Psalm 1

One time I was visiting a good friend in Florida, and while there, we went to a local state park.  You could take a boat road there on a river and view some of the natural wildlife including alligators.  One thing that struck me about this park was right next to where you boarded the boat, there was a popular swimming area.  It was clearly marked off for swimmers with rope and buoys and then signs saying not to swim beyond that point.  What intrigued me as I watched these swimmers having tremendous fun was that as our boat pulled away a small alligator was swimming and disappeared under the water just outside the swimming boundary line.  I was amazed that people were in the water that close to alligators.  I assume somehow there was protection inside that boundary as the swimmers continued to have fun without incident.

Psalm 1 reminds me in a way that everyday  there is danger nearby.  We live in a world filled with evil and dangers of many kinds.  Yet, God has given us a means by which we can enjoy this world and flourish.  Psalm 1 begins by saying…

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  

God tells us in life that when we stay within his boundaries there is blessing to be found.  We are encouraged to delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on it constantly because that is where the blessing is found.  In fact, the Psalmist goes on to describe it this way…

3  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers. 

No doubt when we read that verse we understand the idea of being planted by streams of water and always having a source of refreshment and strength.  We understand having a source for growth.  However, maybe the part we ignore here is that we yield fruit in season.  That means that sometimes the blessing we are looking for may not come immediately.  There may need to be some time for growth before the fruit comes in season.  However, if one is patient and continues to walk in the way of the Lord, strength will be found so you do not wither and blessing indeed will come. In fact, the Psalmist indicates that the ultimate blessing comes when judgment day comes in the end.  We know that as we take a moment to hear the warning that to fail to stay within God’s boundary is destructive to your life.  The Psalmist goes on to say…

4  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6  for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. 

It is clear by these verses that those who choose to not follow God’s law will experience destruction.  If not in this life, they most definitely will not stand in the judgment.  Maybe they are a little like a person at the swimming area who might choose to go outside the boundary.  They may have fun swimming for a little while, but with alligators near, you could be sure that the swim would ultimately be deadly.  Let’s choose today to delight in the law of the Lord.  God has given it to us for our good.  Let’s walk in his ways and flourish even when danger lurks nearby.  It’s good to swim in the boundaries and even better to delight in the law of the Lord.

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