25 July – Additional Notes

PSALM 1: THE SECRET TO PROSPERITY

If the Book of Job over the last three days of Breadcrumbs is about the sovereignty of God (regardless of us and what we’re currently experiencing – whether we’re happy with our prosperous and peaceful lives or sitting on the ash heap), and if we managed to catch a glimpse of Father God’s sovereign authority through Job’s experience, and if we have at all ‘given up’ and ‘given in’ as Job had done, then these next readings from the Book of Psalms are a fitting follow-on for lifting us up and raising our eyes…

Although more than a millennium has passed between yesterday’s Breadcrumb in Job’s lifetime and today’s chapter (Job is likely to have lived at the time of Abraham and many of these Psalms written by King David of Israel. their second king, lived around 1000BC) these songs and poems will hopefully now lead us to understand our Creator God’s own description of Himself in the last two Breadcrumbs.[a] By singing about who our Maker really is, King David’s collection of Psalms (poems and songs), written around the time of the books of 1st and 2nd Samuel and 1st Chronicles – The Golden Age of Israel – hold an intimate insight into our indescribable Father, the information of which is certainly something worth singing about…

It all started when a young shepherd boy, named David from Bethlehem in Israel, began to formulate his own ideas about the Creator God from what he had learned through his own experiences. He did this when playing his harp while looking after his Dad’s sheep. After a childhood prophecy that then took 14 years to come true, and still feeling inadequate, the 30-year old David had finally become King of Israel and Shepherd of God’s people.[b] But what happened to his private prayers, poems and songs since that time is utterly astounding! I’m convinced that this shepherd boy couldn’t possibly have imagined how his lyrics would be translated into almost all of the world’s languages, sold in the world’s best-selling book of all time, and then infused into hundreds of thousands of modern-day songs, as a basis and inspiration for ‘praise’ worship today – almost three millenniums later!

After the Creator God’s earth-shattering speech in the Book of Job, our Father God now takes us by the hand in a very gentle way, to lead us away from our own personal ash heaps and through our own storms, by telling us that there’s two ways to go from here. Forgetting what is behind us and straining toward what’s ahead[c], He wants us to choose today the path to LIFE from here on in. So, if seeing Father God’s sovereignty in the Book of Job causes you to worship, then the Book of Psalms will help you find the words. These songs will in time help you to develop a ‘fear of the Lord’ which leads to wisdom (the Book of Proverbs). This fear begins in Psalm 1 where the Lord makes a distinction at the very outset of what I’m calling the second half of Part 1 in the Creator’s Epic Play.

If you tuned into my Breadcrumbs yesterday, you would have heard an incredible speech from the Creator God. With the history books of Part 1 now behind us and the Poetry and Prophetic books ahead, the Creator seems to be saying – we all now know how the story ends if general history continues unchanged.  If I could imagine what Father God would say at this point in the story it would sound something like this…

“So then, let me take you on a journey back through time from the very beginning (as my speech in Job c38-42 described) but this time I’m overlaying the story (HIStory) in my creative way over the coming months. I’ll show you the same story between now and September, but from several different angles (not from a human history angle – we all now know how that story turned out – but from an emotional and spiritual angle) so that you’ll see history and the plight of humanity and the Stage of LIFE from My perspective and through your Father’s eyes.”

So, from this point on, when it comes to our final destination, this is not about a story between Jews and non-Jews (Gentiles), but instead a distinction between the wicked and the righteous. In Jerusalem there are many gates, and each are named for the destination that the gate and the road leads to. Some gates are quite close together and yet their destinations are so far apart. In this same way, Father God wants us to know that there’s a righteous gate and a wicked gate. Our life road can appear to be pointing in the right direction at the outset and it’s close enough to what one may consider is a ‘righteous’ gate. However, in time, we are led down a road that’s considerably off course from what our Maker had hoped when He first designed us in our mother’s wombs.[d]

The righteous gate begins with the Word of God [v2] and leads to trees, vibrant leaves, water and fruit. [v3] The ‘wicked gate’ starts with human counsel [v1] and leads to wind and chaff. [v4] If you want to be sure between His sheep and the goats[e] and if you don’t want to miss out, the choice is simple from the beginning and it doesn’t get any more complicated along the way. You’re embarking on a life journey that forges a lifestyle governed be one guiding principle: “Don’t sit, walk, or stand…”

But if you’re thinking that this is more rules to follow in another world religion, then take a minute to look again. This story from the beginning until now, has only ever been about a relationship and the connector is a thing called “blessing”.[f] Blessed is the one who… [v1] And what greater blessing on earth is there but to have Father God intimately aware and involved in our ‘way’ here? [v6a] Our Maker not only ‘know’ our way, but actually ‘in’ our journey and our life path. Now if that isn’t the greatest secret to a prosperity worth having – I’m stumped for knowing what is! Yet even more importantly than that: this 3,000-year-old Psalm shows how to be restored to our Father God in such a complete and perfect way so that we’re able to stand one day in His Assembly of The Righteous [v5], stand upright with chin held high Eternally in His presence, coming face-to-face with our Maker: The Living God, and never to be separated from Him again.[g]

CLICK to return to today’s “Daily Breadcrumbs”

[a] Job 38-41

[b] 2 Samuel 7:18-29

[c] Philippians 3:13-14

[d] Psalm 139:13

[e] Matthew 25:33

[f] Deuteronomy 28:1-14

[g] Genesis 3:22-24 and Revelation 22:3

 

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