Bread – Sources

January 6, 2016


Introduction

You are receiving this e-mail because you were on the original mailing list for my original Bread, which were my thoughts on God’s Word for the day, based upon Scripture specified by the Anglican Book of Common Prayer for what is called the “Daily Office.”  I stopped writing that about three months ago as I fell into the modern (and ancient) trap of business and busyness (which are really the same thing).

Many of my Christian friends are presently using the Psalms for their reflective time and it seemed to me good that I do so also in this Phase II of Bread.

Lucky for me and for you, God has many names, some of which are Grace, Mercy, Restoration, and Forgiveness.  And so, what I find as I sit back down again to engage Him through His Word is that, while I wandered off, He never left and is here.  I hope and pray that as I write Bread it will be a blessing to those who read it and that, through my meager attempts to speak truth in love, you will discover or rediscover Him in your life and will eat and be filled of the Bread of eternal life, the Word in Scripture and the Word in Christ.

And so we begin Phase II of Bread at the beginning, with Psalm 1.

Psalm 1

“Blessed 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; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.”  Ps. 1:1-2

I need some money to buy something.  Where do I go?  A bank, my piggybank, a friendly neighbor?  If you need money, you go to the place where money is.

The term “Blessed” used here translates well to “happiness.”  So, where do we go acquire happiness, to become happy?  To become blessed?

The Psalmist points out that there are two places we can go.  One is to go to other people, whose thoughts and philosophies and solutions are written down and described in many books and articles filling many libraries and many university courses.  Since we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God (having been disobedient to the point of ejection from the place of perfect relationship to God to estrangement from Him), the “wicked,” “sinners” and “scoffers” referred to are us, the world.    We can seek our happiness from the wisdom of the world, we can find counsel with the wicked, we can associate with sinners, and we can teach others to do the same, joining voices with those who reject God  (“sit in the seat of scoffers”), but blessedness (happiness) does not come from there.   When we go there for the secrets to happiness, we are drawing not from an empty well, but a poisoned well.

So what then is the alternative source?  If we cannot become blessed (happy) by learning from the wicked (“walks in the counsel of the wicked”), by associating with sinners (“stands in the way of sinners”), and by adopting the world’s way of doing and thinking (“sits in the seat of scoffers”), then where can we go?  What bank can we go to to draw out the resources we need for blessedness in this life and beyond, to eternal life?

The answer is clear.  God.  And where is God’s revelation of Himself? – Scripture.  And what is the description of Scripture? – “the law of the Lord.”  Law here is not just a set of rules for living, a set of heavenly statutes, but is the reflection and revelation of God Himself.   The blessed man meditates on the law day and night not because he is studying for a law school exam so he can repeat line and verse of “thou shalt not,” but because through such meditation he can gain an understanding of the Creator, of the message behind the “law.”

Two sources of what we need, what we want.  The first, the world, promises life and delivers death.  The second, God through His Word, promises life and delivers it, both in the present and for all time.

In a few words the Psalmist presents the question of the day.  What source do you go to for happiness, blessedness, peace, truth, love, power, hope, an overflowing life?

The choice is clear and we make it every day when we pick up the newest self-help book rather than the Bible.

Is it any wonder that we are miserable when we go to the source of misery first rather than the source of life?

What well are you drinking out of today?

__________

© 2016 GBF

 

All Scripture quotations are from the English Standard Version (2001), unless otherwise indicated.

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