Gotta Serve Somebody

Psalm 2
1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will tell of the decree: The Lord said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. 8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.”
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Cemeteries are full of foolish folk who imagined a future without God. I’ve done my fair share of funerals and while they can sadden me greatly as many of them were friends or family, most of them were also celebrations. They were celebrations because I was able to rejoice along with the family that had eternal hope (sure promise) that their loved one was not gone forever, but moved on to a much brighter world. And one day, we will see them again. Truly, “Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

On the other hand, there are the Sinatras of this world. You know, to the bitter end, they did it their way. We don’t like to think or talk about submission to Christ’s headship. It may make us feel weak or insignificant to call anyone Master. But in the immortal words of Bob Dylan, “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” May as well be the King of Righteousness instead of the ruler of this world.

Growing Where You're Planted

Psalm 1
1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

This Scripture is fairly straightforward in its implication that we are going to be conditioned by our surroundings. From the friends we choose to associate with and spend our time with to the way we spend our free time, all of it has an affect on who we are becoming. As followers of Jesus, we are not supposed to take our cues from folks whose lives are not examples of righteousness. We should not “hang out” with them. This is not to say that we should not associate with the unrighteous. How are we supposed to minister to those outside the faith if we don’t even know who they are.

The difference here is really about who is affecting who. Are you taking your spiritual food from the Word of God and your relationship with Jesus or are you scavenging the carrion of the world? We are not called to be bottom-feeders, but gleaners of truth instead. Gleaning is the hard work of sifting through the fields and picking up the pieces of grain that sustain life. Bottom-feeding requires no sifting and is completely nondiscriminatory about what is consumed.

What we are feeding on spiritually will always be revealed by our fruit in the long run; garbage in > garbage out. If we are being sustained by the wholesome Word of God, then life is what comes out of us. So, make sure you are trying to make Bible study and prayer a part of your daily spiritual diet.

Here is a worshipful song that puts Psalm 1 to music. Perhaps start with this.