Our summer sermon series on Psalms will hopefully renew our wonder in God's greatness and power, intensify our awareness of God's mercy and love, and encourage our trust confidence in God's faithfulness and omniscience.
In Copenhagen, we have been enjoying the warmest, sunniest and driest summer ever since records have been kept. It seems we won't be singing in the rain much this year. But, through our summer sermon series, we hope that all of us carry an ancient song in our hearts that will draw our attention towards God and fill us with His Spirit. We began our series with Psalms 1 and 23, two very familiar ancient songs that are often memorized.
The way we live our life will depend upon who we're listening to. According to Psalm 1, we can listen to those who are wicked, sinful or scornful, and, as a result, we will follow their ways and live an ungodly life. Or, we can delight in and meditate upon the law of the LORD, which will guide us to a righteous life that is blessed by the LORD.
The advice and counsel of the wicked is based upon convenience, expediency, pleasure and material gain. Their ethics are situational and relative, and their reasoning is based on mankind's limited knowledge and his discoveries. Following in their ways may lead to temporary prosperity, but, "like chaff that the wind blows away" our lives will not be blessed by the LORD.
Far better is the life that listens to the wisdom and counsel of the LORD. He has revealed His will, His ways, His wisdom and His promises to guide us to a life that He will bless. Like a tree that has a steady source of water, our life will be fruitful and our prosperity will last. If we want that kind of a life, it requires us to delight in His Word and to meditate upon it so that His thoughts influence the decisions we make on a daily basis.
Psalm 23 by King David, himself a shepherd once, affirms the blessed life through a couple of other metaphors. The best life for a sheep would be one lived in green pastures, beside quiet waters, protected from dangers and comforted by a good shepherd. A guest of a generous host would enjoy an anointing of oil and an abundance of food and drink. Such is the life of one whose "shepherd" is the LORD and who dwells in the “house” of the LORD forever.
We can choose our destiny or our path, but we can't choose both. Do you want to enjoy a life blessed by God; a life that's like a fruitful tree, a happy and healthy sheep or a satisfied guest? That is a choice of your destiny, and the path to that destiny is then decided for you: follow the LORD's ways revealed in His Word. Or, you can choose instead to follow the world's ways by listening to the counsel of the wicked, the sinful and the scornful. But, if you choose that path, then the destiny is decided for you: a life that's like chaff, for the wicked will perish.
Too many have been deceived, thinking they can choose the path of ungodly living, yet enjoy the blessed life. As a result of their choice of path, they are confused about their gender and sexuality, still searching for significance, disappointed by the emptiness of wealth, trying to escape their sorrows, or suppressing their guilt and shame. Meanwhile, God has revealed His way for us to avoid such confusion, disappointment, regret or pain. These Psalms encourage us to remember how blessed are those who live by God's laws and follow the ways of the Good Shepherd.
Are you reading God's Word daily? If so, are you also memorizing it, meditating upon it, even teaching it to others so that you really understand it and apply it? If not, do you realize that you won't enjoy the life blessed by the LORD? Choose the right path revealed in God's Word, it leads to the destiny you want: the blessed life.