracle. God raised Jesus back to life as a glorious spirit creature.—1 Pet. 3:18.
3. Why was God pleased to reward his Son with heavenly life?
3 Jehovah rewarded Jesus with something that his Son did not have in his prehuman existence—indestructible life in heaven. (Heb. 7:15-17, 28) Jehovah was pleased to do this because Jesus had kept perfect integrity under severe tests. Jesus thereby provided his Father with the best, yes the complete, answer to Satan’s lie that humans serve God with selfish motives and not out of unbreakable love.—Prov. 27:11.
4. (a) Upon his return to heaven, what did Jesus do for us, and how did Jehovah respond? (b) How do you feel about what Jehovah and Jesus have done for you?
4 In heaven, Jesus did more. He ‘appeared before the person of God for us’ with the value of “his own blood.” Our loving heavenly Father graciously accepted Jesus’ precious offering as “a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins.” Therefore, with ‘cleansed consciences,’ we can render “sacred service to the living God.” What a reason to echo the opening words of Psalm 112, “Praise Jah, you people”!—Heb. 9:12-14, 24; 1 John 2:2.
5 For us to maintain a righteous standing with God, we must keep on exercising faith in Jesus’ shed blood. Not a day should pass by without our thanking Jehovah for loving us so much. (John 3:16) We also need to keep studying God’s Word and doing our best to live in harmony with its message. Psalm 112 contains fine advice for all who want to maintain a clean conscience before God. This psalm complements Psalm 111. Both open with the exclamation “Praise Jah, you people!” or “Hallelujah!” and are followed by 22 lines, each line beginning with one of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet.*
A Basis for Happiness
6. How is the God-fearing “man” described in Psalm 112 blessed?
6 “Happy is the man in fear of Jehovah, in whose commandments he has taken very much delight. Mighty in the earth his offspring will become. As for the generation of the upright ones, it will be blessed.” (Ps. 112:1, 2) Note that the psalmist first mentions an individual “man” and then changes to the plural “upright ones” in the latter part of verse 2. This suggests that Psalm 112 can refer to a composite group made up of many individuals. Interestingly, the apostle Paul was inspired to apply Psalm 112:9 in connection with Christians in the first century. (Read 2 Corinthians 9:8, 9.) How well this psalm depicts how Christ’s followers on earth today can be happy!
7. Why do God’s servants need to have a wholesome fear of him, and how should you feel about God’s commandments?
7 As indicated at Psalm 112:1, these true Christians experience great happiness as they walk “in fear of Jehovah.” This wholesome fear of displeasing him helps them to resist the spirit of Satan’s world. They take “very much delight” in studying God’s Word and in obeying his commandments. That includes the command to preach the good news of the Kingdom throughout the earth. They strive to make disciples of people of all nations while warning the wicked of the coming of God’s day of judgment.—Ezek. 3:17, 18; Matt. 28:19, 20.
8. (a) How have God’s devoted people today been rewarded for their zeal? (b) What future blessings await those with an earthly hope?
8 Because of obeying such commands, God’s servants on earth today now number some seven million. Who can deny that his people have become “mighty in the earth”? (John 10:16; Rev. 7:9, 14) And how “blessed” they will yet be as God carries out his purpose! As a group, those with an earthly hope will be preserved through the coming “great tribulation” to form “a new earth” in which “righteousness is to dwell.” In time, Armageddon survivors “will be blessed” even more. They will be on hand to welcome back millions of resurrected ones. What a thrilling prospect! Eventually, those who take “very much delight” in God’s commandments will grow to human perfection and enjoy forever “the glorious freedom of the children of God.”—2 Pet. 3:13; Rom. 8:21.
Wise Use of Riches
9, 10. How have true Christians used their spiritual riches, and how will their righteousness stand forever?
9 “Valuable things and riches are in his house; and his righteousness is standing forever. He has flashed up in the darkness as a light to the upright ones. He is gracious and merciful and righteous.” (Ps. 112:3, 4) In Bible times, some of God’s servants were noted for their material riches. And in another sense, those whom God approves truly become rich, even if that is not in a material sense. The fact is, in the main, those choosing to humble themselves before God may be poor and looked down upon, as was true in Jesus’ day. (Luke 4:18; 7:22; John 7:49) But whether one has much or little materially, it is possible to be spiritually rich.—Matt. 6:20; 1 Tim. 6:18, 19; read James 2:5.
10 Anointed Christians, along with their companions, do not keep their spiritual riches to themselves. Rather, they have “flashed up” in Satan’s dark world “as a light to the upright ones.” They do so by helping others to benefit from the spiritual treasures of wisdom and knowledge of God. Opposers have tried to put a stop to the Kingdom-preaching work but have failed. Instead, the fruitage of this righteous work will ‘stand forever.’ By enduring in a course of righteousness, God’s servants can have the assurance of living permanently, “standing forever.”
11, 12. What are some ways that God’s people use the material things they have?
11 God’s people, both the anointed slave class and those making up the “great crowd,” have proved to be generous regarding material things. Psalm 112:9 states: “He has distributed widely; he has given to the poor ones.” True Christians today often make material contributions to fellow Christians and even to neighbors who are in need. They also use material resources to support relief campaigns in times of disasters. As Jesus indicated would be so, that is a source of happiness too.—Read Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 9:7.
