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Psalm 1: walk this way?

February 4, 2016

  

“I can’t dance. I can’t talk. Only thing about me is the way I walk” Genesis – I can’t dance (from the album ‘We can’t dance’)

Thought I would visit an old friend this evening. 

Psalm 1. I remember being fascinated by this years ago and still find it good to come back to.

The songwriter paints a musical picture of 2 types of people.

1 who is blessed.

And another who is well…

Not blessed.

I have written before about this word blessing. To be blessed is to please God. It is to receive his embrace, his hand shake, his slap on the back, his proud introduction at his great award ceremony.

There is an essential difference between these two types of people.

In what they do.

And what they don’t do.

Often the perception of Christians is about what they don’t do, where they don’t go, who they don’t like. And that is often a very unhelpful perception.

But the Psalmist here describes three things that the man or women who pleases God does not do.

It’s about the way they walk.

Who they stand with.

Where they sit.

Walking is about a way of life. It’s a sustained choice. The one who wins the prize is not one who walks constantly with wicked people. Or put it this way at least. He is not one of them! His life is not built around wicked desires.

Standing is about firmly planting your feet, refusing to be moved. Again the one who pleases God doesn’t hang out with sinners. Actually perhaps he does. Jesus does. But there’s something about him. He is not one of them. He stands out.

Sitting is about being comfortable. Relaxed. The one who receives the winner’s embrace is not with those who laugh and ridicule all that is good. Mocking the things of God.

Of course we are surrounded by the wicked, sinners, mockers. In too many ways we are very much like them. And if we want to live as followers of Jesus, we will be in regular meaningful contact with them. We will not want to go everywhere they go, but we will hope to sit walk and stand differently. And to leave a mark on them.

It’s not good news for people who live that way, however determined, steadfast and relaxed they are in their choices.

Nothing they do will last. They will be without defence before God and their way leads to destruction.

So what marks out the other people?The ones who get God’s red carpet?

They have a different focus. They love God’s word.

You what?

So to please God is to read a book? Ignore what’s going on around you? Go to church? Hang out with other Christians? Get away from the world?

Well no. This is no academic book. This is no cold exercise. This book does not just give us intellectual knowledge. It shapes our thinking. It changes the choices we make. And by the help of the Holy Spirit it makes us people who can show a different way to walk, different values to stand for, and a new place to rest.

For God’s word is a living word. And we offer that life to those that we meet, trusting God to change them, rather than allowing their values to spoil us.

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From → Christianity

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