Posted by: arieliondotcom | July 15, 2013

Right Roots (Psalm 1)

Right Roots (Psalm 1)

In the Psalms we have a reflection in music and poetry of the history of the people of God. And right from the start in Scripture and psalms we are in a garden. We see immediately the difference between being rooted in God and unsettled like tumbleweed in the turmoil of evil.

Creation began with shouts of joy and song by the angels of God at His Word. And the first word in the first Psalm is an exclamation of joy. Blessed! Happy! Content! It’s like seeing a magnolia tree in full blossom of color. Your eyes almost shout for joy echoed from the glory of the tree’s vibrant beauty.

But notice that this happiness, like the happiness of Adam & Eve, Cain & Abel in the Garden of Eden, is based on what is avoided. They had the glory of the entire Garden to enjoy, even the appearance of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil to see which must have been beautiful in its contrast. Unlike what Eve said to Satan they were even allowed to touch it to enjoy its beauty. They were only forbidden from eating the fruit. Just one fruit to avoid in the entire garden and that food hidden in the middle of the garden. They had to go out of their way to find evil.

In the Psalm the thing to avoid is evil people. Evil people are restless people. Notice how it starts off walking with them. You start trafficking in ungodly ideas. Only a magazine article. Just a book. It’s just a funny program. But it’s against the word of God and you know it. Before you realize it you’re no longer just walking with the folks who disagree with the Bible, you’re standing with them. Now the ideas that are wrong based on Scripture seem not so bad. You may even try some of them. After all, you can’t be rude. And you’re such a strong Believer you can be open minded, right? But before long you’re sitting with those who oppose GOD and laughing at the idea of silly stories about talking snakes in trees and Adam and Eve and Noah and the ark.

As we said, evil is restless and even in their sitting they have no roots. The Apostle James will describe it as waves being blown about by different doctrines. The tumbleweed effect takes over and you and your open-minded friends are being blown about by whatever suits you. That’s the antithesis of happiness and joy. That’s the recipe for frustration and dissatisfaction. And all it takes is one taste of the fruit, one walk with ungodly ideas. One lingering with the wrong crowd. One funny show that laughs at GOD.

Happy, contented people aren’t like that. They have boundaries. They have roots. They have fences to keep evil out and let them enjoy everything within bounds of the Word of GOD.

Those roots are grown deep in Scripture. The Apostle Paul will say “How will they know if they have not heard?” You must hear the Word of GOD to know it. That’s what sermons are for. That’s why church attendance is important. Your roots are deepened by other Bible-believing folks as a body. But you must also absorb it yourself, reading the Bible and thinking about it. The more you read the more you will absorb, like roots soaking up water.

The Believer who is deeply rooted in Scripture and nourished by it is blessed and prospers. This word in Hebrew can mean “breaks forth”, is productive, like a tree with healthy leaves, flowers and fruit. Unlike the evil person blowing around in the wind, without roots or purpose, the Believer has substance and makes the world better by being a healthy example of a Believer.

A magnolia tree has no purpose but to be a beautiful example of a magnolia tree and perhaps because of its attractiveness produce other magnolia trees. Yet not a season goes by that I don’t remember the joy of the first one I ever saw and what a wonderful witness to the glory of GOD its Creator it was (and may still be).

Christians are intended to be these blessings. JESUS is the Root. It is from Him as the object of the entire Bible that all our Life and nourishment flow. When our faith is filtered through belief in His death, burial and resurrection cleansing us from all sin we are free to flower with forgiveness from Him and towards others in His Name.

Evil passes quickly with no return for all its energy. But the tree of Life extends roots from Christ into eternity. We will stand like a forest in Heaven, a glorified Garden of GOD, praising Him.

In His Beatitudes, JESUS talked about blessedness, happiness and joy, too. Many people think they are the result of action but they’re actually just the fruit, the natural byproduct of being rooted in The Christ of the Bible.

Where are our roots? May we be rooted and grounded in faith in Christ. And may the beauty of His nourishing Life in us attract others to Him.

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