I’m not talking about prosperity gospel, but in my reading this morning I was struck by Psalm 1:3 – whatever he does prospers – What are the conditions to be met that result in this kind of promise?
Verse 1: Blessed is the man who doesn’t…
- walk in the counsel of the wicked
- stand in the way of sinners
- sit in the seat of mockers
Verse 2 - Instead this person
- delights in the law of the Lord
- meditates on it day and night
Verse 3 - The result
- to be like a tree planted by streams of water
- yielding fruit in season
- leaves do not wither
- whatever he does prospers
My thinking that this is a kind of promise, but even more-so a challenge.
It’s a promise in the sense that I believe God wants for our lives to produce fruit. His desire is that His word permeates our beings, and directs our lifestyle and our choices so that in our families and our occupations and our serving people that there is a harvest of goodness, truth and beauty.
It’s a challenge, and a worthy one at that, because we are accountable for our choices and behaviour and called to choose to delight in His way, His law, all the time.
Certainly I do pray that whatever I put my hands and heart to, it will prosper because it’s hopefully good, or at the very least redeemable for good, and is a humble offering directed to God and to my world. But somehow I think it’s more about VERSE 2 than VERSE 3. The prospering of my actions as a result of my closeness with the Lord is a kind of bonus, but it’s not actually the goal. The goal is this delighting in Him and his law. Kind of like how AUGUSTINE famously said “thou hast made us for thyself o Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in thee”.
I don’t know that I’ll ever get that quite right, but it’s what I’ll go for today, and prayerfully the next day…and the one after that…
Note: The tree pictured here stands at Sandy Bay, Victoria Beach, MB and it’s been standing there ever since I can remember, which is at least 34 years … and I’m sure long before that – it is about 20 feet from the shore of Lake Winnipeg, and I don’t think it will ever die…