12 In addition, think of the expenditure to publish this magazine in 172 languages, many of which are spoken by people who are relatively poor. Consider, too, the fact that this journal is made available in various sign languages used by the deaf, as well as in Braille for the blind.
Gracious and Just
13. Who set the best examples of gracious giving, and how can we imitate their example?
13 “The man is good who is gracious and is lending.” (Ps. 112:5) You have no doubt observed that people who give help to others are not always gracious. Some give in a patronizing or begrudging way. It is not pleasant to receive help from one who makes you feel inferior or who makes you feel that you are a nuisance or a burden. By contrast, how refreshing it is to receive help from someone who is gracious. Jehovah is the outstanding example of a gracious, happy Giver. (1 Tim. 1:11; Jas. 1:5, 17) Jesus Christ perfectly reflected his Father’s gracious example. (Mark 1:40-42) Thus, to be viewed by God as righteous, we give cheerfully and graciously, especially in field service when offering spiritual help to our neighbors.
14. What are some ways in which we can ‘sustain our affairs with justice’?
14 “He sustains his affairs with justice.” (Ps. 112:5) As foretold, the faithful steward class cares for the Master’s interests in harmony with Jehovah’s justice. (Read Luke 12:42-44.) This is reflected in the Scriptural guidance given to elders, who sometimes have to handle cases of gross sin in the congregation. The just way of dealing with matters is evident also in the Bible-based direction the slave class provides on how all congregations, missionary homes, and Bethel homes should function. Justice is required not only of elders but also of other Christians in their dealings with one another and with unbelievers, including in business matters.—Read Micah 6:8, 11.
Blessings for the Righteous
15, 16. (a) What effect does the world’s bad news have on righteous ones? (b) What are God’s servants determined to keep on doing?
15 “For at no time will he be made to totter. The righteous one will prove to be for remembrance to time indefinite. He will not be afraid even of bad news. His heart is steadfast, made reliant upon Jehovah. His heart is unshakable; he will not be afraid, until he looks on his adversaries.” (Ps. 112:6-8) Never before in history has there been so much bad news, including such things as wars, terrorism, new diseases and resurging old ones, crime, poverty, and ruinous pollution. Those whom God views as righteous cannot escape the effects of this bad news, but it does not paralyze them with fear. Instead, their hearts are “steadfast” and “unshakable” as they look to the future with confidence, knowing that God’s righteous new world is near. If disaster does strike, they are better able to cope with the situation because they rely on Jehovah for support. He never allows his righteous ones “to totter”—he gives help and strength to endure.—Phil. 4:13.
16 God’s righteous ones also have to put up with the hatred and lies spread by opposers, but this has failed to silence true Christians and will continue to fail. Rather, God’s servants continue steadfast and unmovable in the work Jehovah has given them—to preach the good news of the Kingdom and to make disciples of all who respond. No doubt, the righteous will experience increased opposition as the end draws closer. Such hatred will reach a climax in the worldwide attack of Satan the Devil in his role as Gog of Magog. Then, at last, we will ‘look on our adversaries’ as they go down in humiliating defeat. What an experience it will be to see the complete sanctification of Jehovah’s name!—Ezek. 38:18, 22, 23.
“Exalted With Glory”
17. How will the righteous one “be exalted with glory”?
17 How enjoyable it will be to praise Jehovah unitedly, without opposition from the Devil and his world! Such enjoyment will be the everlasting lot of all who maintain a righteous standing with God. They will not bow down in disgrace and defeat, for Jehovah also promises that the “horn” of his righteous one “will be exalted with glory.” (Ps. 112:9) Jehovah’s righteous one will exult victoriously on seeing the downfall of all enemies of Jehovah’s sovereignty.
18. How will the concluding words of Psalm 112 be fulfilled?
18 “The wicked one himself will see and certainly become vexed. He will grind his very teeth and actually melt away. The desire of the wicked ones will perish.” (Ps. 112:10) All who continue to oppose God’s people will soon “melt away” in their envy and hatred. Their desire to see an end to our work will perish with them during the coming “great tribulation.”—Matt. 24:21.
19. Of what can we be confident?
19 Will you be among the happy survivors of that grand victory? Or if it happens that you succumb to sickness or advanced age before the end of Satan’s world, will you be among “the righteous” who will be resurrected? (Acts 24:15) The answer can be yes if you continue to exercise faith in Jesus’ ransom sacrifice and imitate Jehovah, as do those represented by the righteous “man” described in Psalm 112. (Read Ephesians 5:1, 2.) Jehovah will see to it that the “remembrance” of such ones will never be forgotten, nor will their righteous acts be overlooked. They will be remembered and loved by Jehovah forever and ever.—Ps. 112:3, 6, 9.
The complementary nature of these two psalms is seen in their structure as well as in their content. God’s qualities extolled in Psalm 111 are imitated by the God-fearing “man” of Psalm 112, as can be seen by comparing Psalm 111:3, 4 with Psalm 112:3, 4.
Questions for Meditation
• What are some reasons we have to cry out “Hallelujah”?
• What modern-day development makes true Christians so happy?
• What kind of giver does Jehovah love?
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To keep a righteous standing with God, we must exercise faith in Jesus’ shed blood
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