1 The truly happy person
doesn’t follow wicked advice,
doesn’t stand on the road of sinners,
and doesn’t sit with the disrespectful.
2 Instead of doing those things,
these persons love the Lord’s Instruction,
and they recite God’s Instruction day and night!
3 They are like a tree replanted by streams of water,
which bears fruit at just the right time
and whose leaves don’t fade.
Whatever they do succeeds.
4 That’s not true for the wicked!
They are like dust that the wind blows away.
5 And that’s why the wicked will have no standing in the court of justice—
neither will sinners
in the assembly of the righteous.
6 The Lord is intimately acquainted
with the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked is destroyed.
In this first Psalm, we hear that God’s people “love the Lord’s instructions” and they “recite (them) day and night”. To me this says that when we read the Bible, we are learning to love leaning on God’s words. Hearing God’s instructions day and night changes us, and the psalms are a good place to start.
January 1st may be the perfect day to return to God’s little instruction book, God’s source material, the Bible. This year, I’m going to restart reading the Bible by reading through the Psalms. How about you? Reading the psalms can be weighty, but worth it. The Psalms put one’s emotions front and center and often include imagery.
I love the image of a tree being “replanted by streams of water”. It is not that the tree was already casually growing by the water source. It is being moved closer to the Source. We are being “replanted” for new growth with God. By choosing to follow God, we are transplanted into a new way of being. We won’t have to worry about becoming dust in the wind because we are choosing to become part of the living water that is God’s way for us. With patience and connection to the Source, we will bear fruit at just the right time.
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
January 1st is a good day to be reminded to take out our God’s little instruction book, the Bible. I know I don’t read the Bible as often as I should, so I am going to start 2021 by reading through the Psalms. How about you? What is your plan or way of reading the Bible each day? How do you work it into your daily schedule?
Pause to consider how daily returning to God’s source material changes you and changes the community around you.
Prayer: Gracious God, only you are our Source of living water. Thank you for replanting us to live lives closest to you. When we have days in which we feel lost or alone, thank you for giving us a way to return to you by reading your Word. Thank you for being the Source that helps us to live lives of purpose and meaning. Amen.