Happy are those who follow…the Lord

Psalms 1:1-3 (NRSV) 1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; 2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. 3 They are like trees
planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

David’s lesson in this first Psalm could well be called “Choices.” There is a clear distinction in Psalm 1 about saints versus sinners. It has always seemed odd to me that David begins by using a negative (Happy are those who do not) rather than just beginning with “Happy are those whose delight is in the law of the Lord…). But David leaves no doubt that we can only be blessed if we eliminate the behaviors associated with our former sinful life, and begin to develop new habits that will help form our new life in Jesus.

You see, when we continue in the darkness of sin even after we have received the light of salvation, something happens. The communion with those who prefer the darkness over the light begins to seep into our spirits. Although the light of God can and does overpower the darkness, we must we willing to step out of the darkness.

God wants to bless His children, but He cannot do so unless we choose to delight in His Word, and when we take pleasure in His Word we will begin to think, consider, and ponder about the meaning of the Word and how it can change our lives for the better.

David says if we do these things we will be like trees planted by the living waters. How awesome is that? Trees planted close to the water have deep roots, and those roots take in the nourishment that comes from the water, they soak up the sun and serve to prevent erosion of the waterbanks. If we allow the living waters of the Holy Spirit to constantly nourish us, then we will become stronger in the faith and we will be able to strengthen those around us.

The final blessing is that everything we do will prosper. Prosperity has wrongly been intertwined with the gospel message for at least fifty years. Some preachers will tell us that we can have what we speak, that God wants all of His people to be wealthy. True wealth comes not in what we have, but what we are able to give on this earth and build up in heaven. We prosper not by hoarding riches on earth, but by creating in others the ability to attain their most high faith.

The blessings God has in store for us are truly unimaginable. Let us commit to make the right choices today and every day. May you be blessed now and forever in the reading of God’s Holy Word. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Father God, this thing called salvation is so simple to receive, yet we sometimes make it so hard to live. May we remember that God sent Jesus to earth not just to restore our broken relationship with You, our Father, but to show us how to live godly lives. Help us today and every day to lean on your, soak up your Word, and then show everyone around us what it means to be an intentional Disciple, one who seeks holiness above all else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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