Sunday, November 1, 2009

Divine Portrait of Prosperity: Psalm 1

It is the first of the month and, as is my habit, I am praying through the first five psalms — one hundred and fifty psalms divided by thirty days in a month equals fives psalms a day. By the end of this month I will have gone through the book of Psalms, ready to begin again on the first of next month. I have been doing this for twenty years or so and it is been a very profitable practice.
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.
(Psalm 1:2-3)
Here is a divine portrait of prosperity, and how it comes. Picture a tree, well irrigated and well established, healthy and strong. It is always bringing forth fruit. When the harvest comes, it offers an abundance that bless many. Afterwards, it does not dry out or wither, but sets about to produce more. Picture a man or woman who is like that tree — whatever he or she does goes well and finds success. That is divine prosperity.

How does one get to that place? First, by avoiding those things that lead in the opposite direction — the counsel of those who have no regard for God, the path of those who do not walk in His ways, those who mock the good and prefer evil (v. 1). The fruit of their lives will be bitter and toxic, blown away like in the wind like chaff (v. 5).

It is not enough, however, to avoid evil things. They must be replaced with the good. The secret to that is found in verse 2: Delighting in the law of the Lord and constantly meditating in it. The Hebrew word for “law,” torah, actually means “instruction.” God has given us instructions in His Word that lead to prosperity in all things. Our part is to delight in it and meditate on it continually. To dig into it with relish and chew on it for all its worth. To pursue it diligently for the purpose of doing it.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8)
Now, notice what it does not say. It does not say that God will make our way prosperous for us. It says that we will make our way prosperous. God will show us the way, but we must be diligent to walk in it. It is in meditating that we take hold of God’s wise direction, but it is in doing it that we make our way prosperous, for the instruction of the Lord leads us into good success.

God has provided us the way to be firmly established and fruitful, to enjoy divine prosperity and success in every area of life. It is living in and living by the instruction of the Lord.