Welcome to my new devotional series created for ALL moms! I often speak to homeschool moms, but this series is for any mom out there who wants to grow in her walk with the Lord and her understanding of the Word as it pertains to motherhood! Please share with your mom friends!
(To listen to this devotional on a podcast along with more in depth study of the rest of Psalm 1, please click below)
When I was very young, about 4 years old, my mom helped me memorize Psalm 1 in the King James version. I didn’t realize at the time that I had a lisp and I can only imagine how it sounded when I got to the verses declaring the man blessed who did not “thit in the theat of the thcornful”!
I can still recite that entire passage(without the lisp) along with a few others I learned at a young age and as an adult, I have been able to remember these passages more than any others, especially when I’ve found myself in extremely difficult circumstances.
When it comes to studying the Psalms, I have found over and over again that there is more packed into each of these little chapters than first meets the eye. Psalm 1 is no exception!
As a mom, I desperately need wisdom. We have access to unlimited amounts of information, but information and wisdom are not the same thing. Psalm 1 introduces God’s instruction in wisdom.
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Have you ever wondered how to have more joy? Verse 1 gives us clear direction in what that looks like: rejecting evil and delighting in Him. Sounds simple enough, right?
While our culture presses into us with the idea that truth is relative, it also removes the belief that much, if anything, can actually be called evil(or sinful). So now, what God calls sin in the Bible is being exalted and lifted up as good when, in fact, it is harmful to people and society. We can reject evil while not rejecting people. The bottom line? There are three things that godly people who are full of joy, don’t do:
1.) The godly do not let themselves live under the influence of sinners. That means that we don’t watch, listen to, meditate on or agree with things that do not line up with God’s Word. We need to think and pray about where those influences might be impacting our lives and remove ourselves from those as much as possible.
We also need to think about this in terms of our children. Are we protecting them from sinful influences God is telling us to while helping them to begin to understand that truth is not relative? As we walk alongside them, are we pointing out the lies around us and declaring truth? Sometimes our kids are believing lies and it comes out in how they defend themselves when they get caught doing something wrong. It’s crucial that we not only call out wrong, but we also clearly, and lovingly replace it with the truth of God’s Word.
2.) The godly do not follow the advice of the wicked. Who are the wicked? Those who do not fear the Lord. They are the enemies of those who love God, who do right and the poor and oppressed. The term “enemy” may seem like a strong term, but the reality is that their hearts are not being led by God and that can and will lead to a life in bondage to sin. So the warning is there for our good.
This is another thing our kids need to know: that God’s boundaries are good. They are there to keep us safe. So when God tells us not to lie or cheat or to stay away from sexual sin, we can be absolutely sure that He is simply caring for us like a good parent would care for their child. Just because Johnny wants to play in the street doesn’t mean it’s good for him. By removing him from danger, we are not trying to ruin his fun, but rather keep him safe. God’s heart toward us is good. It’s so important for our kids to understand that.
3.) The godly do not “join in with mockers”. Mockers hate the Lord, scorn His wisdom and insult anyone who attempts to correct them. I don’t know about you, but I am seeing plenty of this going on in our culture and though we cannot always remove ourselves physically from it, we are called to separate our hearts from it. God calls us to be holy, that means “set apart”. We all want to “belong”, but if we are believers, we belong to Christ and that is our most important identity.
This is another strong principle that will ground our children and keep them anchored as they navigate life. We really have no idea what kind of world they will be living in and that can feel terrifying, but if our kids grow up recognizing and embracing their identity in Christ, it will be far easier for them to stand for righteousness. Isn’t that what we really want for them? If so, it starts by us setting the example. Moms, we don’t have to be perfect at this, but our kids need to see that we are continually trying.
As an older mom, I can tell you that God’s grace is sufficient. God will take all that we offer, bless it and multiply it. We just need to be faithful with what is right in front of us. We have the privilege of loving and raising these kids for Him. May we be found faithful.
(We studied enough to know what not to do, so what should we do? The next verses tell us just that! I encourage you to read through the rest of the Psalm! To hear this devotional and more on Psalm 1, please click below)
Other scripture mentioned: Jeremiah 17:7-8