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Psalm 1: A Meditation
Psalm 1: A Meditation
I've been meditating on Psalm 1. It is in two sections. The first deals with the righteous; the second deals with the unrighteous or the wicked.
God speaks. Three things come out clearly in those first three verses. First, the aspect of separation. The righteous man separates himself from this wicked world. He cares little for human philosophy or worldly knowledge. He is uncompromisingly righteous.
Second, the aspect of 'delighting in the Lord'. Now, when I examine my own spiritual life I find it quite inconsistent. When did I truly delight in the Lord? When did I sincerely desire Him? My heart still hankers for the things of the world, the things of the flesh, and doesn't really care for the heavenly manna of God's word or long for the heavenly fellowship of God's people. But the cross has been doing its work, and I find the Bible 'opening up' to me. There are such wonderful treasures hidden in the Scriptures. But do I meditate on them all day? It is quite clear that where verse 2 is concerned, I've still a long way to go.
The third aspect is fruitfulness. If we are truly rooted and planted in Christ, then fruit will follow. Our leaves will not wither; we will always be fresh and green. But how often I have felt dry and dull! Because I have not learnt to drink deeply of the wells of the Spirit.
Then comes the punch-line: 'In whatever he does, he prospers.' Do I really believe that? How half-hearted I am! How often I have failed! Lord, how I long for such fruitfulness and prosperity! How the Lord longs that you and I should long to be a blessing to others! Our soul will prosper, and others will prosper as they come in touch with us and receive the words and the water of life. This line reminds me of the words of David in Psalm 23: 'My cup overflows.' Out of our innermost being will flow rivers of living water. This is what God has kept in store for those who live a life of separation from the world, meditation upon the Word, and whose roots are deeply planted in Christ.
But what is astonishing is the way God summarily dismisses the wicked in the latter half of this psalm. We make so much of man, his wisdom and skill, the advances of science and technology, the achievements of human civilization. God doesn't seem to care for it. The wicked, the unrighteous, those who disbelieve God and refuse to accept Jesus as their Saviour and their Righteousness - they are like chaff which the wind blows away. Judgment comes like a thunder-bolt. The wicked will perish. They will be removed from the face of the earth.
We see the congregation of the righteous, the assembly of the saints, the gathering of the children of God, those who have endured to the end by His unfailing mercy and grace. Why, not one of the great men of this world are seen in the company of the saved! Man in all his greatness and glory cannot stand before God. The Lord knows [watches] over the way of the righteous; His eyes are always upon them. They have accepted the Saviour and committed themselves to Christ. They are the Father's chief concern. But as regards the wicked - God's word declares that they will perish. The glory of man will disappear like wind-swept burning chaff (Matt 3:12) in the blaze of the glory of God. In the end it is the meek and righteous who will inherit the earth.
This psalm shows us two ways - the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked. The world makes much of the wiles and craftiness of ungodly men. How shrewd he is! How talented he is! What a genius! God cares little for geniuses, heroes and celebrities. He is seeking for those who will walk the narrow way of righteousness. And truly speaking, there will be only a few who will find it.
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