Firmly Planted

Tuesday, June 20, 2017, 5:51 a.m. – The Lord Jesus put in mind the song “Oh, To Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer.” Speak, Lord, your words to my heart. I read Psalm 1 (NASB).

Our Delight (vv. 1-2)

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

We are joyful in the Lord, appreciative of God’s grace, and we are awarded much in the way of spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus, our Lord – the fruit of his righteousness, sharing in God’s holiness, and peace and strength in times of trouble or distress, etc. – when we do not walk in the ways of the ungodly, but our delight is in God/Jesus, and in his Word (his gospel).

Our walk is our lifestyle, the way we live, our habits, our patterns of behavior, and how we conduct (carry out) our lives day in and day out. It is what we think, believe, and do, and it is our attitudes and values, too. If we walk in the counsel of the wicked, we pattern our lives after the advice, recommendations, guidance and influence of those who are opposed to God, to his values, and to his directives for our lives. The wicked are on TV, on the internet, in church gatherings, in places of business, in our homes, in our neighborhoods, and they are authors of books, editors of magazines, music composers, movie producers, and preachers and teachers of the Word, etc.

Our stand is our attitudes, viewpoints, and beliefs to which we firmly hold, or else it is to remain, persist, or continue in, or to take a position (view, policy) on a particular belief, thought, or subject matter. We are not to continue in or to hold to the attitudes and viewpoints of the lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors of those who make a practice of sinning. We are also not to sit, i.e. assemble, connect, fit together, work together, team up with or join in with an assembly of scoffers, i.e. those who mock, ridicule and laugh at those who are different from them. And, again, these influences can be found in many places, such as was suggested in the paragraph above.

So, instead of allowing ourselves to be influenced by and to take on or join in with the attitudes, values, philosophies, beliefs, thinking and behaviors of those opposed to God and to his Word, his values, and his principles for godly living, we should be those who delight (take joy and pleasure in) God’s Holy Word – his gospel of our salvation. We should cherish (treasure, value) our times with God in his Word, and look forward to hearing from our Lord and what he wants to teach us, and then do what he shows us. We should reflect on, think on and consider prayerfully what we read, and not let it go in one ear and out the other. And, we should inquire of the Lord as to what it means, and as to how it is to be applied to our daily lives, and then do it.

We Prosper (v. 3)

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.

When we delight (find joy) in God/Jesus and in his Word, and we do not pattern our lifestyles, thinking, attitudes and values after this sinful world, then we are like a tree firmly planted by streams of water. This means we are steadfast, consistent, faithful and unwavering in our faith in Christ Jesus, and that we are fixed, rooted, grounded and firmly established in our Lord, and in our faith, and in his truth (His Word; his gospel).

It also means that we are not “carried about by every wind of doctrine, by trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love” (Eph. 4:14-16).

Like Chaff (vv. 4-6)

The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.

The wicked, i.e. those whose lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs and behaviors are contrary to God/Jesus, and to his Word, and his gospel, are like chaff which the wind drives away. So, what is chaff? It is “the seed coverings and other debris separated from the seed in threshing grain.” A covering is something which conceals, hides, disguises, and camouflages; a shell, etc. A shell is “a casing without substance.” Debris is wreckage, garbage or rubbish. Chaff is also teasing, joking, mocking; “something comparatively worthless” (M-W).

So, if someone is like chaff, they are like the Pharisees who looked good on the outside, but inside they were full of wickedness and evil. They have the appearance of godliness, but by their lifestyles, they deny its power in their lives. So, they are just a shell, but with no real substance underneath. Their righteousness is like filthy rags in God’s sight. Their deeds are just garbage, and rubbish, because they are all for show, for a performance to try to impress people, to fool and to deceive people, like Satan’s servants who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ and masquerade as servants of righteousness.

Yet, a seed is something “capable normally of germination to produce a new plant; a source of development or growth; birth, beginnings, to sow and to plant” (M-W); offspring, descendants. Now, this can be good or bad, but in context the seed is good. It represents the righteous in God’s sight, who are the ones who delight in God’s Word and in his gospel, and whose walk is in the way of the Lord, and according to the Spirit, and not according to the flesh or in the way (path) of the world and of the wicked. They sow good seed in people’s lives, they produce fruit in keeping with repentance, they are growing in their walks of faith, and they produce spiritual offspring.

Those who are like chaff will not survive God’s judgments. They will die in their sins, without hope, without salvation, and with no promise of heaven, but with a fearful expectation of eternal damnation in hell’s fires. So, don’t be like the wicked. Believe in Jesus Christ to be Lord and Savior of your life, submit to him, surrender to his will, do what he says, delight in him, and don’t follow the ways of the world or of the wicked, and then you will be granted blessings from above and eternal life with God in glory.

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer
Thomas O. Chisholm / W. J. Kirkpatrick

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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