Tuesday, May 7, 2024

mighty oaks and streams of water


Happy Tuesday, friends!  I thought I'd talk about one of my favorite Psalms today and pick it apart. I'll tell you why I love it so much and what it reminds me of closer to the end, so stay tuned. 


Have you ever read this Psalm before? If you haven't you should read it really quickly! I love it so much. (It's in italics below.)


How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers!


Instead, his delight is in the LORD's instructions, and he meditates on it day and night.


He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.


The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 


For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin. 


In that first verse, you read the word "happy", but in this verse it doesn't mean what you think. The thing that's so cool about the Bible is that you really have to dig to understand what it really means...most of the words that are used in our modern translations today are not the words that we think they are, like this word "happy". In the original language, it translates to a word that means "contentment". When I know what a certain word means, I like to change it up with that word. Here's what verse one would say now that I know this: How content is the one who does not walk in the advice of of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Did you know that the Bible doesn't really talk about us being happy? It does talk about contentment, though. Here are some verses that prove that, if you want to look it up on your own: 1 Timothy 6:6-10, Hebrews 13:5, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, and Habakkuk 3:17-19.


Verse one is essentially saying that we need to be careful with the friends we choose. That's a huge paraphrase on my part, but when we hang out with certain people, their behavior rubs off on us. I used to tell my boys that when they were little, but it's also a Bible verse! 1 Corinthians 15:33 says this: Do not be deceived: bad company corrupts good morals. Also in Psalm 1:1, two different types of people are in contrast: those who are righteous, and those who are not.


I love verse two! The righteous person in this verse takes delight in obeying the law of the Lord. If you're anything like me, don't get hung up on that word law. The original meaning of that word translates to another word that means instruction, teaching, or direction. They think on God's word day and night; it's always on their mind and in their heart. His word is our instruction; it teaches us and it gives direction to our life when we heed to what it says.


Verse three talks about how that righteous person is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Have you ever seen a dead tree or plant? Have you ever forgotten to water your summer flowers? Have you ever experienced a drought? When it doesn't rain, the living trees (plants and grass) die. When a tree is planted beside a flowing stream of water, its roots will never dry out and rot, because they grow deep into the ground. The closer to the water the roots are, the healthier they become and remain. Read that sentence again! 


Additionally, the tree will bear fruit and be beautiful. The same could be said for us when we don't spend time with Jesus; the more time that passes with us not making Him a priority in our lives, the further apart we become from Him. He doesn't move away from us! He is steady and unchanging, a rock. It's you and me that move away from Him, and the more we move away from Him, the further off He seems. James 4:8 tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us.


Verse four talks about chaff; do you know what that is? It's like a very fine flour that is easily blown about by wind. That is what unrighteous people are like! They're flimsy, frail, weak, and easily tossed about in the trials of life. Because of that, the wicked won't stand up in the day of judgment; sinners won't stand in the assembly of the righteous. 


The Lord watches over the way of the righteous, Psalm 1:6 says, and the way of the wicked leads to ruin. I need to say something about this verse and the character of God. God isn't a mean God who hates people; the opposite is true. He loves us all, because He is the One who created all of mankind. He loves us all, but we are not all His children. We're only His children if we've placed our faith in Him by believing that we are sinful and that He is a Savior who can save us from a life of eternal separation after we draw our last breath on earth. He wants us all to love Him back, but He also knows that won't be the case. He already knows where we will spend eternity someday; we will either be with Him in Heaven or we won't. Do you know Jesus? If you're not sure, why are you waiting? I'd love to talk to you more about this, if you have questions or want to know more. You can comment here or you can email me at allboys@gmail.com. 


Here's the reason why I love this Psalm: it reminds me of another favorite passage of Scripture that I'm going to share with you. I have always loved Isaiah 61, especially verses 1-3; I'll write it out here below for you, but I encourage you to read it for yourself. 


Isaiah 61:1-3

The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of our God's vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the LORD to glorify him.


Because we bear God's image and because we are like the apple of His eye (that little twinkling of light that makes someone's eyes sparkle and shine), we are like righteous trees planted by Him, to glorify Him. I used to share that with my boys when they were young, but the translation I used called them "mighty oaks" instead of righteous trees; regardless of the wording, Psalm 1 reminds me of Isaiah 61:1-3, and we need to be like mighty oak trees of righteousness, pointing others to Him every chance we get and to bring Him the glory that He deserves. 


Now go be a mighty oak tree! 


Thanks for reading my blog today, friends. Love to all.


Jenn 🖤



(I'm linking up with Joanne for this post.)



16 comments:

  1. Do you go by Jenn? I wasn't sure! I just read my devotional which was similar to this!

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    1. I go by Jen, Jenn, Jennifer, Jenny (only my husband and sisters are allowed to call me this), hey you, lady...🤣.

      But seriously, I kind of love nicknames for people, and I do love that shortened version of my name. That's funny that your devotion was similar to this! That has happened to me twice recently, when I've read something in the Bible multiple times during a short span of time. I always feel like the Lord is trying to get my attention when He does things like that!

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  2. The Psalms are great to meditate on! I mentioned this before but my two year Bible reading plan has me reading Psalm and Proverbs twice (the other books in the Bible are only read once) which I think is really neat. What translation are the above verses from? I wondered because the second word was ¨happy¨ and you gave your explanation of it (which I completely agree with) but that got me thinking that other translations may use a different word altogether, like content or something like that.

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    1. Yes! I love this book for that reason. I love that you're doing that kind of a plan! My version is CSB (Christian Standard Bible); some versions say "blessed" instead of "happy", but that's not nearly as accurate as the actual meaning. So many words are changed with our modern versions! It's fun to dig and find out what the original meanings were.

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  3. I just read this last week! I am going through reading the Psalms with a friend. Priscilla Shirer was talking last week about having roots. I love those verses in Isaiah too, especially the splendid clothes. Thanks for sharing and have a great day!

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    1. I love it when that happens! I know what she said was good; I love that thought of letting our roots grow deep. I hope you have a great day too, my friend!

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  4. I love this post! I always find it interesting to compare our world's view on happiness with what the Lord says about joy and contentment.

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    1. Thanks, Tanya! I do too; I consider myself the type of person who lives life upside down and inside out....meaning that I'm opposite from most people. I would say you are the same, as are many of us as believers!

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  5. Thank you for the inspiration- I need to dig deeper for sure

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    1. I do too! I don't always take the time. It's always worth it, though!

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  6. I had not heard this Psalm before; it's lovely.

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    1. I think so too, Joanne! I always love beautiful imagery.

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