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A Devo From Scot - Psalm 1

Dear Church,

I have joyfully heard from many of you regarding the impact of these short Psalm devotionals. We began them within days of the shutdown in the spring of 2020. They have changed and adapted over more than a year since then. Because of that, I’d like to start over, retouching some of the psalms we studied in a different fashion and hopefully capturing some of the many that we skipped along the way. Let’s begin. Again.

I think it is noteworthy that the collection of Psalms is closely related to the Book of Job in both the Greek (or Christian) Bible and the Hebrew Bible. For us, the Psalms obviously follow Job. For the Jews, it is the other way around. Job follows the Psalms. So as I turn to the first of 150 psalms in my Bible, right above it I read, “The LORD blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning… And Job died, an old man and full of days.” If I continue and come to Psalm 1, I read much of the same language. “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…”

I invite you to this beautiful psalm today: Psalm 1. There is a reason it has pride of place in a very large collection. In many ways, the heart and soul of Psalm 1 sets our mind for the entirety of these ancient worship prayers, even in their great diversity. The central image is that of a large, healthy tree, firmly planted. Around this simple image is a single contrast (people seeking God’s nearness versus the wicked who rebel against God) with a powerful truth. Deliberate pursuit of God - His character and person, not simple knowledge of Him - is the single access point to the fruitfulness, stability, protection and intimacy we all crave in this life.

In fact, we can say that God’s very best - God’s will - will largely come to your front door when you purposefully and consciously “walk,” “stand,” “sit,” and “delight” in Him (Psalm 1:1-2). None of this just happens naturally. This kind of intimacy and fruitfulness is cultivated. Just like a great tree was once planted, nurtured, watered, pruned, fertilized and matured. Are you intentionally growing strong in nearness to God?

I love you church,

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