1Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6for the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
In a NO FRILLS way, Psalm One blatantly lays out the Two Roads of Life:
- The road of the Godly. Obedient. Righteous.
- The road of the Ungodly. Disobedient. Wicked.
It peels away all the non-essentials and reveals our obedience is either – or. Black – or – white. And in a culture that has become obsessed with the color gray and disdains absolutes, this is hard to swallow.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the “new neutral” when it comes to fashion and interior design. But I’m NOT when it comes to our morals, character, integrity, and faith. In those areas there’s no room for gray; for the simple reason God judges us by absolutes:
- Either we follow Jesus or we don’t.
- Either we obey Him or we don’t.
However, we want a little gray, don’t we?
Like the waistband of our pants, we want a little wiggle room, exceptions to the rule, a softening to the horrific effects of our depravity. We want both – and NOT either – or. But that’s not the way of Scripture, is it? I’m not being dogmatic; I’m merely looking at what’s printed on the page—in black and white. There is no room for gray.
It’s this – or – that
Either – or
Left – or – right
Sheep – or – goats
Obedience – or – Disobedience
Friend, to put it simply, either we’re chasing after God’s heart or we’re chasing after something or someone else.
There is no middle ground.
Gray is just another way to say “lukewarm.” And when we’re lukewarm Jesus promises to reject us by spitting us out of His mouth because we are distasteful. (Rev 3:15-16)
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Overall the Bible is a study in contrasts:
- Between those who knew God and those who knew about Him.
- Between those who chased after God’s heart and those whose hearts were hard, cold, and blasphemous.
- Between those who obeyed God and those who didn’t.
And we get to learn from those who fill Scripture’s pages! From their choices, mistakes, and victories. We have to opportunity to see how their good and bad choices played out—the trajectory their lives took because of the road they chose. Then we get to apply what we glean from their stories to our choices and lives. How awesome is that?
Friend, our obedience is a black and white issue because it ultimately determines where we will spend eternity. And in the here-and-now it also determines:
- Our joy and happiness
- And influences our
- Moral character
- Effectiveness for the Kingdom
All of which we will be looking more into as we examine Psalm 1 in the coming days.
And if you find you’ve strayed from the Road of Obedience, if you still have breath in your lungs, it’s not too late to get back on it.
Jesus, I humbly come before you—open and vulnerable, and yes, a little afraid. Search the deep inner recesses of my heart and reveal anything in me that is offensive, disobedient to you. Give me the courage to face it, the honesty to confess it, and the strength to repent of it. Jesus I know there is …. (You finish in your words)
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