The man who delights in the law of the LORD will be blessed. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water. He will be fruitful. He will prosper.
God has an amazing, unique blessing for those who choose to follow Him instead of walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the way of the sinner, and sitting in the seat of the scoffers.
Goodness and life… or wickedness and death.
The choice seems so obvious, but obviously it is not!
If it were really so obvious, then why would so many (literally billions of) people choose wickedness and death when they have been offered goodness and life? The answer, I believe, is because the choice is NOT always so obvious. Not to everyone. Maybe not to anyone.
According to the clear, biblical text, Adam and Eve did NOT make a choice between following God’s clear instructions OR eating moldy, rotting, nasty looking fruit. No! The choice was between following God’s clear instructions OR eating fruit that looked like it was good, delightful, and desirable (see Genesis 3:6).
…when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.Genesis 3:6, ESV
The choice is not always so obvious. More often than not, the choice has very little to do with our circumstances, and has everything to do with God’s character. That is what is really under attack.
Is God good? Is He trustworthy? Does He know what is best for us? Does He even care?
IF the answer to all of these questions is a resounding “YES!” welling up from the depths of our souls, then the circumstances really do not matter. In fact, if the answer to these questions is a resounding “YES!” from the depths of our souls, we will choose the moldy, rotten, nasty looking fruit OVER the good looking fruit, if that is what God asks us to do. We will choose the wilderness for 40 days and nights over our own comfort, if that is what the Spirit of God is leading us to do. We will choose to carry our cross over being carried to a throne, if that is God’s will for our lives.
Jesus answered each of these questions with a resounding “YES!” from the depths of His soul. He calls us to do the same. He empowers us to do the same.
Though He was perfect and sinless, Jesus was often called wicked and sinful. Should people follow Him, or should they crucify Him? Again, the choice is not always so obvious.
The funny thing about the chaff is that it grows up with the wheat. To those who do not know what they are looking for, both the wheat and chaff look the same. How can the untrained eye know the difference? How can someone know what is useful and what is useless?
One day all will be made clear. As John the Baptist made clear, God’s winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will clear His threshing floor and gather His wheat into the barn, but the chaff He will burn with unquenchable fire (see Matthew 3:12).
One day all will be made clear, but what about today?
Psalm One gives us a clue. As we have already seen in previous episodes of the Midweek Worship Connection, the righteous will be like a tree planted by the water, beating fruit in their season. But what about the wicked?
The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.Psalm 1:4, ESV
The wicked will be driven away by the wind.
God is good. He is trustworthy. He knows what is best for us. He cares.
Today and every day, trust His character above your circumstances. Drink deeply from the Living Water. Allow yourself to be planted in His word. Do not be tossed in the wind like a wave of the sea, double-minded, unstable, like chaff