Psalms 1:1-3 states, ‘Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord , meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.’
I love verse 3 - whatever season they find themselves in they prosper. But, without getting in to long drawn out conversations of how we are to interpret and apply scripture, let me simply say that you have to go through verses 1 and 2 before you can get to verse 3. A closer look at these verses lets us see who the ‘they’ is that verse 3 is talking about.
‘They’ do not follow the advice of the wicked - or the ungodly, those who are not trying to follow God’s ways. Is it important to consider who we go to for advice about our marriage? Our parenting? Our finances? Our life? I would say that this verse tells me that the answer is yes! Proverbs 12:26 - 'The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked (or those not following God) lead them astray.’ Guard what people you choose to allow to influence you.
‘They’ do not stand around with sinners. This part confused me, because Jesus himself ‘stood around’ with sinners! In fact, He was known as the friend of sinners!! But the word used here for ‘stand’ is the Hebrew word ‘amad’; which basically means to establish yourself. See, we are to be in this world as a light, but we are also called to make a difference. And as I have heard another pastor say, ‘To make a difference, you have to be different.’ I am in this world, but not of this world (John 17:16). My heart is not fixed on the temporary - good or bad, it is fixed and established on the eternal.
‘They’ do not join in with mockers. The Message Bible says they, ‘don’t go to Smart- Mouth College.’ Our words have more power than we think (Proverbs 18:21), let my words bring life and encouragement to myself, my family, my friends & coworkers, & anyone else I may come in contact with today!
‘They’ delight and meditate on the law of the Lord - the Bible. Three things about what it means to meditate on Scripture.
1: It goes beyond my quiet time with God, keep it before yourself day and night (Psalms 119:97). Find a verse that speaks to your situation and make it your wallpaper, put post-it notes around your house.
2: Trust it. The level that I choose to actually trust scripture is equivalent to how deep my spiritual roots will be. And during those hard, dry seasons that we all walk through, the only thing that will help me to endure is the depth of my roots (Jeremiah 17:5-8).
3: Apply it. My pastor growing up once said, ‘When my life doesn’t line up with the Bible, I don’t change the Bible to fit my life. I change my life to fit the Bible.’ Read James 1:22-25 for more on that.
I pray today that your roots will grow down in to the marvelous love of our Father.