Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do 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 leads to destruction.
In the front yard of our house we have an Aloe Vera plant which is thriving. The combination of it getting plenty of sunlight, as well as the moderate rainfall we’ve being receiving, means that this plant is almost impossible to tame! Most of the time its presence is pretty annoying. But today it’s a striking reminder of Psalm 1, which likens the person who delights in God’s law to a “tree planted by streams of water…whose leaf does not wither”. Such is the way of the righteous person, nourished and nurtured by God’s word. It’s a lot like my Aloe Vera plant.
Psalm 1 is a song which begins the Book of Psalms with a very clear description of the New Road we must walk. There is a pathway that leads to death, and there is a pathway that leads to life. According to this Psalm, the pathway of life is accompanied by a delight in the law of God, and constant meditation on God’s word. It’s a very positive view of God’s law and how God’s word changes us! But when we read of God’s law here, we’re not meant to think of rules or statutes, or commandments. Law is actually more to do with all of God’s teaching and instruction. This includes God’s commandments, but it also includes all of God’s words to us. So this Psalm is easily read alongside our chosen passage this week,
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly…”
This is the way of the righteous person, and for all of us who follow Jesus, Psalm 1 is the New Song we sing as we set our hearts and minds on things above and not on earthly things. Psalm 1 is the song we sing as we let the word of Christ dwell within us. To do this is to cultivate our souls. And we can be sure that we are going to grow as we are nourished and nurtured by God’s word, leading to an abundance of fruit in our lives.
Like my Aloe Vera plant, the person who takes delight in God’s word, and makes great effort to constantly dwell and meditate on it, will thrive and produce an abundance of fruit. It’s a rich description of the New Road which we walk, and the New Song in our hearts.
But this is so much easier said than done. This New Road is not always an easy song to sing. And so it takes the Gospels’ penetrating words to awaken our hearts to see that God’s word is good for us, even in spite of how we feel. It’s the message of Jesus that brought you salvation, and it’s the same message that will cause you to grow in Him.
So take time today to really soak in God’s word. Let the message of Christ dwell in you richly. Let a delight in God’s word be the resounding song of your heart, and the song which is on your lips throughout your day. Do this with the promise that “the LORD watches over the way of the righteous…”. Do this knowing that, like a tree planted by streams of water, God will be growing you in His word.
Read Psalm 2
Psalm 1 and Psalm 2 were meant to be read together. Although originally describing the Israelite king, into the NT it took on greater meaning to point forward to Jesus – the reigning and conquering king.
How does this description of Jesus as the ultimate conquering king translate into your life? Do you live as if Jesus is in control?
As you seek to follow Jesus and daily meditate on His word, what comfort do you find in knowing that Jesus is all-powerful and in control?
I gave you thanks for the great riches that are found in your word which has been given to us. Thank you that in your word I find eternal life, that in your word I have come to learn the message of Jesus Christ and trusted in him. Father, help me to dwell on your word and the message of Jesus. Help me to keep trusting in him. And I pray that as I meditate on your word, you would open my eyes to continue seeing your glory and majesty. I pray you would also open my eyes to see my own failings and shortcomings. By your Spirit, expose my sin in the light of your word! In all these things I pray that you would grow me so that I might live for you, and walk this new road with a new song on my lips.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.