Thursday, January 01, 2009

Psalm 1

Okay, I felt the Lord tell me to go through the Psalms on my blog for 2009. So here goes.

The Psalms are songs that were sung. Some folks don't get the Psalms. There's a lot of heartfelt stuff there. So let's begin with Psalm 1. It begins with "bless."

What does bless mean? Or maybe I should phrase it this way? How do you judge someone as blessed? Is there someone out there whom you say, "Wow, that person is blessed!" Okay, I have moments of envy where I say, "Look at this person. Money, health, good looks, a great house!" The Hebrew meaning of blessed is: 1) one who is to be congratulated. One who has Contentment. One who has Peace or shalom (Nothing broken or missing). Aaargh. Nowhere does the Psalm tell us that fame, riches, a gorgeous figure is the sign of a blessed person.

Well, Psalm 1 begins by telling us who is not blessed. The blessed person is not the person who takes advice from ungodly folks. The blessed person gets his advice from God Himself. Wow!!!! The Bible urges us to trust God and to put all our hope and faith in God. God made us to know him. Wow!!!!

So, let's ponder this Psalm. Psalm 1

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful;

CM: NEAT PROGRESSION, UH? We begin by walking in the advice the world gives us. Most Christians do this, unfortunately. Hey, we ask God for guidance but we rarely wait for His answer. And besides, we generally are too carnal to actually have faith in walking by God's advice. But then after we walk in the world's advice -- disregarding the Bible, our dreams, our inner leading, we start standing with sinners. Our own spiritual walk pretty much stops. Then we get all comfy, sitting and scorning and mocking folks of faith.

To have good advice is one thing, to follow it is another. There has to be the heart to follow it. This leads to the second verse.

2but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law doth he meditate day and night.

CM: Okay, I DO delight in God's law but I'll admit that often in the morning my first choice is to look at a final fantasy video on youtube. Gotta stop doing that. And I really like the scifi channel so I tend to watch that instead of listening to Christian television. Gotta work on that. But generally, for the most part, I'm always thinking about the Bible or God. advancing somewhat.

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

CM: Great promise. The difference between a strong tree and a scraggly tree in a desert. The difference between a strong tree and a tumbleweed blown about by the wind. Consider the difference between a weed that is blown and a tree that is thoughtfully planted in a specific place. Streams of water? Streams!!! Not just one stream but many. God has planted me among some good streams, some loving folks who have contributed to my spiritual growth. What fruit do Christians produce? Love, peace, joy, truth, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control. I swear when I haven't been in the word I don't show much spiritual fruit.

This is the first promise in the Psalms that tells us that the word itself gives us life. The word itself is active and powerful and it does the work of changing us...if we allow it to. A Christian who trusts in God isn't going to allow himself to be blown every which way. That due season part is a bitch, though. When exactly is due season? An appointed time? Or can one force the growing season? A promise of a good life. So many people behave as if God has disappointed them and given them a crappy life. Yet, honestly, how many Christians really meditate in the Lord day and night BEFORE their trouble began? Hey, much of my fruit would have prospered if I had kept in the word more. Sometimes God restores...but it is very hard to build one's boat in a storm. There are earthly physical and spiritual eternal consequences to staying in the word.

4The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

CM: Ah, the ungodly! Don't let me even get on to them. The ungodly DO think they will survive, though, don't they? They do think of themselves as endurers. They never think of their end. While, heck, that's all we Christians often think of. To be blown about by life, to walk in darkness without the light of God's word! Think of the peanuts we eat! We shell the peanut and then blow the chaff away. We are called to be the salt of the earth. If the salt loses its flavour -- because it doesn't abide in the word-- it is no good and is thrown out and trampled under foot men.

5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

CM: Wow, the Lord knows my way. Gotta ponder that. I wonder what the word translated "know" means. Really means. Too wonderful for me to understand. And yet, in the simplest way possible, it's good that God knows my way. The word of God says God is always with us. HE is at our right hand always to help us. With math test, with guidance, with comfort, with advice about flaky neighbor. We don't like thinking of the ungodly's punishment, do we? What a scary way to end the Psalm!

Yes, I know...folks don't like to divide the world into black and white, good and bad, up and down. But although God is merciful, he does divide the world into those who are with him and those who are against him. Those who follow him and rely on him daily, and those who do not. Here it's not about denomination or ethics, it's about who reads and studies the Bible and who does not. A person who considers herself a good person yet who does not study and trust the word of God is therefore not considered blessed.

Other blogs on this blog tour are

and of course, yours truly

Posts already up

Otium Sanctum

Otium Sanctum, Psalm 1: A Tale of Two Ways

This blogger is not in our tour but he had a nice sketch up showing Psalm 1
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