Wednesday, January 6, 2016
Wouldn't it be fun to hear the Psalms put to music as they originally were. In fact, they got their names from the instrument the Psaltery, much like a harp. Adam Clarke says, "A psalm is called in Hebrew 'mizmor', from 'zamar', 'to cut off', because singing each word was separated into its component syllable, each syllable answering to a note in the music." David may not have been the author of every one of the Psalms, but the singing shepherd king certainly was the creator of many. I've often wondered if some of his earliest songs from his shepherd days as a young man made it into the collection.
Let's see, we covered the blessednesses, then the walketh, standeth, sitteth. Now the second half of verse 2 talks of delighting, "in his law doth he meditate day and night.
"But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night."
Sometimes the delighting that turns into the "doth" of the meditating is put through a wringer first that drives us to meditating day and night, especially night. In other words, where are our thoughts? I believe delighting is because we have a place to turn to. Thoughts of the circumstances of this world sometimes aren't so happy, so good, so worth dwelling upon because if we did it might drive us crazy. That's why it is so important to be driven instead to meditating upon His law. We have a place to go with our thoughts day and night. And I guess you'd have to say that thoughts about God have to be good. To believe that God is good is actually the main hurdle to jump to trust, to faith. So put your thoughts there. So go "doth meditate." The result is what is described in verse 3.
"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
I love this picture and like when I sit by
the crystal clear Smith River,
the cleanest river in California,
I could stare at it forever.
We here in California have been through a long drought, dry, cracked, water conserving, let the lawns dry up drought. Sadly, what has happened is that thousands of trees have died, even some on our street named River Run Drive. But this verse promises that we are not planted by accident by some whim of nature that maybe, maybe not will have enough water to keep us alive. We are not wild. We are cultivated. We are purposely planted by rivers of water that will not run dry. By the way, I'm so glad that the River of Life flows out from the throne in heaven. Makes you think that God loves rivers, right? This is the river that keeps us alive, the one that passes right from God Himself.
"Then he showed me a river,
clear as crystal
coming from the throne of God
and of the Lamb,
in the middle of the street.
On either side of the river
was the tree of life
bearing twelve kinds of fruit,
yielding its fruit every month..."
Wow, do you think heaven might be a little bit like Venice, only better? Will angels paddle our gondolas singing along the way? Hmm. Anyway, isn't it amazing that Psalm 1 is echoed clear up into heaven and back to us. It is just a hint of what is to come, but it is also a promise of the living water that means we will never thirst again. (John 4:7-14)
"His leaf shall not wither"
Umm, I have to confess that from time to time, seasons of my life I have felt a little withered, a little dry. But there was still a little life there clinging to the tree, not letting go. Adam Clarke says of this,
"His profession of true religion shall always be regular and unsullied, and his faith be ever shown by his works." Maybe my works are that of a clinger-on-er, a not-letting-go-er.
The purpose of a tree is to produce fruit. This is promised. My man's life verse is "the fruit that remains." (John 15:16) The motivating force of his life has been to produce fruit that will remain clear to heaven, into eternity. Isn't that what we are about, eternity? This is what it means to prosper, doing the kingdom work, producing fruit that remains.
This is the kind of fruit I want to remain.
"You did not choose Me
but I chose you,
and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit,
and that your fruit will remain,
so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name
He may give to you."
I believe that what we are to ask the Father for, the fruit that remains, are souls. That releases the Holy Spirit to do the cultivating, the pruning, helping us as we are abiding in the vine to bear fruit that remains that goes back to Psalm 1:3, "and whatsoever he doth shall prosper." Any other kind of prospering is just chaff, here today and gone tomorrow like that tumbleweed in a tornado.
Now that's worth singing about,
Especially now that we are having El Nino,
the wet dog days of rain, lots of rain.
at 10:43 AM