A ‘Wisdom’ Psalm – and the introduction to the whole of the book of Psalms. It’s an explanation of why the collection has been put together – to eflect on the Psalms is to be the kind of person who ‘meditates on his law day and night.’
The Psalm paints two pictures, and invites the reader – us – to choose between them. Which are you going to be? One picture is of ‘the wicked’.
Three things about the wicked.
1. They are disciple makers. They have a ‘counsel’ – a body of ‘wisdom’ which they share around. They have a ‘way’ – a code of conduct which they press on others – and they have a ‘seat’ – a place where they gather. It’s a bit like a church, this, in that they do all the right things, but base them on the wrong foundation. The world – using that as shorthand for the world as it stands opposed to God – imitates the kingdom.
2. They are rootless. No matter how much they insist otherwise, their counsel, their way and their place are based on self-interest, short term plaesure, and easy comfort. ‘Like chaff’, the Psalmist says. You’ve all done that? Grabbed an ear of wheat, rubbed it between your hands, and then blown on it? If you can blow it away, then it’s the husk, the outer coat. And not the grain. Lightweight, easily moved.
What does that imply? That the wicked painted here are in trouble when trouble comes.
3. They are doomed. Hard to hear that word without thinking of Pte. Frazer. Their ultimate destiny is to be wiped out. Not contributing anything of eternal merit.
Then these things about the righteous.
1. They separate themselves from the futility of the wicked. Not by living in a different world, but by living differently in the same world. The wicked understand that wisdom, conduct and association together are important – we (if we are the righteous) don’t disagree with the truth, only with the content.
2. The righteous seek to find nurture in the heart of God. Meditation, delight. For the believer, the scriptures are like deep wells of clear water. ‘Who is it that you seek?…’
3. The righteous are deep-rooted, and will stand firm. More than that, they are ultimately fruitful.
What’s the consequence? Thanks to Greg Herrick, Calgary church for these thoughts.
1. There’s a state of being blessed which we are encouraged to reside in. God’s desire for us is that we feel blessed.
2. There’s a cost that goes with that – a choice to be made, and a lifestyle to be avoided.
3. There’s a habit to be formed which will keep us in that blessed place.
4. There’s a time for fruit – and it doesn’t come quickly. Pears are for heirs.
5. There’s a cost and a consequence which comes from the alternate choice.