Echoes From the Campfire

I’m in no mood to be pushed into somethin’ by other people, no matter how good their intentions are.  Whatever I decide to do…it’ll by because I made up my own mind.”
              –Elmer Kelton  (After the Bugles)

    “Let your eyes look forward; fix your gaze straight ahead.  Carefully consider the path for your feet, and all your ways will be established.”
             –Proverbs 4:25-26 (HCSB)
The Psalms are always great to look at for a morning devotion.  The Psalms were a hymnbook for the Israelites.  We often look to them when in need of inspiration, but even though they are simple, they contain doctrine and theology.  They also contain many human moods and how to deal with them.  In the Psalms there is also the activity of God in dealing with mankind, both His enemies and His people.
    The next several Mondays I plan to use the Psalms for the morning “Echo”.  Let them resonate in your mind, soul, and spirit.  Let them guide you, inspire you, and make you ponder the majestic person of God.  The great preacher Charles Spurgeon said, “In the day of his prosperity he sings psalms out of the Word of God, and in the night of his affliction he comforts himself with promises out of the same book.”
    Look at Psalm 1.  This is one of my favorite portions of Scripture.  This is a guide for life and it is the foundation for the rest of the Psalms.  You are on one side or the other:  righteous or ungodly.  To me, this Psalm needs to be read from the King James.  For some reason it is just fitting.  This is also one of those portions of Scripture that should be added to memory and meditated upon often.  Look at how it starts:

         “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.” (1)

It makes you think of the Beatitudes, “blessed”, “to be envied.”  In this Psalm there is a definite separation between the believer and the person of the world, yet so many in the church today do not want this separation or at least want it blurred.

         “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (2)

We are to meditate on God’s Word.  This word means to “think about, recite, contemplate” or in the words of Ira–“ponder.”  We are given instructions to meditate/recite God’s Word.  Think of it when you get up, think of it in the morning hours, at noontime, and in the afternoon.  Ponder them in the evening and as you lay down at night.  When you awaken during the night, ponder His Word.  Or should I ask, do we have other things on our mind?

         “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.” (3)

Obedience to God and His Word and we shall have a stable, secure life that brings us blessings and then we are able to bless others.

         “The ungodly are not so:  but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” (4)

There is no nutritional value in chaff.  Then I will ask, why do “we” want to be so much like them?  There is no root within them in the hard times.  They cannot stand against the winds and waves, especially in the spiritual sense.  The wicked have no depth of character, there is no substance in their being.

         “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, or sinners in the congregation of the righteous. (5) For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous:  but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (6)

Here are five questions to ask:
    1)  Do I walk in the counsel of the wicked?
    2)  Do I stand in the way of sinners?
    3)  Do I sit in the seat of mockers?
    4)  Do I delight in the law/word of the Lord?
    5)  Do I meditate continually on His Word?
Let me warn you; answers to these questions determine your destiny.  Alton H. McEachern states, “Psalm 1 calls for our responsible obedience to God.  It sets in bold relief what matters most:  faith and obedience.  And it warns the faithless that their life-style leads to failure and destruction.”
    Psalm 1, ponder it for it is a great word.  Verses that we should reflect upon over and over and use them to take inventory of our life.  

                              “The law of God is my delight,
                               That cloud by day, the fire by night,
                               Shall be my comfort in distress
                               And guide me through life’s wilderness.”
                                     –James Montgomery