Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. -Psalm 119:105
I have heard it said that the answers to all of life’s questions may be found in the Bible. I don’t hear that claim being made about other books or programs– just the Bible. Some may make that claim, but I have found that the Bible backs it up with a proven track record. I have been through dark paths in my lifetime and the light of God’s Scripture has always managed to shed some light on the road as I journey closer to Him.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. -Psalm 1:1-3
My mother always told me that “birds of a feather flock together.” Of course, that was intended to keep me from associating with people she deemed of poor character (by the way, she was usually right– although I didn’t see it at the time). Much in the same way, our Heavenly Father wants us to avoid people who are likely to drag us down and take us away from Him.
Some people like to complain about preachers that promote a “Prosperity Gospel” in their teaching. Funny, but I see the words prosperity mentioned in more than one place in the Bible– and it is usually connected to loving God and trying to live a life of obedience to Him. Don’t get me wrong, I see how things can be taken out of context and expectations can arise that will never be satisfied (sometimes, thank Him, He says “no”). I guess, too, that a lot depends on what one considers “prospering” to be. To me, prosperity comes in the form of a deep and abiding satisfaction I get when walking closely with the Lord.
For I was envious of the arrogant
As I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
-Psalm 73:3 (NASB)
I have seen the movie “God Is Not Dead” three times now: once in the cinema, once on DVD at home with my wife and the third time with a small group I belong to. I enjoy the movie for many reasons, but one moment in particular stands out each time I see it. An old lady suffering from dementia seems to come out of an almost comatose state and explains to her son (who is the epitome of greed and selfishness) the prison of sin he is encased in that is too comfortable for him to see. He mocks her for being such a good person and suffering in an almost catatonic state, while he is her opposite– a bad person, yet living a perfect life (in his view). Suddenly, she speaks and tells him of the prison of sin he is in that he can’t see that will hold him until it is too late– if he is not willing to repent.
I think it is true that the devil can give people the success they crave, leaving them feeling independent and in no need of God. They cling to the things of this world that they can see and which bring them instant gratification, yet in the end are temporary and gone without so much as a moment’s notice.
I thank God that it is not necessary to have someone deliver me a message of the prison of sin I do not see around me. How about you?
The Eternal is my shepherd, He cares for me always.
He provides me rest in rich, green fields
beside streams of refreshing water.
He soothes my fears;
He makes me whole again,
steering me off worn, hard paths
to roads where truth and righteousness echo His name.
Even in the unending shadows of death’s darkness,
I am not overcome by fear.
Because You are with me in those dark moments,
near with Your protection and guidance,
I am comforted.
You spread out a table before me,
provisions in the midst of attack from my enemies;
You care for all my needs, anointing my head with soothing, fragrant oil,
filling my cup again and again with Your grace.
Certainly Your faithful protection and loving provision will pursue me
where I go, always, everywhere.
I will always be with the Eternal,
in Your house forever. -Psalm 23 (The Voice)
I was reading an article about a more recent Bible translation called “The Voice” that has made its way into a very crowded marketplace in recent times when I stumbled upon its rendering of the 23rd Psalm. I found it quite nice and thought it deserved a spot in my listing of posts! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do and derive equal comfort from its words.