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Source: (consider it) Thread: Riches to the righteous
Demas
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# 24

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Psalm 112 reads:

quote:
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

This is rubbish, isn't it?

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Demas:
Psalm 112 reads:

quote:
Blessed are those who fear the Lord,
who find great delight in his commands.
Their children will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
Wealth and riches are in their houses,
and their righteousness endures forever.
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

This is rubbish, isn't it?
I think it's more wish-prayers. The Psalms are meant to be patterns for prayer, and really that's the only way they make sense with their sometimes horrible vindictiveness (yes, Ps. 127, I'm looking at you...)

In this case I'd hear it as a prayer of blessing for the righteous. What we wish and want and yearn to be true. What we believe in faith will one day be true, even as we are aware of so very many places where yet it is still not true.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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Lamb Chopped
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IMHO this is gnomic wisdom--a statement of general principles, not necessarily true in the case of any one individual. Take it that way and it's true--generally speaking, the generation of the upright ARE blessed, their children tend to do better in life, they have fewer money problems--IF IF IF only because of the fact that they have fewer self-created problems. They are still subject to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, and any particular upright person may have a life which sucketh, yea, mightily--Jesus being the ultimate example. But take an average across the human race (if you can figure out a methodology) and yes, living an upright life does mean (on average) that you'll avoid a lot of crap.

Of course, the existence of Satan means that you'll attract a lot more crap as well, so that sort of undercuts the conclusion. Oh, well.

[ 19. July 2017, 01:29: Message edited by: Lamb Chopped ]

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Schroedinger's cat

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A couple of observations:

"The generation of the righteous" - not individuals, the generation who are a righteous generation will as a whole be better. What we see in the real world is not this.

"Wealth and Riches" do not necessarily relate to money or possessions. They relate to the well being of a world where all are righteous.

So it is a call to a nation, not an individual, to be rghteous. And it is unprovable, because we have never managed to fulfil the requirements.

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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
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hatless

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You could read it as irony.

Those who leave employment in order to care for their disabled children and elderly parents are richly blessed.
Wealth and plenty are in their houses.

A bit like
Blessed are the meek, they shall inherit the earth.

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mr cheesy
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Yes, utter drivel. As are the various verses that suggest good health and long life is associated with a righteous life.

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arse

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Boogie

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I do think think it's rubbish or irony.

It's wishful thinking imo.

The writer would be rich, I imagine, poor people were not educated writers of poetry. So this person was justifying/celebrating his riches and hoping for the same privileges in the hereafter.

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Doc Tor
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You could read it as an exhortation, especially the last two lines.

Butter up the rich, tell them that God has blessed them, and then tell them how those who've been blessed by God with wealth ought to behave.
quote:
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

Boom.

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Forward the New Republic

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Martin60
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Work hard, keep it clean and your head down, be a good neighbour will tend to find opportunities, reap 'rewards'.

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Love wins

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Doc Tor:
quote:
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

Boom.
Also not true.

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arse

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Demas
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
Work hard, keep it clean and your head down, be a good neighbour will tend to find opportunities, reap 'rewards'.

Keep your head down?

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
# 15978

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quote:
"The generation of the righteous" - not individuals, the generation who are a righteous generation will as a whole be better. What we see in the real world is not this.
This passage sounded like prosperity bollocks to me until SC pointed this out. Though I don't understand the last sentence, because I think the first is true. For business to prosper in the absence of financial corruption, war to be avoided by the wise administration of national and international justice, families to live in peace with each other and their neighbours with well-developed spiritual lives - all this is going to help hugely overall, compared with the converse situation of corruption, war and discord. Even if I happen to be chosen to be the local Job.

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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mark_in_manchester

not waving, but...
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quote:
Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous.
Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice.

Aye, and this bit acknowledges that darkness comes - but that light dawns.

Tough for us that the one we follow shows us that light might not dawn until after we've been crucified - but, it *will* dawn. Can we drink the cup ?

[ 19. July 2017, 09:28: Message edited by: mark_in_manchester ]

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"We are punished by our sins, not for them" - Elbert Hubbard
(so good, I wanted to see it after my posts and not only after those of shipmate JBohn from whom I stole it)

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chris stiles
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quote:
Originally posted by mark_in_manchester:
quote:
"The generation of the righteous" - not individuals, the generation who are a righteous generation will as a whole be better. What we see in the real world is not this.
This passage sounded like prosperity bollocks to me until SC pointed this out.
I think that interpretation still has large holes in it - after all a generation can be righteous and not really reap the rewards, or the rewards may only be reaped subsequently.

Perhaps one alternative is to centre on the use of the word 'portion' - which is taken in the earlier part of the OT to mean inheritance in the land, but then re-used later in the laments to signify a relationship with God ("The Lord is my portion").

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SusanDoris

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# 12618

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The word 'righteous' always seems to me to carry overtones of smugness or self-satisfaction I think. A sort of, 'I am righteous so I am better than you are';or 'God loves me because I am righteous'.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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SusanDoris

Incurable Optimist
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Deleted - accidentally posted twice.

[ 19. July 2017, 10:31: Message edited by: SusanDoris ]

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Doc Tor
Deepest Red
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But since that's not what it means, either now or in context, it doesn't really at all.

[ 19. July 2017, 10:36: Message edited by: Doc Tor ]

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Forward the New Republic

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beatmenace
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My view of the Psalms is heavily influenced by C.S.Lewis's 'Reflections on the Psalms' which mentions at one point that you can get very tied up in knots trying to establish Doctrine from the Psalms, as they are first and foremost a humans creative response to the actions of God, and are addressed 'to God' and sometimes to those who worship him (as opposed to the Law and Prophets which are 'from God', and can be treated as more didactc).

