New Living Translation (NLT)
1 Praise the Lord!
and delight in obeying his commands.
If you didn't think that "obedience" and "commands" can be synonymous with "joyful", then you need to re-evaluate your theology! How can there by joy and delight in "fearing" the Lord! I can say from experience it's peace! I have peace in a right relationship with God. I have peace in obedience because I am not worried of the consequences, for example; the Bible instructs me not to be a gossiper. So I don't gossip at work. Therefore I have the joy and peace that comes from knowing that I won't be responsible for any trouble that work gossip can cause. Random example, not specific to my personal life, but just something to wrap your mind around. The same with lying or stealing. There's no worrying that comes with "getting caught", there's peace with integrity and fear of the Lord. There's delight! There's joy!
2 Their children will be successful everywhere;
an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.
I don't know how to explain this promise... but I claim it! I want my children to be successful everywhere and I believe that they will be blessed.
3 They themselves will be wealthy,
and their good deeds will last forever.
4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.
They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.
It isn't a promise that there is no darkness, but rather, that we'll have a light shining to help us during the dark times, provided that we meet the qualifications of the word "godly", as defined in the second part of the verse: "They are generous, compassionate, and righteous." Outside from this definition, given by God, of what it is to be "godly"... well... there is no godly! Godly implies being "God-like"... If you are not generous, compassionate, or righteous (and it's all three, not one without the other, that creates a perfect balance!), then you fall short of God's definition for the term. Oh Lord, help me to be these things - specially righteous. I can't do it without Your constant help - at work, church, with the kids, and with friends, help me to make the right choices and have integrity.
5 Good comes to those who lend money generously
and conduct their business fairly.
Aha! I believe it ties in to verse 3, which is where the promise of being wealthy lies; it is fulfilled in being generous and conducting business fairly... in other words, being generous and having integrity in our business dealings! Well, when you think about it THAT way, it's not too far of a stretch to believe that godly people can be wealthy. If we learn to not place ourselves in foolish debt, and to pay our bills, and handle our finances appropriately, and save, and think about what we invest in, and not squander our money in silly purchases... well... that would make any person wealthy (or at least wealthier) over a period of time!
6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.
Those who are righteous will be long remembered.
7 They do not fear bad news;
they confidently trust the Lord to care for them.
8 They are confident and fearless
and can face their foes triumphantly.
♪♫ No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand
'Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I stand ♪♫
9 They share freely and give generously to those in need.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.
They will have influence and honor.
Lord, I yearn to be someone who would be considered generous. I love You, and I want to honor You!! Not for my honor or influence, but for Your sake - to be a good representative of what You've done for mankind!
10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.
They will grind their teeth in anger;
they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.
It makes ungodly people angry when godly people flourish... they would rather see us fail, fall, or lose hope so they can point a finger at us and say, "Ha! I knew it! I was right and you were wrong!" Well... too bad for them... But you know how you fight back? By getting back up. By not staying down! Your success is the biggest revenge against the Enemy. If you have been hurt, and you want to get back at them - leave them be, it's for God to handle - but You keep moving forward in the service of the Lord, and leave them behind to grind their teeth!
A good source is www.biblegateway.com - they have various reading plans in different versions that you can subscribe via email, so you get your daily reading every day and you can even read the Scriptures directly on your screen. Sometimes I read a verse in one translation and then in another, just to get a more rounded picture of what the message is. I'd recommend that to anyone.