Psalm Saturday: Psalm One Devotional

Psalm One is one of the best known and most beloved psalms, summarizing the two roads of life people can choose: a) the way of the righteous and b) the way of the wicked. There is a right way and a wrong way. The right way leads us closer to God. The wrong way leads us further and further astray the longer we remain on it.

As we are often reminded viewing the nightly news, there is a Good and an Evil that exists in this world we temporarily call home. The battle between Good and Evil is certainly nothing new. It has existed since the earliest beginnings of time; perhaps even longer. We can choose to follow Good or fall prey to a lifestyle of Evil. 

Psalm One reveals the importance of how we think about God, describing godly living contrasted against the hazards of an ungodly lifestyle. For the original biblical audience, Psalm One serves as a reminder of their hope in the Mosaic Covenant. For you and me, it reflects a picture of two roads. One road produces blessings. The other road results in the bitter fruits of sorrow and destruction.

Psalm One

Living a life of obedience yields blessings, provides good spiritual health, and transforms our character and actions into something that is pleasing to the Lord. Without a healthy root system grounded in the Word, we are as sure to die spiritually as a tree is certain to rot. Following God leads to good things. 

The wicked have no concern for the things of God. They do not live to please the Lord.  Instead, they live to please themselves and satisfy their own passions. They have zero regard for living the spiritual life. A life lived simply to feed our own desires falls short of God’s plan for us. 

Psalm One ends with a warning of a future day of judgement in which the Lord will separate the godly from the ungodly, the righteous from the wicked, and the wheat from the chaff. It offers a stern warning reminding us to live our lives with the knowledge that one day we will be asked to give an account of the road we chose to travel. The road we choose is up to us. 

Psalm One makes it abundantly clear that a life lived trusting in the Lord and in full obedience to all He commands is the more profitable path to take.

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Are you ready to choose the right road?

I pray that you are.

God loves you. He does not wish anyone to perish. He gave His only Son so that we could be restored on a right path leading to a life lived in His presence forever.

Prayer:

Father God, I love you. I thank you for the grace and mercy you have bestowed on me and for giving me a second chance to follow You on the right path. Father, I pray that Your truth would be revealed to others and that they might come to know You as I have come to know You. Thank you for the truth of Your Word and the Wisdom it provides. Thank you for Your Son, through whom I am saved. Amen.

Sons of Korah-Psalm 1

 

The Trouble With Right and Wrong

I get up out of bed every day wanting to glorify God in everything I say and do.

Most days I fall short.

“Can a behavior be ethical but illegal at the same time?” my professor asked.

Interesting question, I thought. Ethics seem to be a tricky thing depending on what folks base their idea of right and wrong on. Ethics is simply a matter of right and wrong. The trouble is determining how to decide what right and wrong is and according to who.

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Legal and ethical behavior are closely related, like brother and sister. They continually cross paths, but do not always point us in the same direction. I am not sure how many behaviors are ethical but illegal. On the other hand,  I can think of several behaviors once considered unethical that are legal in today’s world.

The law condones some behavior, making it acceptable under the law, even though some people may consider it unethical. Conversely, something might be ethical but illegal. Same-sex marriage, abortion, legalization of marijuana, and euthanasia are current topics that come to mind when I think about what is legal versus what is ethical. I suppose that is where the standard we use to decide right from wrong comes into play.RBantau 2017

There was a time in our nation when it was perfectly legal to own a slave. Even so, that did not make it right or ethical.

In most States, marijuana is still illegal. However, there are studies that have shown that marijuana may be better in treating cancer than chemotherapy. If I had a loved one with cancer would it not be ethical for a doctor to treat them with marijuana if that is what helped them? It is certainly illegal.

Let’s take it a step further. Their cancer is terminal. Nothing will save their life. The only option left is easing their suffering. Would it be ethical for them to end their life if that is what they decided they wanted to do? Would it be ethical for someone to help them? It is illegal.

I think it is easy for us to answer these questions from afar; but we really do not know how we will respond until we face crossing that bridge.

We need a solid foundation for figuring out what is right and wrong. Our different government agencies dictate what is legal versus what is not.

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For me, personally, my faith provides me with a foundation of what God considers right or wrong. I believe God is the Creator and ultimate authority of the Universe. Therefore, it only makes sense that I rely on His standard for right and wrong (ethical behavior).

This may not work for you. You may rely on something else. Shrug. All I can tell you is God has worked faithfully for me even when I have not been faithful to Him.

I am grateful that whether I do right or if I do wrong God remains faithful in His grace and mercy toward me. He is faithful to love me even though I don’t always get it right.