Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Journey Through The Psalms: Psalm 1

The collection of songs, poems and sayings we call Psalms starts out reminding the reader the delight which comes from follow God rather than all the other influences pulling on us. I love the image of the tree planted by the river which bears fruit without fail. Trees are a wonderful gift of God, which I often take for granted. While in Haiti last year I was struck by the lack of trees on the hillsides and almost everywhere. Yet at the church we were working at there was a huge Mango tree which provided physical fruit, it also provided a place for the fruit of relationship to blossom as it was a refuge from the scorching heat. When we focus on the work and teachings of God the result is bearing fruit in our lives. When we focus on other things in life we find we wither and no longer bear fruit. We must find ways to plant our hearts in the heart of God.

Another interesting note in this Psalm is how the judgement of God works. In our current culture we judge people based on many things, Their gender, sexual orientation, age, race, socioeconomics and many other things. When we look at Psalm 1 we find a picture of judgement based on one thing, and one thing alone, the path we follow. Verse 6 reminds us "For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction." I wonder how often I think I am on the godly path based on the before mentioned qualifications instead of asking whether I am trusting the Lord more than anything else. Not simply trust, also obedience to the guidance of the Lord. The reality is I have a great ability to misjudge my own actions much less the action of others. Further my role is not to judge the path of others, I must be certain to do the what I must to be on the path of the Lord.

An amazing thing happens when we do the work of ensuring our path, we become the tree planted by the river, and many gather to receive the fruit offered. Our challenge today is to delight in everything the Lord wants. This speaks of conforming our hearts, mind, soul and strength to God and not ourselves.

May we journey together to be a tree planted by the river which never fails to produce fruit.

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