• happiness
    Devotions,  Psalms,  Something to Think About

    The Triumph of Delight

    “That which a man spits against heaven, shall fall back on his own face.” -Thomas Adams, 1614. There have always been people who mock God and all those who believe in him. Sometimes we act as if unbelief is a new thing. It isn’t. The psalmist uses the very first psalm in the Bible to warn us not to listen to mockers. For thousands of years, some people have chosen, not only to disbelieve, but also to mock believers. And it’s not like we can avoid the naysayers. They are on the internet, on the television, and in our classrooms every day. Disclaimer: Please note that I might earn commissions…

  • ceramics
    Devotions,  Psalms

    Joy and the Fear of God

    Fear of God seems to have gone out of fashion. It is a wonderful and comforting thing to view God as a loving and tender Father, but more than a little frightening to view him as grabbing an iron bar and smashing nations like so much defective pottery (Psalm 2:9). The psalmist says we are to serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. How do fear and joy come together in our understanding of God? It is easy, when we are feeling good, to bubble on about the joy of the Lord. But where does the sense of fear come in? Fear of God starts with understanding who…

  • furious
    Devotions,  Encouragement,  Psalms

    Breaking the Chains… or Not

    Are you raging against God? Have you had it up to your eyeballs with God trying to run your life? Are you looking for a way to get God out of your life forever? If so, you have a lot in common with those described at the beginning of Psalm 2. The people here were rebelling against God and his anointed king, David. They were mad as hell. They weren’t going to take it any more. “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles,” they said. How does God respond to all this fist-shaking? He laughs. Disclaimer: Please note that I might earn commissions from products sold or…

  • grapes on the vine
    Devotions,  Psalms,  Something to Think About

    Bearing Spiritual Fruit

    Psalm 1 describes the one who chooses to follow God as being like “a tree planted by streams of water.” This tree “yields its fruit in season,” and its leaves do not wither. C.H. Spurgeon, in his commentary The Treasury of David, goes on to describe this tree as “not a wild tree, but ‘a tree planted,’ chosen, considered as property, cultivated and secured.” Spurgeon paints a picture of God as a loving caretaker, or husbandman, who chooses, plants, and looks after his trees. Jesus paints a similar picture in John 15:1-9. Here, he describes himself as a vine and us believers as its branches. God the Father is seen…

  • sun
    Devotions,  Psalms,  Something to Think About

    Keep on looking

    “Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season.” -Psalm 1:1-2 “It may be, at once reading or looking, we see little or nothing; as Elijah’s servant went once, and saw nothing; therefore he was commanded to look seven times. What now? says the prophet, ‘I see a cloud rising, like a man’s hand;’ and by-and-by, the whole surface of the heavens was covered with clouds. So you may look lightly upon a Scripture and see nothing; meditate often upon…

  • judge's gavel
    Devotions,  Psalms,  Something to Think About

    Judgment? Who does God think he is?

    While the first part of Psalm 1 talks about the blessing of the righteous person who follows the way of God, the second part of the Psalm talks about the judgment imposed on the wicked. The wicked are like trash that is blown away by the wind. Their path leads only to destruction. The idea that God will judge our actions is not very popular any more. We somehow think that we should be able to do whatever we want to do with complete impunity. Who does God think he is? Why should he judge what we do? Disclaimer: Please note that I might earn commissions from products sold or…

  • apple tree
    Devotions,  Psalms,  Something to Think About

    Growing in the Knowledge of God

    “Blessed is the one… whose delight is in the law of the Lord… He is like a tree… which yields its fruit in season.” -Psalms 1:1-3 The psalmist writes in Psalm 1:1-3 about the value of meditating on “the law of the Lord,” what we know as the Bible. Anyone who has spent time reading the Scriptures and seeking to be taught by God knows that it can be a delightful and fulfilling experience. But it can also be frustrating. Sometimes the Bible is hard to understand. Okay. Truth be told, the Bible is pretty much always hard to understand. Some parts are relatively easy to get, like John 3:16.…

  • Bible with daisies
    Devotions,  Psalms,  Something to Think About

    Cooking with Martha – Sitting Down with Mary

    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, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. – Psalm 1: 1-2 (NIV) The first verse of Psalm 1 describes the things that just aren’t done by someone blessed by the Lord. Those blessed by the Lord keep themselves out of trouble by not hanging around with those who are headed straight for it. In contrast to what he does not do, the blessed man will: delight in the law of…

  • ready to run
    Devotions,  Psalms,  Something to Think About

    Are you ready to run away?

    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. – Psalm 1:1 (NIV) Seeing how the Psalmist defines a godly man in Psalm 1, we first learn about the kind of person we should not be. We shouldn’t follow the advice of wicked people, we shouldn’t get comfortable with sin, and we should never teach others to do so. There is an interesting progression here in how the writer describes the motion of an ungodly man: first walking, then standing and then sitting. There is a sort of comfort creep at…

  • old books
    Devotions,  Psalms,  Something to Think About

    Psalms – The Treasury of David

    I have started to read The Treasury of David by C.H. Spurgeon. This fascinating commentary on the Psalms dates from 1869, but nonetheless has much to say to me and you in the twenty-first century. Designed to be a help to both ministers and lay people, Spurgeon’s commentary serves up quotes from other scholars such as Martin Luther and Matthew Henry, and summarizes passages succinctly in sidebars labelled “Hints to the Village Preacher.” Psalm One begins with a contrasting description of the one blessed by God. The first verse is a negative description of a godly man; the second verse is a positive description. Here, from the first verse, is…