Open Day 15 The Land Of Offense: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Today is 2-for-1 Friday!
Check out The Land Of Offense!

The Questions

1) Who is the “He” in verse 4 and what is significant about the qualities attributed to him?

2) How can this righteous person never fear bad news?

3) How are these righteous people identified?

Psalm 112:4-9

4  Light shines in the darkness
for the upright.
He is gracious, compassionate,
and righteous.
5 Good will come to the one who
lends generously
and conducts his business fairly.
6 He will never be shaken.
The righteous one will be
remembered forever.
7 He will not fear bad news;
his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord.
8 His heart is assured; he will not fear.
In the end he will look in triumph on his foes.
9 He distributes freely to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.
His horn will be exalted in honor.

Original Intent

1) Who is the “He” in verse 4 and what is significant about the qualities attributed to him?
In Hebrew, the original language for most of the Old Testament, the personal pronoun “he” is not in the text, but was added in translations to help us, as readers today, understand the original meaning without needing to actually study and know Hebrew. (for more on translations and why they matter, check here!) The Hebrew literally reads verbatim, “Arises darkness light  upright, gracious, compassionate, righteous.” The three adjectives “gracious, compassionate, and righteous” are themselves descriptors of the “light” that has arisen in the midst of such all-pervasive “darkness”. What’s absolutely incredible about this is the sweet nugget of the gospel hidden right here in an archaic few lines of Hebrew text. The darkness did not “birth” the Light, the Light arose in spite of the darkness with no effective work from the darkness. Neither did the light carry any shadow of darkness (because it was not birthed from darkness). The dark was simply dark and the light existed on its own, yet coming up out of this place of darkness. The qualities of the light were then demonstrated as this light arose and shone out of the darkness.

2) How can this righteous person never fear bad news?
The psalmist lists several descriptors for the one who is righteous (or, in New Testament terms, has been made righteous through Christ); all of which convey the same kind of meaning. “Never be shaken” (verse 6), “not fear bad news” (verse 7), “confident heart” (verse 7), “heart is assured” (verse 8), “will not fear” (verse 8), and will “look in triumph on foes” (verse 8). The anchoring foundation for each of these is bound up in one simple word, trust. As is often the case for Hebrew poetry, like we find in the Psalms, midway through a section, we uncover a “hinge point” that supports the “before” and “after” portions of the poem. In Psalm 112, that hinge is found in verse 7, “his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord.The Lord is the righteous light, He alone is the only one worthy of trust. The psalmist boldly declared that the righteous one would never fear because the One in whom he trusted was 100% faithful!

3) How are these righteous people identified?
Scripture presents many markers for a righteous person redeemed by God’s gracious love. Theses markers are easy to spot in the New Testament as they are often listed out in a letter (Galatians 5:22-23, Colossians 3:12-15) or preached on by Jesus (Matthew 5:2-11). But finding these markers in the Old Testament are a true treasure because they speak of God and His character fleshed out in real, everyday life centuries before God-in-the-flesh (Jesus) actually walked the earth to demonstrate God’s character in real life. This passage notes several distinct qualities regarding the righteous person which we already discussed in question 2, but an interesting note is the character trait of generosity which “bookends” this passage at verse 5 and again in verse 9. This literary technique is a common poetic device seen frequently both in Scripture as well as in other historical documents of the time. Its intention is to highlight something of significance by emphasizing it with its location (beginning of a passage and conclusion), while fleshing out other aspect in the “middle section”. In this particular passage, we see the section of trusting in the Lord and His steadfast faithful righteousness is “bookended” by the righteous person exhibiting a consistently generous lifestyle. Why? If the standard of righteousness is God Himself, and is exhibited by His graciousness and compassion, one cannot bypass God’s radical generosity by which He even shows these traits to us. His compassion is most clearly seen as He chose to send His Son, Jesus, to die in our place. His grace is most evident at the cross where He gave His only Son unconditionally. Righteousness is rooted and anchored in the Lord God, but it is hemmed in by His heart that beats to the drum of generosity.

