So, I need to get myself back into the Bible. And, well, I'm bad at doing something about that unless I have other people to be like, "Hey, I haven't heard you talk about the Bible lately!"
So.... here I am, writing out my thoughts about my daily Bible reading to make sure I actually do it.
Please, feel free to comment and chat and have a conversation. (be warned, if conversation is not polite and conversational, it is ignored) I want this to be a community thing and a way to spark a dialogue. I don't have all the answers (and, honestly, neither do you) and so I don't want this to come off as a "I'm right because I'm the one typing" sort of thing.
Anyways, with no further ado, let's get to reading that Bible. I decided to start this thing off with going through Psalms, as it is always good to see how the emotions of people towards God has been eternal. And helps us learn how to focus ourselves through (and with) our emotions towards God.
So! Psalm 1!
1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, 2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. 3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
I'll keep that up there while I talk about things, I'll mark which verse to look back at if you want to follow along at home.
This might just be me talking into thin air.... but I like the fact that it starts with what you don't do, and then what you do, well, do. It kinda matches the way that we interact with sin and our salvation and such.
When you are saved, you don't automatically go, "Ah, yes, I'm going to go and do this important mission!" All of our first thoughts when we have to make choices about our actions is usually... "I shouldn't do that. I want to, but I shouldn't." And, after we cut out that bad choice, then we figure out the good choice and choose that instead. Heck, when I went to start reading and write this, I was like, "I wanna play video games! But... wait... I haven't done my Bible stuff yet... Do I have to? Ugh. Fine, I won't play video games until I write this." I chose to not do the thing to distract me, and then I chose to do the thing that would help me with God.
Beyond that, the advice it gives is actually pretty dang good. Hanging out with the people who do nothing but make fun of others is a really fast way to make you more spiteful and less kindhearted to others. Deciding that criminals or meanhearted people are your role models and trying to emulate them is a quick way to be on the road to bad choices.
However, as the Psalm continues, if you choose instead to listen to God, to try and follow His statutes as well as you can, and keep them in mind as you go through your day.... well, you've a smaller chance of being a shmuck.
As it says all the way back in Genesis in the creation story, trees bare like fruit. You can only produce results that are like yourself. Everything an outgoing person does will have a touch of extrovertedness attached, and everything a person doing their utmost to follow God will have a touch of God in all they do. I think about this whenever I see a reference to trees while reading in the Bible (those verses are Genesis 1:11-12, by the way).
In verse 3, (presumably) David has a great image for us. People who follow God and make His way the guide for their life are like healthy, wonderful trees: surrounded by fresh water and full of life to continue on for generations to come. It doesn't die, it doesn't get sickly and go barren for winter, it always has fruit for others when it is supposed to.... it prospers no matter what.
Now, in verse 4, it jumps back to the evil ones, to give you a little comparison in case you weren't sold yet.
Chaff, for those of you who don't know (don't be embarrassed, I Googled it), is garbage. It is the dead grass after cutting down the long grass. It is the straw that's just left behind for something to use, but sure as heck not the humans. It is useless and dry and brittle and bleh. And, well, the wind just picks that up and flies away with it.
And (verse 5) those that are now chaff cannot stand their own ground. They cannot stop themselves from being carried away or blown over. And so they will not be able to stand, they will not be able to succeed. If they can't stand now, they can't stand when it comes time to stand before God.
And, as the Psalm ends, God sees it all. He knows who is the solid tree, and who is the dead grass. He is the one who lights the path for those who are righteous. And he sees how the ones not on His safe path are flying off in the wind without ability to stand upright and move forward.
This first Psalm is less of the exploration of an emotion or an overwhelming cry to God, and more of an intro, which, well, makes sense. It lays the guide work for the rest of the book of Psalms. This is a poetry/song book. It's about God. And it's about being right with God, as well as you can. And will not shy away from saying that not being with God is a bad thing.
It's like how a poetry book nowadays usually has the first few poems hammer in that theme to make sure you know the overlying feel of the book.
But is still good. It's simple. Even someone who doesn't get poetry can understand the point, which is very good, as the Bible is for everyone.
And, well, speaking of that point...
The solid tree that won't bend and break and is always healthy.... or dead grass that is barely good for anything.
Which would you rather be?