Today marks a change in the season with Daylight Savings Time. The extra hour this morning gave me a nice chance for a quiet time which included journaling and Bible reading. I’ve decided to do another reading through the Psalms as my next Bible jaunt.
So, today was Psalm 1.
I’ve read this chapter many times, and it’s short – easy to fly by.
But today what struck me was the contrast here. The contrast between the righteous and the wicked. For this is what the Psalmist here compares.
Here’s a run down of what we observe in Psalm 1:
- Are like chaff that the wind blows away (they don’t last, no matter how it looks!) – v. 4
- They won’t stand in judgment or in the assembly of the righteous – v. 5
- Their way leads to destruction – v. 6
- Doesn’t walk, stand or sit in the ways of the above people; they choose a different path, and they are blessed for it – v. 1
- Their delight is in the law of the LORD – v. 2
- On that law they meditate day and night – v. 2
- They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit in season – v. 3
- Their leaf does not wither, and whatever they do prospers – v. 3
- The LORD watches over their way – v. 6
Well, you may be saying to me, “Well, duh, Lisa! You are just repeating the passage in a different way!”
Indeed, that is true. But that is part of good, thorough Bible study method: observation. You want to really look at what the text is saying. Comparison and contrast are excellent ways to break it down, as well, if you see that. And that is what struck me in this passage today – the contrast.
So, that’s the way I observed the passage today – the contrast between the righteous and the wicked.
And in the process, it really stood out to me what the promises are for the righteous, for the ones who choose not to follow the ways of the wicked, but rather to delight in God’s law and meditate on His Word.
What do they – the righteous – get as a result? What is the consequence in their lives?
They are like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields fruit…whatever they do prospers. The LORD watches over their way.
I don’t know about you, but this is what I want. What my heart desires, soul satisfaction as that of a green tree that has plenty of access to water, and thus flourishes…that whatever I do prospers.
Who doesn’t want to prosper in whatever they do?!?
Even more the message I felt the LORD speak to my heart was that He watches over my way.
He sees everything.
He sees every trial. Every pain. Every stress.
None of it escapes His notice.
He is watching me. He is watching over my way.
Yessss!!! Now that is what I want! Straight paths! Prosperous paths!
This morning at church, the pastor preached on Galations 1: 10 – 12. The topic of these verses is finding favor with men versus God – another contrast.
Which will we choose? Will we spend our lives trying to please men? Or striving to please God?
He made an excellent point about the apostle Paul, the author of these words. This man had left a life of striving to please men as a former Pharisee, striving to keep every letter of the law, and chose instead to please God. And amidst the latter, in seeking to please God he had a tremendous influence, one that undoubtedly outweighed the influence he would have had while seeking to please men.
There was prosperity. There was that life like the tree planted by streams, the fruitful and prosperous life. And it came by following God and His plan rather than his own. By pleasing God rather than men. By choosing the way of righteousness rather than the way of the wicked.
So, which way will you choose?
There is a way that leads to life. And a way that leads to death.
A narrow way versus a broad way.
The path of pleasing men or the path of pleasing God.
The path of peace or the path of angst.
The path of the righteous versus the path of the wicked.
There is a way that seems right to man, but leads to death. Therefore, I encourage you, choose life, that you may live.