Everyday Application

1) Who is the “He” in verse 4 and what is significant about the qualities attributed to him?
Here is the gospel: we, as humanity, are the darkness. Chained in sin, arrested to death, incapable of creating or birthing anything of ourselves except more death, sin, and darkness. But Christ! Christ, who is Himself the Light (John 9:5), wholly flawless and completely righteous, entered into our darkness by taking on our sinful flesh. “God condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh”. (Romans 8:3) Jesus then lived a completely righteous life in that flesh. By doing so, He did what we never could, be perfect. In this perfect state, He died our death, which we earn as a result of sinning (everything we do that goes against God’s perfect law). Then He extended His Righteousness to us in place of our sinfulness, and offered His eternal life in place of the death we rightly deserve. Light in the middle of darkness. Light that demonstrated rich graciousness, deep compassion, and flawless righteousness. All of that packed into that tiny verse, a small seed written in Hebrew that spoke radiantly of the glory that would one day come as God the Son, Jesus Christ would come to earth wrapped in flesh. Isn’t God’s Word AMAZING?! What does that mean for us today? Every part of your life trapped in darkness can be set free because of the light of Christ. He is actively pursuing you, whether you’ve already crossed the line of faith or not, as He is ready to demonstrate His graciousness, compassion, and righteousness in your everyday life!

2) How can this righteous person never fear bad news?
This passage teaches that our fears are directly tied to our lack of faith. If we fear bad news, if our hearts do tremble inside us, here is an opportunity to grow in our trust of the Lord God and His power, His sovereignty, His father heart for us, and His good love toward us. Interestingly, Jesus Himself ties these two, fear and trust, together as polar opposites in just such an opportunity when His disciples were trapped by their fear and quite literally sinking. The disciples had been following Jesus for a while, long enough to have witnessed first-hand His power to transform lives both spiritually and physically and experience His divine authority. This particular night they found themselves caught on the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a powerful storm. Their boat was taking on water by the wave-full and it was obvious they were minutes from drowning. Terrified for their lives, they scream to a sleeping Savior, “Teacher? Don’t you care that we’re going to die?!” (Mark 4:35) Jesus got up, rebuked the wind and waves and instantly there was a calm as still as glass across the lake and sky. Dumbfounded the disciples stood jaw-dropped, but Jesus presses in, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:40) Jesus said the disciples were afraid because they didn’t not have faith, they did not trust God’s good heart for them. Faith drops fear at the door. Next time you find yourself afraid, choose trust instead, because you know exactly who your Lord is. But maybe, you read that and you aren’t really sure who the God of the Bible says He is. Maybe you see Him as miserly or against you or powerful, but distant and un-interested. I challenge us, collectively, to dig deeply into God’s character, to experience His glory, to see Him for who He is, so we can trust Him!

3) How are these righteous people identified?
Our calling as Christ-followers is imitate Christ. The literal definition of Christian is “little Christ”, an imitation or mimicry of the original. When we live like Jesus, we are imitating Him while at the same time, reflecting His glory to those around us. Paul, the great disciple, preacher, and missionary, said it like this to the church in Corinth, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) While there are large amounts of teaching all throughout Scripture on what it looks like practically to imitate Christ, if all we studied were the attributes in this passage, we would have a pretty well-rounded picture. First, the light has risen within us, that is, Christ has deposited His Spirit inside of us and we have been released from the chains of darkness and awakened to live the life of love God intended for us. Then, that life of Christ, is on display in us as we are compassionate, gracious, reflectors of Christ’s righteousness, unrelentingly trust our God, and, perhaps most practically, we live and love with consistent, intentional generosity. Generous with our time, our talent, and our treasure as we imitate this God full of rich love that He Himself generously gave to us. This is living in the light of Christ and walking as the righteous ones! As you consider these truths, take time to slowly consider where God is calling you to live generously, just as He has generously loved you!

What do YOU think?! Share Here!
Missing the connection to our other Journey Study today?
Catch up with The Land Of Offense!

Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

Digging Deeper Community

Share What You’ve Learned!
Pray Together!
Join us in the GT Facebook Community!

Our Current Study Theme!

This is Open Week Three!
Don’t miss out on the discussion!
Sign up
to receive every GT Journey Study!

Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

Memorize It!

Download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!
Tap and hold on your mobile device to save.