He is like a tree planted by the streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and his leaves do not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not like this, rather like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
(Psalm 1, 4 – 6)

 

Dear readers,

 

someone gave me the best-selling book written by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari. The title of the book:  "A Brief History of Mankind - Kizur Toldot Ha-Enoshut", and on the last page the author asks a very interesting question. He writes: "The most important question of mankind is not "What are we not allowed to do”? but "What do we want to become?" To put it bluntly: "What do we intend to want?"

 

I do already encounter this question in this ancient psalm. What do I want to become, what do I want to want? Do I want to live a life that is in God´s eyes like chaff in the wind? Or do I want to live a life that grows and flourishes like a tree in God' s garden of faith? And finally: Where does my path of life lead me to? What is my goal?

 

The prayer of the psalm shows me the consequences of my decision: do I remain on the senseless path of remoteness from God? Or do I entrust my life's journey to the Lord Jesus Christ and walk together with him? Do I trust God who is like a father to me? Do I let myself be guided by God's word? Do I have a heart that listens to the Holy Spirit?

 

Which way do I chose for my path through life? The Lord Jesus Christ says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14, 6). Do I want eternal life with God, the Father in heaven? Or do I stubbornly and incorrigible continue on my way towards the distance from God? Will my life end at some point like chaff in the wind?

 

The symbol of the tree tells me that faith is a long process of growing. Every tree starts out small. With a seed. A tree takes years to grow. It needs water and light, it needs a good location. So is faith. The little seed of faith wants to blossom and grow, it wants to mature. So that life can succeed.

 

When "righteous" is used in the Psalm, it does not refer to  “special saints”. It is not about constantly asking oneself: what am I not allowed to do? Being a Christian begins differently. Being a Christian starts with grace. The apostle Paul says (Romans 3:24):  “And all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” – “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess your faith and are saved”. (Romans 10, 10)

 

I wish you success in life. I wish you that your faith will grow towards heaven like a tree. I wish you that you will travel towards your goal with Jesus Christ, according to your heavenly calling. You are called to a life that can grow and flourish like a tree in God's garden. Your life should not end like chaff blown away by the wind. I wish you growth in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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© 2020 Hans-Peter Nann, Frankfurt am Main