In Psalm 37, David compares and contrasts the righteous and the wicked man. By definition, the righteous are those who have a right standing with God – they are not perfect, but they are generally just and ethical with regard to God’s ways. The wicked on the other hand lack such a standing; they are judiciously guilty.
While the entire Psalm deals with this contrast, two related verses caught my attention. Both verses (21 and 26) deal with borrowing and lending.
The wicked man borrows and does not repay, but the righteous one is gracious and giving (21). He (the righteous man) is always generous, always lending, and his children are a blessing (26).
These verses tell us that righteousness is closely related to generosity. David’s language suggests that children of God will show grace (unmerited favor) toward others, evidenced by a willingness to give. In fact, flowing out of God’s goodness to them, His children will be characterized by such giving – it becomes who they are. We might word verse 26 in this way, “From sun up to sun down, the righteous are looking for ways to be generous to others.”
Let’s not overlook the way verse 26 ends. Our generosity not only blesses those who receive, but our children are impacted as well – for the good. Some commentators believe the children are themselves blessed by their parents’ actions, while others believe the children (picking up on their parents’ example) go on to become a new generation that blesses their peers. Either way the recipient, the giver, and the giver’s children are all blessed.
Never will our generosity leave God with too little with which to provide for our children! In fact, verse 25 makes that same claim (the righteous man’s children will never beg for bread).
To be fair however, there is a downside to all this generosity – sometimes others will take advantage of our goodness. Don’t let that concern you – that’s between them and God. You do your part – continue to be gracious and giving! –Dave
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