Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Daily Devotional Thought--From the Psalms (Blessed is the Man)

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

ESV Psalm 1

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,

nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers;

2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.

In all that he does, he prospers.

4 The wicked are not so,

but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.

Three postures are considered in this Psalm: walking, standing and sitting. So, there are three places the man of God will not be found: 1) walking where the godless counsel to walk, 2) standing in the way sinners go, and 3) seated with the scoffers.

Many in the Bible were led astray by following foolish counsel: Absolum, Rehoboam, Sennacherib (cf. 2 Kings 18:20; Isaiah 36:5), Zedekiah, Ahaziah (2 Chron. 22:5), Ammon (2 Sam. 13), the Sanhedrin under Caiaphas, and so on. We might also think go wise Solomon who surrounded himself with women who had their false gods. There are many more examples of God's people like you and me being led astray by the godless, the unrepentant sinners, the scoffers of the world.

So what are we to do?

Delight in the law of the Lord, and meditate on it day and night (verse 2). Here is the simple program: at various times during the day and even the night, enjoy mediation on God's Word (Law and Gospel). St. Paul says he "delights" in the Law (instruction) of the Lord (Romans 7:22).

And what will this do?

It will make you to be "like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers" (verse 3).

A tree doesn't sprout fruit the day after it is planted. It digs deep into the soil, soaking up the moisture and the nutrients in the soil. The tree is built up by the soil, and the fruit comes later. So too, the life of Christian prayer and meditation is not an instant fix that produces a life free of pain and struggle, or even sin. The one who delights in the Word of God and meditates on it regularly will persevere with patience and trust that God will produce the promised fruit.

And how do we know it to be true?

Because the one producing that fruit is none other than Christ himself. The Word of God incarnate, Jesus Christ, will produce His fruit for he is living and active. If the foolish and godless can influence us in a negative way, how much more can the Lord of Life influence us in the way of everlasting life.

Delight in the Word of God, and you will be blessed.


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