Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Blessed is the man...

Our pastor has just begun a new series at church titled, "David's Greatest Hits" based on the idea of the Psalms being actual songs - intended to be sung and used for worship. Everyone loves the Psalms. They are, after all, fairly easy to read and understand, poetic and beautiful, and there seems to be a perfect one for every human emotion. Jesus and His disciples were even recorded as having sung one of them at the last supper.I was challenged, in my personal life, to get back into the Psalms. It's been a long time and let me tell you... it's like drinking a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade, refreshing! Let's look, today, at the BLESSED man.

"Blessed is the man who walks NOT in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful:

BUT his delight is in the law of the Lord.
And in His law he meditates day and night.

He shall be like a tree
planted by rivers of water.
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
and whatever he does shall prosper."
Psalm 1:1-3

Isn't that passage so encouraging? It's straight up truth and promises to those of us who love God and are seeking Him! A few years back I had the opportunity to be a part of a small ladies bible study led by a seminary professors wife, Joanna. She was super intelligent and had dedicated so many years of her life to learning God's word. I can't tell you how grateful I was to be surrounded by so many brilliant ladies for 8 years living there in that "college town". Anyway, in the bible study we worked our way through a few select Psalms - and for two weeks we look at Psalm 1. There are two parts: The blessed man (which is above) and the Ungodly, mentioned in vs. 4-6. This blessed man, ladies, is or could be US! :) And it starts by following the simple instructions:

-Don't walk, sit or stand with the ungodly. Seek Godly relationships, people that will pull you UP. "Walking" with someone can indicate "doing life" together. And while we need to be reaching people for Christ - we also NEED to walk and grow with Godly friends. We see this time & again in scripture! Joanna had a quote which I can't repeat without killing it - but, the idea was (according to vs. 1) that you just don't go anywhere NEAR the ungodly. Don't walk with them doing what they do, don't mingle in their path and don't just sit around and get comfy with how they live their lives. We should be counter-cultural, in a way. And I've heard people say, and I've been one myself to think, "well, God says to make disciples and seek the Lost...etc". This is true. However, if you have no foundation and you are NO different then the ungodly...what really do you have to offer them?! And this is the point I try to drive home to my teens right now. It also leads into our next verse -

- DO delight (fall in love) with God's word! Ah, the well watered tree. What a word picture. Doesn't the picture above just look so calming - like a place you'd want to curl up with good book, camera or just your bible? I would. There is ALWAYS something about a well watered tree (by the water) that is soothing to the soul. We used to go camping every summer when I was growing up, and one of the requirements of the spots we chose was that it had to have a tree by the creek/river/lake. Trees like that are strong, dependable and healthy. They have direct access to nourishment. And, ladies, SO DO WE! Just like the tree by the water we have our copies of the Law of the Lord! This is what we can offer to the ungodly - true, refreshing, nourishment. Are you partaking? Or, are you parched? The Psalmist says His total delight was in God's much so that it was on his brain DAY and NIGHT. When was the last time you could even remember what verse your pastor spoke on Sunday morning?! I've been battling in that area myself. :/ And, for me, it all comes back to 1) I'm not in God's word enough 2) I'm not taking steps to meditate and really stop to think about what it means for ME.

Joanna taught us in our study something interesting about this tree...something I was super encouraged about. This is a healthy, nourished tree - rooted deeply and flourishing, only the key to this verse is, "brings forth fruit.. in it's season". She pointed out that sometimes in our lives we are disappointed in God's timing of things - but, like this verse, it's never in our timing. Just like the tree was destined to bear fruit "in its season" we have a "season" too. Like the fig tree bears figs in one season, but the magnolias bloom in another... we each have a season, and... it may not be right now - just, encouraging. We all bear fruit at different times and its not a race or competition. Best of all, the verse ends with a promise - "whatever he does shall prosper". And how could we not if we are seeking the Lord, purposing to not get caught up in the way of the ungodly and constantly playing the word of God in our minds. It's not "health and wealth" - it's discipline, wise choices and full reliance on God!

Blessed is the man...
are you in that group?

1 comment:

The Sneaky Mommy said...

Awesome awesome awesome post! So well written and just the push and encouragement I needed!!!
*We read Psalm 136 last night--so good! I love how it lists attributes or works of God...and then: His faithful love endures forever!