Blessed Is The Man (Psalm 1)

How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” (Psalm 1:1)

Psalm 1 opens the Book of Psalms by plainly stating what it is in life that brings true happiness. The word translated here as blessed may more accurately be rendered as happy, as versions such as the Christian Standard Bible read. We see here in the NASB the word How preceding blessed because the term in the original is emphatic or stressed. “How very happy is the man…” might be a good way to open the verse and the entire Book of Psalms itself.

Ask most people what leads to pure happiness and it is doubtful that many will tell you that joy is found in obedience to the precepts of God. But that is exactly what the Psalmist is saying. Rather than counseling us, as the world does, to “go with the flow”, “make friends and be popular”, or “do your best to fit in”, we are told the opposite. The happy man does none of these things but separates himself from the actions of those who are in rebellion against God. Joy and happiness are not to be found in the noisy, crowded bars and nightclubs or at the parties of the rich and famous, but in quiet meditation upon the Word of God.

“But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)

The law of the Lord is not something with which the happy man is burdened, but it is something wherein he delights. Jesus told His followers to take up His yoke, for it is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). Those who believe that obeying God is restrictive and that the Bible doesn’t allow Christians to have fun could not be more mistaken. Life and joy can only be truly found through living by the principles of God’s Word.

“And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living.” (Luke 15:13)

The prodigal son of whom Jesus told thought that true happiness was to be found away from his father and by living according to his own desires. He believed that his father’s rules were restrictive and supposed that freedom from the father’s house would bring him joy and pleasure. But it did not. Celebration and rejoicing in our Lord’s parable does not come when the young son heads off to the distant country, but when he returns home (Luke 15:32).

[Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.]

Light Comes Into A Dark World

"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." (Genesis 1:3)
“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)

The very first act that the Spirit of God does when He moves upon the dark and chaotic earth is to let the light come upon it. God does not create light here to shine on the earth, rather He allows the light that is already there to reach it. This is not the Sun on the very first day of Creation, the Sun is not created until day 4. God will later set the Sun, Moon, and stars in the heavens to give light to the earth.

This first “light” on day 1 is a light that comes directly from God Himself. God is the “Father of lights” (James 1:17) Who dwells in an unapproachable Light (1 Timothy 6:16). “Light” is a symbol of the very glory of God. It is only by the Light of God that a person can truly see, lest they be doomed to darkness.

God did not need to “turn the lights on” on that very first day so that He could see what He was doing. He gave the Light for our sakes. Men commit sinful deeds by the cover of darkness and in the shadows, but when God moves, He does it in the open light.

The true Light of the world is Jesus Christ (John 8:12) Whom the Father sent so that none of us should remain in darkness. He is to be the Light of our lives. God’s first act when He moved upon this dark world was to bring light into it, He does the same thing today when He moves upon our dark lives.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 10, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

God Is The Only One Who Can “Create”

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." (Genesis 1:1)
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

God created the heavens and the earth. But what exactly did God create the heaven and the earth from?

We talk about people “making” things or someone “inventing” something. Sometimes we even credit another person for “creating” something new. But mankind is forever limited to the materials that already exist in order to make anything. We can certainly arrange various metals, stones, and woods into everything from buildings to computers, but we can never truly “create” something from nothing. God alone can do this.

Our minds can scarcely fathom the idea of God existing before and apart from the Universe that He created, but there was a time when He did. Before anything else existed, God existed. And every single ounce of material that would comprise the entire Universe was created from nothing by Him. Not only did God create the Universe itself from nothing, but He alone has created the bulding blocks within it that would eventually be part of everything else that would ever be made.

Mankind can make things, but the ability to create belongs only to God.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published July 5, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]