In Knowing Christ we will be offering what are commonly called “devotions”, though we think it is more helpful to call these posts by their purpose—Knowing Christ. The name also serves as a reminder to all of us to stay focused on the Lord Jesus Christ when reading the Bible or praying or even eating a sandwich… He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). All things are through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:9-20). Jesus explains the Scriptures and makes our hearts burn within us (Luke 24). Compared to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord, everything else is garbage (Philippians 3:7-4:1). We pray these posts are used to stir our affections for Him by His word and His grace.
Don’t miscalculate when you meditate
If you’re like me, when you read Psalm 1 you may have a tendency to put yourself in the picture. “I must be the blessed man. If I do these things and refrain from these other things, I’ll be solid like an oak. I am the tree.”
But here’s the deal: We ain’t the tree, bro/sis.
The blessed man is singular. One Man.
All we? We like sheep. Masses massive astray. Astray in the way of sinners (Isaiah 53:6). We walk around the wicked, stand with our sinning peers, and finally sit cozy as scoffers. We mock God. Ever mocked God? Nah, we just pay our cable provider and watch others do it for us.
Am I ranting about TV? Not specifically. But is it entertainment to watch someone spit on my wife, or drag her name through the dirt… ? How much more my Savior?
Media may be the “least of our worries” but it reveals how lightly we take sin. And if you’re like me, you think too little about your sin and too much about your “righteousness”.
But if I read Psalm 1 and think of myself as the tree–it’s a miscalculation.
My friends, Jesus is the Blessed Man. He is the Tree and we are the branches (John 15:5).
Before you start thinking this is just my interpretation, consider this:
“Blessed is the man that has not gone away in the counsel of the ungodly”. This is to be understood of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord Man. “Blessed is the man that has not gone away into the counsel of the ungodly,” as “the man of earth did,” 1 Corinthians 15:47 who consented to his wife deceived by the serpent. –Aurelius Augustin, Exposition of the Psalms
And above citing a saint, we can see this is about Jesus because He is the Only One who fulfills it. Let’s just say it. If there’s no Jesus, this Psalm is a lie. It lies there on the page as unfilled (and unfulfillable) prophecy.
Who will be the blessed man if not Jesus Christ?
Don’t raise your hand unless you want it to wither
Thus says the LORD:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man,
and makes flesh his strength,
whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He is like a shrub in the desert…
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose trust is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted by water,
that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes,
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought,
for it does not cease to bear fruit.”
O LORD, the Hope of Israel,
all who forsake You shall be put to shame;
Those who turn away from You shall be written in the earth,
for they have forsaken the LORD,
the Fountain of Living Water.
–Jeremiah 17:5-8, 13 (ESV)
Meditation is affectionate knowing of the LORD
How are your affections for Jesus today?
He is the LORD and the singular Blessed Man. Is your trust in Him? Do you know Him?
When the end comes, will you blow away like chaff? Will you wither?
Or, are you blessed because He was nailed to a tree as a curse for your sin, that He might bless you with His righteousness?
We will meditate on this Great Exchange in the next post.