07 November 2007

"Blessed Be"--Eliminate and Meditate (part 2)

Part 1 here.

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ELIMINATE THE WAYS OF THE WORLD. Then MEDITATE ON THE LAW OF THE LORD. Verses 2-3 kinda give the other side of the coin. "But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." They show us where we can find true blessedness. We PONDER AND REFLECT, then we are PLANTED AND ROOTED.

First, we PONDER AND REFLECT.
Verse 2.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.

What is the Law of the LORD? Which is the great commandment? Matthew 22:37-40--You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

This is what we meditate on day and night. Love the LORD our God with everything in us, and our neighbor as ourselves. Where do we learn how to do that? You can watch talk shows, read all kinds of books written by people who don’t know the LORD—and don’t want to know Him. You can get all kinds of advice from the newest, trendiest pop psychologist. But you will never know how to please the LORD if you don’t read His word.

You see, the Bible was given to us by God so that we may know Him, and we may know His law, and cherish that Law, and meditate on it day and night. And when we stand before Him, if we know Him, and His Christ, and if we have turned our back on our own desires, and crucified our flesh with Christ, and if we have devoted our lives to loving Him, and pleasing Him—and above all if we know that our salvation comes from His Christ, who was spoken of in this Law—we will hear the LORD our God tell us “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter into thy rest.” That, my friends, is what it means to be truly blessed!

Charles Spurgeon did a monumental work on the Psalms called “The Treasury of David.” And it didn’t dawn on me until I was reading through it, but when the Psalmist says that the blessed man meditates on the Law of the LORD day and night, he’s not just talking about time of day. Listen to what Mr. Spurgeon wrote:

"His delight is in the law of the Lord." He is not under the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in it as his rule of life; he delights, moreover, to meditate in it, to read it by day, and think upon it by night. He takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and in the night-watches, when sleep forsakes his eyelids; he [reflects] upon the Word of God. In the day of his prosperity he sings psalms out of the Word of God, and in the night of his affliction he comforts himself with promises out of the same book.

Did you catch that? He’s saying that “day and night” doesn’t just mean the sun coming up and going down. But the day refers to when things are going good, and the night is when things aren’t so good. What does it say in Psalm 30:5? “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” When things look bleak, we have promises from God that He will see us through it. When we have joy, we can find countless ways to praise Him for His goodness!

So many people today are trying to say that this is just a bunch of fables. “Oh, that’s just a bunch of stories cooked up by some old Jewish guys to keep everybody in line.” NO!! This is a collection of 66 love letters from the LORD our God to the bride of His precious Son—so that we don’t have to depend on our own worthless attempts at being perfect and righteous. We can know, without a doubt, that we are indeed children of the One, True, Living God. Let me finish up this quote from Spurgeon.

"The law of the Lord" is the daily bread of the true believer. And yet, in David's day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses!

Think about that for a second. When these Psalms were written, all they had was the Torah. They didn’t have the book of Romans. Or Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. They did not know about the cross. They did not fully understand that one day God—in His grace—would send His precious Son, as a Lamb without spot or blemish for all who believe. They did not know that the wrath of God would come down in all its strength on that perfect Son. But it should have come down—with all of the rage and fury that God possesses—on us. They did not know that the sinless Son of God would be made sin for us, so that we could be the righteousness of God in Christ. If anybody tries to tell you that Christ did not take our sins upon His shoulders on the Cross—if they try to tell you that Christ was not our substitute on the cross—tell them to read 2nd Corinthians 5:21.

How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses! Consider this: there are some parts of the world where if you get caught with one of these, you're dead! There are still other places that have never seen one of these! Yet how casually do we treat it, we who can go into any Wal-Mart or Target, without fear of prosecution—or persecution—and pick one up, and it’ll cost you 5 bucks. Some countries, it’ll cost you your life! But blessed are you when you take this book, and you read it, and study it, and believe in the promises contained inside and you understand that this is the perfect word of God, not just a bunch of stories. We PONDER AND REFLECT.


Then we are PLANTED AND ROOTED.
Verse 3.
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

If our delight is in the Law of the LORD, and if we are hiding—as it were—His law in our hearts, and taking comfort in His promises of eternal life, and treasures in Heaven—and don’t let anyone mislead you about that last sentence. It’s not necessarily talking about material prosperity. But, as the old song says

Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
Then the things of Earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace

Not only will we find comfort in His word, but we will be able to comfort others the same way. 2nd Corinthians 1:3-6--Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. See what that says? He comforts us so we can comfort others.

Because even after we know Christ, we will suffer through discomfort, and tribulation, and troubles, and sadness. We will be afflicted; we will suffer persecution—I don’t give a rat’s eyelash what Creflo Dollar says! If you know Christ—you're going to go through stuff!! That’s what the Psalmist means when he says that the one who meditates in the law of the LORD will be "like a tree planted by rivers of water." It’s one thing to have a tree grow wild on its own. You can go out to Arizona and see trees growing up out of rocks. It doesn’t get too big; it gets some rain once in a while. Basically, it’s…there.

But when you plant a tree, you do it for a reason. And you prune it, you feed it you water it. It’s profitable for something—apples, or oranges, or simply as a shade tree. And if we delight in the Law of the LORD, and we meditate on it day and night, we’re going to be profitable, and we will find true blessedness—not only in this life, but definitely in the life to come. It may not be the way the world says you should be blessed. But I’d rather go by God’s standards, Amen?

I'll close with an example of a man who did not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. In Luke 23:50-53, after Jesus has given up the ghost--
  • 50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, and a good and just man—a good and just man, in the middle of that Sanhedrin that wanted Jesus dead.

  • 51 He had not consented to their decision and action—a good and just man in the middle of a bunch of blasphemers—but he voiced his opposition, and did not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.

  • 52 And he was looking for the kingdom of God—His delight was in the Law of the LORD and on that Law he meditated day and night.

  • 53 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever been laid--When it was all said and done, he took the Word of God, went to great lengths to care for it, and laid it in his own tomb—knowing that Christ’s body wasn’t going to be there forever.
And three days later, it wasn’t. Matthew 28:6--The angels tells them, “I know you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here for HE IS RISEN!!”

Do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Do not stand in the path of sinners. Do not sit in the seat of the scornful. Delight in the Law of the LORD. Meditate on it day and night. Be like a tree planted by the rivers. Bear fruit in its season. Your leaves will not wither, and anything you do looking forward to the kingdom of God will succeed.

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