BIBLICAL JOY
A on-line Bible study group … you are welcome to join us

PSALMS TO LIVE BY-PSALM 1 – THE WAY OF BLESSING

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABY STEVE DUNN

A number of people have been subscribing to this blog lately.  It is one of my oldest blogs and was originally designed as an on-line Bible study for my congregation, the Church of God of Landisville.  I am now on to new ministries, one of which is serving as an Intentional Interim Pastor.  That work and serving as an adjunct professor for Winebrenner Theological Seminary have made me to cut back on blogging.  These, and the completion of my first published book The Bridgebuilders Principle.  I am entering a phase when I can return to blogging, so I am trying to re-start Biblical Joy.  Ultimately, I’d like it to return to an on-line Bible study with a regular participating community.  So please, comment on these posts.

Our first study will be Psalms To Live By.  We start with Psalm 1.

Psalm 1

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.

I once heard an enthusiastic preacher of the “health and wealth” persuasion declare:  “Dig deep into your pockets, give it to God and He will bless your socks off!”  He never did explain what he meant by blessing nor did I find out by depositing the contents of my pockets into his offering plate.

Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology gives us this definition:

God’s intention and desire to bless humanity is a central focus of his covenant relationships. For this reason, the concept of blessing pervades the biblical record. Two distinct ideas are present. First, a blessing was a public declaration of a favored status with God. Second, the blessing endowed power for prosperity and success. In all cases, the blessing served as a guide and motivation to pursue a course of life within the blessing.

The Old Testament Terms for blessing abound in the Old Testament, occurring over 600 times. The major terms are related to the word meaning “to kneel, ” since in earlier times one would kneel to receive a blessing.

So what are we pursuing? Bucks in the bank and a Fortune 500 business?  No, we need to return to the covenant context of this noun’s meaning.  They answers here seem to focus on three life choices that we make in response to God’s offer of a covenant relationship.

We can chose to not walk in step with the wicked.  There is always a temptation to “go along to get along.”  Fearful of standing out in a world that is hostile to God, we try to blend in instead of engaging in the countercultural path of God’s people.

We can chose to stand against those who publicly oppose God or mock his holiness.  There are people who delight in saying “there is no God” and others who mock Christian values.  Who speaks for God?  We should.

We can delight in the Law of God.  We can make His Word the treasure and truth that we live by.  We can make the study of the Word and living out its teachings our positive strategy for living.

When we submit our lives to God (kneel down), we will know blessing.

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2 Responses to “PSALMS TO LIVE BY-PSALM 1 – THE WAY OF BLESSING”

  1. 3 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
    As I look at verse 3 I can see such a awesome comparison to what Christ does for us each day. I have a very bad sinus infection. Which means that I can either believe that I am that tree that is permanently planted by the waters who is Jesus, or I can complain and not rejoice. I know that it is easier to sit and complain and say how bad life is, but if you look hard enough you will always see a blessing. If we trust in Jesus and not just no but believe that he is the everlasting water that will never dry up. When dry seasons come we will be firmly planted and nurtured.


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