Tuesday, January 5, 2016


It's one of my favorite go-to chapters in the Bible.  Maybe it's because I memorized it in grade school, yeah for prizes, but the prize is truly that I still have it in my heart.  I get a little fuzzy reciting it, mostly because I learned it in King James, but now always have it before me in NASV.  So I use a blended family version in my head, and it's different every time I try to say it from memory.  I'm talking about Psalm 1

"Blessed is the man..."
Blessed is the woman...
This part is the same in the King James as in the NASV
so I can at least start out my recitation correctly.

Just as I quote the chapter mixing up the versions, so the nuances of meaning have many perspectives.  I'm in my sixth decade of life and am still learning new insights about my favorite passage here.   Adam Clarke says, one of the only commentators I will ever quote, is that the correct understanding of the word blessed should be blessednesses.  Plural.  Try saying that three times quickly. It's a tongue tripper.  It makes one think of a man being blest and blest and blest get the picture.  It makes me want to jump up and down shouting, "Me! Me! Me! I want that!"  Oh. God has already picked me for his blessednesses.  I just have to count them.

Or, the meaning could be an exclamation, "O the blessedness of the man!"  as an emphatic "that man," as in "one in a thousand who lives for the accomplishment of the end for which God created him."  Oh, to be that person who is so blessed to be one in a thousand, completely sold out for God.

That gives me pause as I think about what I will and what I won't still accomplish in this life.  I don't think I'll be crossing the pond and touring the British Isles or Europe.  I don't think I'll ever truly be a horse person.  I don't think I'll ever be convinced to run a marathon or even ride a bike.  I don't think I'll paint a masterpiece.  But what I can live for is the accomplishment of the end for which God created me.  That brings comfort.  It also brings a challenge to seek to accomplish that which I have been laid hold of for.  What He has called me to do, what He has equipped me to do, what He has made a way for me to do, I can do and not worry about the rest.  As the old saying goes, "...only what's done for Christ will last."  The challenge is discovering it.  It's like C.S. Lewis describes how the Christian should be "on tip toe with joy" waiting for each new revelation.  I'm certainly finding also that it is not always huge accomplishments.  Usually, at least in my life, it is in the little things.  Sometimes it is the very small things can offer a lingering impact.

Now skip over the sinning part warnings and go on to the

"But his delight is in the law of the Lord."  (v. 2)

"His will, desire, affection, every motive in his heart, and every moving principle in his soul are on the side of God and His truth."  Yes, yes, yes.  I know which side I want to be on.  This means more than ending up on the final right side of the war, but also in everything iota of our life: will, desire, affection, motive.  It would be crazy for a soldier to be forever running back and forth changing sides.  Picture the Civil War and someone waking up each day and different moments throughout the day deciding to change from the blue to the gray, no back to the blue.  We need to find that delight and choose the side of God and truth.  No wishy washy, flip floppy, no squeemy squashy, but delight.

There is no desire without a passionate pursuit.

"The ungodly are not so:
but are like the chaff
which the wind driveth away." 
v. 4
The other guys, the ungodly who are not so, have warnings.  I don't even want to go there.  I don't have to go there.  I don't have to be a dried up piece of chaff which the wind will blow away.  That's about worldly pursuits, ultimately meaningless things that will be gone in a puff of wind.  But even more than that, it's about the worldly person who chases after such things. 

Keep your finger in the book, in Psalm 1.  Maybe we'll come back here soon. There's so much more. In the meanwhile, I'm still chewing on the things I'm discovering.  How's your blessednesses going?

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