February 4, 2013

Happy Are Those Who Can't Wait to Fix Their Eyes on Jesus

Today we're going to spend a little bit of time unpacking the first two verses of Psalm 1.

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord
and on his law he meditates day and night.
Psalm 1:1-2

The one who delights, who is drawn to, who desires, to be in the Word is blessed. And blessed in this Psalm means happy. It is the Hebrew word, 'esher. And it's also used as an interjection, a word to get your attention. Like, HELLO! Do you want to know the SECRET TO HAPPINESS? It is the same word used in the Beattitudes in Matthew 5 (Blessed are those who...) The person who really wants to be happy will follow these Words of Jesus.

When I see the word law, I automatically associate it with cumbersome rules, or some annoying judicial laws that seem to make little sense to me. But God is not interested in making us rule-keepers. He wants relationship. He wants us to know Him. He didn't rescue us so we would become burdened by "do's" and "don'ts". He wants us to live according to His Word and to experience His goodness. Taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 37) Not only this, but Jesus came and died on the cross to fulfill the requirements of the law.

Consider that meditate is not something we automatically find ourselves doing one day. It takes intentional doing. We must choose to dwell on a thought, mull it over in our minds, memorize it even, spend time. However delighting is a physical reaction we may not be able to control. Our bodies may already have a predisposed liking for chocolate, for example. We cannot help the fact that we enjoy chocolate. We can also condition our bodies to enjoying things. For instance, when we begin a physical training program, it may be difficult and challenging; we may even struggle to continue. But after a certain length of time, once our bodies have been conditioned to the work-out, we find ourselves enjoying it. Missing it even, when we don't do it. Of course the same could be said about conditioning our bodies to enjoy things not so good for us.

If I had to re-write this verse in my own words, I might write something like this: "Happy are those who can't wait to fix their eyes on Jesus!"

Because we are all born sinners (Psalm 51), we are automatically predisposed to following sinful patterns, which are considered normal ways of living in the world. Look out for Number 1, money=success, get out if you're not happy anymore... etc.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. - Romans 12:2a

Renewing our minds is like re-wiring them. Knowing what God desires, and going after it with intent. Seeing God's goodness and craving it more than what the world dangles in front of us.

If you're a child of God, you are desiring something more than the temporal things of this world. You are finding yourself left in want when the best things of the world still don't fully satisfy. Perhaps you know in your head that you need to be in the Word, but your heart isn't really feeling like it wants to?

Next time we'll explore some ways to make the Word part of your normal daily life.

Just joining? This is Part 2 of a series, Cultivating a Hunger For God's Word. Read Part 1 here.

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