Psalm 1:1 (NLT)
'Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.'
I have heard many prayers, and often prayed myself, for God’s blessing for others and for myself. The word ‘blessing’ has its roots deep in British soil, meaning to be marked with blood, which recalls the blood sacrifice of Jesus, which ended all such blood sacrifices. As a result we praise and extol God’s virtues, the meaning derived from the Latin Benedicere. As Christians we both enjoy and benefit from God’s redemption in Christ, while in Christ we’re invited to bow the knee to the Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Whenever I hear the word blessing I tend to receive it as a comfort blanket - something that will protect me from all harm and make me happy. But to be blessed by God means I am favoured by God, yet, no more favoured than my fellow sisters and brothers. This blessing came at the cost of Christ’s life and death. It is unlikely that I shall be a beneficiary without facing some real cost. The Psalmist lists three.
It’s a challenge to resist the ‘counsel of the wicked’. How often am I tempted to be economical with the truth to protect myself or advance my cause? It’s easy to justify in our society where truth has become flexible to accommodate my primary agenda. And it’s so much easier to go along with the crowd than to advocate for God.
As for joining with the scoffers, I can fall here also. As I listen to the news I can tear into the character and motives of our politicians. I am tempted to delight in speaking ill of those seeking to represent the interests of our country within the political sphere. The political and media establishment itself spends time scoffing at opponents and celebrating human frailty and failure. This is sad and something as the Church we must resist.
QUESTION: Where do you hang out? Is it in the place of blessing or do you find it impossible to speak for God into the social groups you find yourself in?
PRAYER: Lord your invitation to live for you came with no exceptions, even in challenging circumstances. Help me trust you above all others.