Psalms 111 and 112 both focus on the fear of the Lord. Both psalms have the same acrostic poetic structure. Therefore, it is important to see the connection between the end of Psalm 111 and the beginning of Psalm 112. The end of 111 says that the fear for Lord brings wisdom and the beginning of 112 says the fear of the Lord brings joy or happiness. Wisdom and joy are two good things that you want for your children!
The Psalms are built on one great foundational truth: God rules over the earth. Blessed or joyful is the man turns away from the world and delights in the law of God. The appropriate fear of God must always come first. Paul quotes Psalm 36 in Romans 3 when he describes the wicked as having “no fear of God before their eyes.” Positively Psalms 111 & 112 state the blessings of the fear of the Lord as leading to wisdom, joy, and delight in obeying God.
When God is recognized for who he is then life is comprehensible. Here is how Psalm 111 ends and Psalm 112 begins:
Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom.
All who obey his commandments will grow in wisdom.
Praise him forever! Psalm 111:10
Praise the Lord!
How joyful are those who fear the Lord
and delight in obeying his commands. Psalm 112:1
This is a powerful, intentional literary connection! Security, trust, wisdom, joy all start with the fear of the Lord.
What does this look like in everyday life?
There is the explosion of thunder. Psalm 29 says this is the voice of God. Rain comes to end a drought or to bring a great flood. Job 37 and Jesus in the gospels teach this is the work of God. A rainbow graces the sky. This is the promise of God. When spreading the gospel in Acts 14 Paul says it is God who fills hearts with joy. And then in Acts 17 he says the places you live and even your next breath are determined by God.
All of these events and more offer opportunities to be in awe of God, both for you and for your children. But only if you take advantage of them! These things cry out for the awe and power of God to mark everyday life. Once God is seen as this powerful and this involved in life he can be feared and then followed with joy and delight, as the psalmist says. This is what drives us to embrace the gospel. It is our only hope as we stand before a holy God.
Wisdom, joy, and delight all flow from the fear of the Lord!