A Familiar Formula

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; 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 that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish (Psalm 1:1-6).

Such a familiar Psalm to begin our week with. We like familiar, don’t we?!?

The formula proposed could not be easier to see :

“Blessed is the man (and woman)”:

1.       Who walks NOT in the counsel of the  wicked,
2.       Who does NOT stand with sinners,
3.       Who does NOT sit with scoffers
4.       BUT…finds his delight in the law of LORD, meditating on it day and night.

As I said the formula for maintaining our heart is easy to see, but we all know it can be hard to do on some days. However, this formula is placed here at the beginning of the psalter so that we can know what God expects of all who are His.  This conviction of heart based in this formula is to be seen in our actions so that others know these things are true for us and the faith we profess. Why? So they (the people around us) will be blessed which is a creation mandate given to all God’s people (see Genesis 12:1-3).

This formula is given to enable us all to strive toward the perfection that God will ultimately grant at our glorification. This formula will enable us to fulfill our purpose to glorify God.  This formula also gives definition to our identity as children of God set aside…separate from the world. And this formula enables us to focus on the order and design of things as God created them which are often counter-cultural and counter intuitive. God does this to change our perspective from being influenced by the world (which pragmatically makes the case that we know best when it comes to matters of the heart), to being influenced and convicted by God’s Word alone.

But the Psalm goes on to describe how it is that we are enabled to follow this formula. It is not anything within ourselves that enables us at all. At our conversion, God, Himself, is the one who plants us by streams of living water that yields fruit because of God’s work in us alone. The tree doesn’t prune itself. The tree doesn’t decide to bear fruit on it is own.  The tree doesn’t even really decide to take in the water on its own. God has ordained all things to happen for the tree to produce fruit …to prosper. Like the tree we merely respond to what God has already set in motion by His simple act of creation or in our case…re-creation in Christ. So for us to take credit for anything goes against the created order of things.

“…for the LORD knows the way of the righteous.” He intimately KNOWS His own whom He says are righteous…and we are his. And we are blessed because of His knowledge of us and we are blessed by our knowledge of Him, “…but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.” God does all of this so we can bring Him glory and so we can edify our neighbor.

So read this familiar Psalm again…and ask God to continue to change you today by it….from glory to glory!

God bless you.

In His Grip,
Pastor Mike

Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu is Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Victoria, TX.

Share With a Friend!