This week, in the women’s and men’s bible studies, we took a look at Psalm 1. It’s the opening Psalm in the book, setting the tone for it, but it also sets the tone and expectations as to why we read scripture at all.
I talked about Psalm 1 on a Sunday morning a few months ago, but have another look at it:
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
It depicts two different paths we might take: one that leads to destruction, and another that leads to ‘the good life’ (like a tree that bears fruit…). The difference is in which path we decide to take. The first is following others down the wrong path, the second is because we “delight…and meditate on (the Lord’s) law” (God’s instruction, Word, scripture).
And by the way: when he says “meditate”, it’s not a ‘clear your mind of thoughts’ type meditation. In fact, just the opposite. It comes from the root of the word that is used to describe an animal chewing on its food…it means to “chew on it”, or, “to utter it again and again” (kind of like the sound of an animal chewing!). So it doesn’t meant to empty your mind. Rather, it means to make God’s instruction front and center in our minds, on our thoughts, even on our lips. So we can see,
the difference is between following others down the wrong path and getting stuck (planted) there, or, going to the river of God’s Word and planting ourselves there.
The difference is clear and obvious – but – it takes time.
It’s not automatic. The fruit it yields will come, but in its season…eventually. But while we are planted by the endless river of God’s Word & Spirit, we are slowly nourished, slowly established, and slowly growing a root and branch structure that will bear fruit for the long term.
It’s why regularly reading scripture, chewing on it, talking about it with friends and family, allowing it to ruminate, germinate, and do its work on us and in us is the path forward we each ought to seek as we follow Jesus. That’s what the bible reading plan is meant to invite you to move towards, and we hope that you do this year.
If you have questions as we go, please write them down – and send them in to me! I’d love to hear them! Check out the resources at cbcah.org/bible and at The Bible Project. Come to our women’s or men’s bible studies, the newly launching Thursday night home group in February (more details to come), the AMA session on January 21, and our “(How To) Bible” Equip seminar on January 30.