So if the Psalm writer had a personal view of God it was reflected in his Psalm, and many voices from many times speak in the Psalter, so we get quite a few views, while all broadly within the generally agreed thinking of the OT, for example no 'Moloch isnt so bad really and we should give him a try' theology.

So therefore, getting a handle on Old Testament theology from the Psalms is like trying to get a coherent picture of Christianity using ONLY the hymns of Isaac Watts, The Spring Harvest songbook, 9th Century Latin Plainsong, the poems of John Dunne and the entire output of Delirious? It will always fall a bit short and in places be heretical.

Thanks to Lewis i get annoyed when a theological view rests ONLY on the Psalms (the DUP in the abortion debate did it the other day when they used 'fearfully and wonderfully made' (Psalm 139)as an argument - however accepted it may be as a Christian view of personhood, it was still just the subjective view of the Psalmist when it was originally used).

This doesnt say much about the passage in the OP but to analyse it we need to be aware the perspective of the Psalms and other stuff classed as 'Wisdom' is quite personal and subjective to the writer.

[ 19. July 2017, 12:04: Message edited by: beatmenace ]

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"I'm the village idiot , aspiring to great things." (The Icicle Works)

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Mere Nick
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It seems to be a wish-prayer or a general observation, etc, as folks have already said. However, look at Hebrews 11 as something that seems to appear more descriptive of actual reality. You may be on top of the world or the world may be on top of you. Keep the faith. Something better is promised for all who do, regardless of present circumstances.

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"Well that's it, boys. I've been redeemed. The preacher's done warshed away all my sins and transgressions. It's the straight and narrow from here on out, and heaven everlasting's my reward."
Delmar O'Donnell

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beatmenace
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Unrelated to my previous post, but actually referencing the OP.

This sounds a bit like what was called by Church Growth people , and more recently by at least one Sociologist, as 'Redemption and Lift' the idea that successive generations of a Christian family/group become successively more prosperous, as due to their shared faith , negative and self impeding behaviours are eliminated, to be replaced by hard work and integrity.

Heres an item which talks about this specifically though there are other references on the net.

https://influencemagazine.com/practice/redemption-and-lift

A good example would be US Pentecostalism which stated as a movement among Poorer Communities , but is now resolutely Middle Class, as the majority of members are working and most quite well paid , and has had, at times, difficulity attracting the poor - except by the hook of Prosperity type teaching.

This doesnt seem to work in some countries i agree. I suspect it only works in a 'meritocracy', where there is actually an economic route for poor people to become rich people. That said, i'm not sure that even America is one of those now, and the UK definitely not (bit of politics there - did i get away with it?).

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"I'm the village idiot , aspiring to great things." (The Icicle Works)

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mr cheesy
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There is a similar idea that is about individuals rather than generations - I've heard it called Methodist (or Evangelical) Uplift, the idea being that someone is a rough, hard-drinking miner who comes to the Lord and is converted and over time becomes a respectable member of society with concern for his family and better control over his finances.

The story I've heard is that the people who had come from lowly origins were the most intolerant of people in the next generation who were considered to be too "rough" for the church.

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arse

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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Did David write that? Before of after he did in Bathesheba's husband and also did her?

Lots of batards justifying themselves via yon Bible. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

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Demas
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Seems to be a lot of retrofitting here. It feels a bit like the sermons which look at a Psalm and say 'well, clearly this is talking about the blessings of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ'.

I'm not saying that the intent of the songwriter is determinative but I'm wary of saying that the Psalmist was entirely wrong in the meaning of what he wrote?

Or is the author truly dead?

[ 20. July 2017, 04:10: Message edited by: Demas ]

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They did not appear very religious; that is, they were not melancholy; and I therefore suspected they had not much piety - Life of Rev John Murray

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Ricardus
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I think you would have to put that Psalm next to all the ones whose plot is basically 'I am a good man and wicked men are persecuting me, Lord why do you not vindicate me', and then ask why the compilers let all of them in.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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Anglican_Brat
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My Old Testament professor in seminary, refuted prosperity preachers by arguing that the blessings in the Hebrew Bible are primarily directed to the people of God corporately and not to individuals per se.

One way of reading the Psalms spiritually is to imagine it as a person going through life, so the blessing psalms could be interpreted as a person going through good times, who momentarily might think that it is due to his good behaviour, and then finding out through the lament psalms of despair, the utter reality and depth of suffering and solitude, the conclusion expressed in the final psalms of praise is the conclusion that God is to be praised as the only and ultimate security and anchor of the soul, in good times and in bad.

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Galloping Granny
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
My Old Testament professor in seminary, refuted prosperity preachers by arguing that the blessings in the Hebrew Bible are primarily directed to the people of God corporately and not to individuals per se.

One way of reading the Psalms spiritually is to imagine it as a person going through life, so the blessing psalms could be interpreted as a person going through good times, who momentarily might think that it is due to his good behaviour, and then finding out through the lament psalms of despair, the utter reality and depth of suffering and solitude, the conclusion expressed in the final psalms of praise is the conclusion that God is to be praised as the only and ultimate security and anchor of the soul, in good times and in bad.

That would work if they all had the same author.

GG

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The Kingdom of Heaven is spread upon the earth, and men do not see it. Gospel of Thomas, 113

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