Psalm 1… a good place to start a much-needed read-through of the Bible. When I decided that my first New Year’s Resolution was to spend daily time with God it seemed important that I have a plan. Time with God could mean anything really – an acknowledgement that I made it through another night and woke to see another day; a prayer; praise songs. But it occurred to me that one thing that I have not done consistently with any structure is read God’s Word. Sure I am constantly looking up Bible verses or coming across them when I read or listen to a sermon or song…but I haven’t “plunged” myself head first…or “dove”. Funny that the word “d O ve” is also another word altogether. “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God decending like a dove and lighting on him. and a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” The Holy Spirit like a dove. Wow. “Lighting” on him… and light can also be a lamp that shows the way, that reveals…so many great words! And “dove” is also a person “who takes a conciliatory attitude and advocates negotiations and compromise: an opponent of war.” Cool. So cool.
I love how things are connected. How things that seem to have nothing in common, are. It makes me think of the movie AVATAR. For some of you, that movie may have just been an amazing fantasy with mind-blowing graphics and intense action. But for me it was a religious experience. I cried the whole movie. I was pretty well convinced that a mistake had been made and that I was BORN to be from Pandora. I was BORN to connect my tail to all other living things and to ride a flying dragon and to KNOW. I could have been such a good Na’vi.
But, alas I am not a large blue Native of Pandora…I am a small beige American. But I still believe in the possibility of a connection. Not only with the ultimate Life source…but with all living things on my little Earth home. And so, that is why I have decided to read again. To understand.
Marie Curie said, “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” True, true. Evil people play on our fears. Evil people want for us to cower and be frozen and quiet. God wants us to be moving. We are not meant to build up fortifications around ourselves to keep ourselves “protected”…we are meant to interact and knock at the doors and hearts and lives of others and see if they will let us come in.
So, Psalm 1.
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditated day and night, He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither. Whatever he does prospers.
“Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
PARAPHRASED by me with the aid of notes from my NIV study Bible…”Those who revere the Lord and do His will are in a Happy condition of being blessed. Blessed people do not listen to, ask advice from or hang out with wicked people. We are all imperfect and do things we shouldn’t sometimes…but wicked people are those for who evil is habitual, for whom wickedness is their way of life. Stay away from those people who are ungodly or participate in ungodly ways. Blessed are people who seeks guidance from God and not the ways of the world. A blessed person is like a tree planted by a stream. It is a strong tree that may bend, but won’t break in storms. It grows and flourished and gets stronger…and it IS A BLESSING for anyone who needs fruit or shade or rest. It may not be obvious… and it may not be in the way that the world judges success…but it prospers.
“But the wicked are like chaff that the winds blow away – carried away by the lightest wind. It has no substance, no depth…and it’s removal brings about cleansing. That which is utterly useless has been removed. The wicked will not stand in judgement, they will not be included in the assembly of the righteous… they will not be with God’s people in God’s sanctuary – and sadly, it is their choice. God did not exclude them…they are constantly invited but they must put away their wicked ways.
“God’s people honor God and order their lives IN ALL THINGS according to God’s will…because God’s people recognize that God will is full of meaning and purpose and will lead us to prosper…not to be broken or blown away like chaff. God’s people KNOW that power and authority bestowed to us as stewards – Power and Authority of whatever sort : Domestic, Social, Political, Economic, Religious, Intellectual ARE TO BE USED TO BLESS NOT EXPLOIT. Wow. Yes! The Lord watches over the way of the righteous (Thank YOU!) But the way of the wicked will perish. (Help them, Lord. Help us help them, Lord. It is never too late.)”
The WORD of the Lord.
Help pacify fears, calm frustrations…help us walk with confidence not because we know where we are going but because You know where we are going.
Thanks for Your Word and Your Guidance.
I know You hear me. Wow