Grace and peace on your Tuesday Dear Hearts Today, as my thoughts wander toward autumn, I am reminded of the first Psalm as it appears in The Message Bible.
How well God must like you—Psalm 1 – The Message
you don’t walk in the ruts of those blind-as-bats,
you don’t stand with the good-for-nothings,
you don’t take your seat among the know-it-alls.
Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.
You’re not at all like the wicked,
who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
unfit company for innocent people.
God charts the road you take.
The road they take leads to nowhere.
The modern language is so very descriptive! It opens my imagination to all manner of possibilities: God likes me! God’s Word is thrilling! In Him I will not wither, dropping my leaves like a dying houseplant. No! Instead I may always blossom where He has planted me, near a stream in the garden of His kingdom.
But. . . never being one to leave well enough alone. . . I’m required to study older translations of the Psalm. Here’s The Living Bible (not in print since 1971)
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. 2 But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.Psalm 1 – Living Bible
3 They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.
4 But for sinners, what a different story! They blow away like chaff before the wind. 5 They are not safe on Judgment Day; they shall not stand among the godly.
6 For the Lord watches over all the plans and paths of godly men, but the paths of the godless lead to doom.
Again, great and precious rewards for those who follow God’s will, God’s way. And, again, there is no good news here for those who reject the things of God.
That leads me even further back in time, to The 1611 King James Version. The meat of the words are similar if you omit all the thee and thou pronouns, but the footnotes are facinating:
Psalm 1. The key word in the psalm is the word blessed. It serves here as a pronouncement upon a man—but a certain kind of man. In essence, the psalm is teaching that the blessed or happy man is the righteous man. The happy man avoids evil influences, deeds, and attitudes (v. 1); he delights in God’s Word (v. 2); therefore, God causes him to prosper (v. 3). On the other hand, the ungodly is worth no more than chaff (v. 4), and his destiny is judgment (v. 5). Finally, the evaluation by the Lord Himself is described (v. 6). There is an ellipsis which is understood with both clauses in verse 6: For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous [and it will be blessed], but [He also knows] the way of the ungodly [and it] shall perish. The psalm forms an appropriate introduction to the Psalter since it sets before the readers the three characters who will figure mostly in the psalms: the righteous, the ungodly, and God.
In the end — the conclusion I’ve come to is summed up in Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6 and James 2:23 —
and the scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness”; and he was called the friend of God.James 2:23
How well He must like you! He calls you friend!