The wicked borrow and do not repay,
but the righteous give generously;
22 those the Lord blesses will inherit the land,
but those he curses will be destroyed…
…26 They are always generous and lend freely;
their children will be a blessing.
In the two highlighted sentences above, I see the articulation of another Biblical principle; one perhaps most clearly expressed by Jesus in Luke 6:38:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
In Psalm 37:21,22, it looks like “the righteous” who “give generously” are those blessed by the Lord and who “inherit the land.” They receive far more than they give. This is the experience of so many of God’s people who, with faith, give according to God’s Word. (There are lots of testimonies out there, but probably most of them cannot be fully told, because disciples are to give in secret).
“Righteous gives and gives.
Generous gets it all in the end;
Stingy is cut off at the pass.” (21b,22 The Message).
It is not necessarily the very wealthy who are the most generous. Some rich people undoubtedly are, but not all. Often poorer people are more kindly and giving in their outlook. (I’m sure it’s not true of all poor people, but I believe it is often the case). I was thinking about Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5:
And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.
Such are the truly rich people in the world.
As “…the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “ (Acts 20:35). Everyone who steps out on this statement discovers that, although it may look like ‘water’, there is hard surface beneath their feet.
‘…a righteous man is no longer righteous when he grows selfish; he has joined the ‘men whose portion…is of the world’ (17:14; cf.49:13-20). The element of generosity in righteousness is treated more fully in psalm 112, and above all in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9. Further, this man’s constant giving and lending (26a) is crowned by a lasting blessing to society in the family he founds.’ (Derek Kidner).
(Thought: How, and to whom, can I show generosity today? It isn’t just about money).