Minding Your Children’s Business (Part 2)
It is not unusual for parents to want to mind their children’s business as their children get older. After all, if they have been good parents, they have already been doing it for some time. But, as we saw in part one, it is not our place to do so when they are adults.
Or is it? Perhaps there is more to this matter than what is obvious. As we finish our look at Psalm 112, we will see that our children’s future is our business. But how do we mind it? It’s all wrapped up in the life and legacy of a God-fearing man. What makes him happy and what gives him hope are essential elements in this very important matter, as we have seen. But there is more.
III. The Heart of a God-fearing Man; vv. 4-9.
All that we saw in Part 1 leads us to an obvious deduction to which the Psalmist now brings us. This God-fearing man has a religion of the heart, and his heart is seen in his habits.
A. He Is a Guided Man, v. 4a.
Jesus said it this way: “He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life” Jn. 8:12. David trusted in this: “You will show me the path of life…” Ps. 16:11.
Darkness is a synonym for adversity. And the God-fearing man is no stranger to adversity, in spite of his life enriched with God’s blessing. Some adversity is self-induced, since the God-fearing man is not perfect. Some is not his fault. All adversity is providentially arranged for his good and growth and his God’s glory. So he walks with the confidence of David who said; “Though I walk in the midst of trouble You will revive me…” Ps. 130:7.
B. He Is a Gracious Man; v. 4b.
A gracious man is full of grace. He has known the grace of God and makes known the grace of God in his dealings with others. The love of God is shed abroad in his heart, and he deals kindly with those dear to him and those not so dear.
C. He Is a Generous Man; v. 5a.
A God-fearing man does not have to have a lot in order to give. He can give himself.
D. He Is a Genuine Man; vv. 5b & 6.
He is the real deal. He is real about his faults and needs. He cannot allow pretense in himself.
E. He Is a Grounded Man; vv. 6-9.
He is grounded in God’s Word, established on God’s promises, convinced of God’s goodness, and settled in God’s plan and purpose.
All of this is to say that he is a godly man. He is not a perfect man, but he is a godly man.
IV. The Heritage of a God-fearing Man, v.2.
We must interpret this passage in light of the Old Covenant economy. But we must not do so to the exclusion of its New Covenant application. This man is a man who looks and sees beyond the limited circumstances of his own life and times. He is a man of vision; a vision for multi-generational Christianity.
A. A Vision of a Mighty Seed
Do you stop to think how you live your life will affect your descendants? What do you picture your descendants doing 30 years from now, 100 years or even 300 years from now?
What does mighty mean? It means many or numerous. This was a particular sign of God’s blessing under the Old Covenant. And while I would not be so presumptuous as to equate God’s blessing with a large family under the New Covenant, it would be wise for us to divorce ourselves from the prevailing view that children are to be limited for the sake of convenience.
But “mighty” also means strong, resilient, steadfast, and advancing. And is this not what we should desire and envision for our descendants, that they should be strong in Christ and His Gospel, resilient, even impervious, to the assaults of this world, steadfast in the Faith, and advancing for Christ and His kingdom? Should this not be our prayer? It is mine; that none of my descendants or their spouses would be lost or bring reproach upon the name of Christ, but that each succeeding generation would produce more godly fathers and husbands, mothers and wives, and young people all committed to changing their generation and the next generation for Christ.
B. A Vision of a Merciful Sovereign
None of these things of which I have spoken is possible in the life of any man or woman apart from the mercies of our great God: “the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” This upright, God-fearing life with its blessings is the gift of God. A converted and committed progeny is a gift as well. We work as though it depends on us. We pray as though it depends on God. And we live with that assurance.
This is how we mind our children’s business, especially when they are older. The investment and involvement have been made years earlier. The legacy of a God-fearing man comes out of a life lived before the face of God. What makes you happy, what gives you hope, what is in your heart are all the building blocks of a lasting legacy. So, go ahead. Mind your children’s business, and start today.