The Only Way to live (Psalm 1; Psalm 19)

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
    be acceptable in your sight,
    Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Several months ago I spent almost two weeks in Egypt with brothers and sisters in Christ.  It was a joy to get to know how they lived their lives for Christ in their particular context.  One of the things that I was impressed with was their commitment to God’s Word as well as their commitment to God’s worship.  These two things governed the way they lived.

Question:  What is the best way to live?

I ask the above question because Psalm one gives us two choices in how one can live his or her life.  There is a God-ordained way which the Bible describes as the righteous way of life.  But there is also the God-less way which the Bible describes as the unrighteous way of life.

If you were to take Psalm one and create a chart you would be able to see the contrasts between the two ways to live.  Here are two examples:

  • The righteous walk in God’s counsel while the unrighteous reject the counsel of God choosing to walk in the counsel fo the wicked.
  • The righteous separate themselves from the path of sin while the unrighteous set themselves in the midst of sinful pursuits.

While in Egypt my focus was on encouraging the church so we did not have much interaction with the church’s mission field.  But I did notice as we drove from place to place the people who lined the streets.  I could see the fear in their eyes and I could see the hate in many eyes.  Mostly I could see the dryness of spirit.

The Psalmist helps us to see the end result of both ways of living.  The righteous flourish no matter where they are subjected to live.  The unrighteous falter no matter how much of the world they accumulate.

I wonder, which path are you on today?  You may be on the right path, but struggling to see the merit right now because it all seems so difficult.  Let me point you to Psalm 73.  I have included the text in the bottom of the blog.

Before you read the Psalm, I just want to challenge you to know, God will see you through.  You are on the right path with God.

73 Truly God is good to Israel,
    to those who are pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled,
    my steps had nearly slipped.
For I was envious of the arrogant
    when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

For they have no pangs until death;
    their bodies are fat and sleek.
They are not in trouble as others are;
    they are not stricken like the rest of mankind.
Therefore pride is their necklace;
    violence covers them as a garment.
Their eyes swell out through fatness;
    their hearts overflow with follies.
They scoff and speak with malice;
    loftily they threaten oppression.
They set their mouths against the heavens,
    and their tongue struts through the earth.
10 Therefore his people turn back to them,
    and find no fault in them.[a]
11 And they say, “How can God know?
    Is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the wicked;
    always at ease, they increase in riches.
13 All in vain have I kept my heart clean
    and washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all the day long I have been stricken
    and rebuked every morning.
15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
    I would have betrayed the generation of your children.

16 But when I thought how to understand this,
    it seemed to me a wearisome task,
17 until I went into the sanctuary of God;
    then I discerned their end.

18 Truly you set them in slippery places;
    you make them fall to ruin.
19 How they are destroyed in a moment,
    swept away utterly by terrors!
20 Like a dream when one awakes,
    O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms.
21 When my soul was embittered,
    when I was pricked in heart,
22 I was brutish and ignorant;
    I was like a beast toward you.

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
    you hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with your counsel,
    and afterward you will receive me to glory.
25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
    And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
    but God is the strength[b] of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For behold, those who are far from you shall perish;
    you put an end to everyone who is unfaithful to you.
28 But for me it is good to be near God;
    I have made the Lord God my refuge,
    that I may tell of all your works.

 

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