Thursday, September 17, 2009

Two Roads

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 meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. 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 judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1:1-6 NIV

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost, from The Road Not Taken

I have always loved this Psalm and committed it to memory as a young Christian. Maybe it is because it starts with a proclamation of blessing. The literal translation of blessed is, “Oh how happy!” I want to be on the path of blessedness don’t you?

David describes two people in this psalm. All of humanity falls into one of the two categories, the righteous and the wicked. The ones David describes as godly are trusting in the righteousness that comes from God, by faith, through Christ’s finished work on the cross. We are not perfect, but when we fall short, as we inevitably do, we repent and He graciously restores us. Those in the OT looked forward to the Coming One and we look back at the cross and resurrection and His return.

There are distinct characteristics of both groups. The righteous:
  • Make wise choices based on God’s principles in His word. They don’t live according to ungodly and unbiblical wisdom but delight and meditate in God’s ways and wisdom. We don’t go by opinion polls. Have you noticed that in our society we are being trained to think that if enough people concur on an issue that we have somehow arrived at the truth or rightness of a matter?
  • They don’t stand or remain on the path that sinners are on. They are the ones on the narrow way and it may be lonely. They are not following the crowd. They are assured in verse 6 that God’s eye is on them, He sees, and goodness and mercy are following them. They will flourish and be fruitful.

The ungodly are not so:

  • They don’t love God or His word. They trust their own crooked hearts to lead them. Very often they are mockers of that which is good.
  • They may have material goods, but they will not be blessed or find happiness and peace. They don’t flourish, they wither within.

Before I came to the Lord I read countless biographies in search of a common theme in “successful” lives. I came away disheartened because while there may have been great achievement I didn’t see that ultimately, when they came to the end of their lives, that they were happy, blessed, or at peace. Now I know that they had perished apart from their true purpose. They didn’t love God or enjoy and glorify Him in their journey and into eternity. John Piper put’s it so succinctly, “When Jesus came into the world humanity was split according to what they love. “The light came into the world and men loved darkness rather than light.”(John 3:19). The righteous and the wicked are separated by what they delight in—the revelation of God or the way of the world.”

Delight yourself in the Lord. Taste and see that He is good. During the day meditate on His word, talk to Him more eagerly than the dearest friend. Your road may be narrow and not many on it, but I can promise you a good ending.

MY PRAYER: Lord, thank you that you have given us everything we need for life and godliness. Thank you for the rich delights that await us in your word. Teach us to meditate on that word. Thank you for all your precious promises to us.

MY CONFESSION: I will meditate in your word. I will be like a tree firmly planted by a river. I will be fruitful in every season of life. I stand on your word!

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