Few people appreciate the wonder of “turn by turn” directions the way I do. It is still a wonder to me that I can open an app on my phone and enter in a destination, and moments later I have clear instructions to guide me wherever I need to go. I was born without any sense of direction, and I have spent more time than I recall getting lost. My adult children can testify to time spent circling around when they were little. Clear, concise directions are a lifesaver for me and those who are passengers in my vehicle.
Psalm 1 provides some detailed directions for the Christian life.
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;
As a follower of Jesus, I have to consider the advice I seek, the stands I take, and the people I surround myself with. Where I choose to walk, stand and sit matters to God. I must seek Him first in these areas. Who do I go to for advice? A Godly source of wisdom or crowd sourcing? Where do I spend my time and money? Where my time and money are spent reveals the stands my heart is investing in. Where do I choose to rest and relax? Where do I lower my guard? I need to discern safe places for my soul to relax. I must consider the entertainment I am taking in, the books I read and even the music I listen to.
But his delight is in the law he meditates day and night.
What does it look like to delight? Do I take pleasure in reading, thinking and applying God’s word and law in my life? God is providing principles to help me stay on track with Him, and I would be foolish not to apply it. I need to meditate on His word day and night because I am truly prone to wander off track without that daily and even nightly guidance. I must internalize God’s law, so it will become my autopilot not my own agenda.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
In the part of Southeast Texas that I call home, we seem to have streams of water that come in only two kinds. Too little that sends us into drought or too much that threatens to drown us. A tree planted by streams of water will receive the moisture it needs to grow and be productive from both above and below. The roots can go deep and tap into the stream. When it rains in moderation, the tree will get all that it needs from above. And when it rains entirely too much, (notice I did not say if but when), the stream will act as a conduit carrying the excess water away. This will preserve the tree from drowning.
The wicked are not so, but like chaff that the wind drives away.
The roots that a tree sends deep down into the earth provide a pathway for nourishing and hydrating the tree. They also act as anchors when the winds of this world blow. A tree that lacks a well-developed root system has little to keep it in place. It will be blown away like chaff. Daily and nightly meditation in God’s word gives our faith roots that provide security when life’s storm attempt to blow us away from God’s presence.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
The wicked, God warns us, will not survive His judgement. Sinners will eventually be separated from the righteous. God can and will sort it out. Somedays I feel surrounded by those who champion all that is wrong and seem to be succeeding, I need this reminder.
for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
It seems here that God might be repeating Himself. Why do I need an additional reminder? I think He’s pointing out that despite how it might feel right now, the wicked will someday be gone. There will be an end to seeing headlines trumpeting evil’s victories, innocence lost and violence rolling out like a plague. He is also reassuring me that He knows the way to remain righteous, even when it might be unclear to me. Sometimes it is hard to discern the path that will please Him. However, He is always right available and ready to answer my call for help. He knows right where I am and will always provide a way to go on.
Lord, thank you for the kindness of “turn by turn” directions found in your word. Help me to follow the path you have set for me. Help me to see your perspective and your priorities. I know that I will be blessed to align myself with what You have for me. Amen