Psalm 1

The Righteous and the Wicked Contrasted.

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the [a]path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by [b]streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its [c]leaf does not wither;
And [d]in whatever he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord [e]knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.

For a second, one would think we’re back listening to Job’s friends. Especially in verse 3, when the psalmist writes of the righteous, “in whatever he does, he prospers.” Didn’t we just get done saying that trials and hardship often enter our lives when we choose to follow God?

There are a few things that come to mind here. First, God wants what is best for you, and that may not be physical riches. Indeed, “prosper” doesn’t inherently mean filthy stinking rich… What does it mean for a missionary to prosper in what they do? How about a pastor, an office secretary, or even a school teacher?

Certainly, some callings may be accompanied by material wealth, but God calls us to be servants first and foremost, in whatever we do. Whether it is running a business, unclogging toilets, or somewhere in between–though I hear there’s good money in them toilets! Ultimately, do what God has called you to, and do it for him, and do it to serve others. Let God worry about the rewards, which leads us to thing two:

We are not simply physical creatures. There is so much more to being human, and a large part, even the most important part, is our spirit. God is concerned about our spiritual well-being far more than the physical, and if our spirit is “flabby” or out of shape, it might just take some physical or emotional hardship to get us back in shape. Don’t sell yourself short living only for the body, but take care of your spiritual health above all.

Lastly, when we see something like the end of verse 3, we need to backtrack and remember the context. Focus on verses one and two, make those your goal. Avoid the counsel of the wicked, shun the path of sinners and the seat of scoffers–we have plenty of scoffers to go around nowadays.

Instead, delight in the word of God, meditate on it day and night, not just for 5 minutes a day. Don’t relegate God to a small box in your life, but put him in the driver seat. Then, yes you will prosper, but again, put away your own conception of what that means, and find what it means to prosper in whatever God has called you to do.

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