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Psalms: Songs for All of Life

Psalm 1, NRSV


Two commands direct us from the small-minded world of self-help to the large world of God’s help. First, “Come, behold the works of the Lord.” Take a long, scrutinizing look at what God is doing. This requires patient attentiveness and energetic concentration. Everybody else is noisier than God. The headlines and neon lights and amplifying systems of the world announce human works. But what of God’s works? They are unadvertised but also inescapable, if we simply look. They are everywhere. They are marvelous. But God has no public relations agency. He mounts no publicity campaign to get our attention. He simply invites us to look …

The second command is “Be still, and know that I am God.” Be still. Quit rushing through the streets long enough to become aware that there is more to life than your little self-help enterprises. When we are noisy and when we are hurried, we are incapable of intimacy—deep, complex, personal relationships. If God is the living center of redemption, it is essential that we be in touch with and responsive to that personal will. If God has a will for this world and we want to be in on it, we must be still long enough to find out what it is (for we certainly are not going to learn by watching the evening news). Baron von Hugel, who had a wise word on most subjects, always held out that “nothing was ever accomplished in a stampede.”

— Eugene Peterson, Earth and Altar

  • Reality of Life: doing the right thing or the wrong thing might not turn out the way it should be
  • Psalm 1 might be too simplistic of view of life, things in black and white
  • in what, or who, are you rooted?
  • Warning
  • Ignoring God is more problematic than breaking His laws
  • We become dehumanized when we root ourselves in things that hurt us
  • Practice
  • v2 – meditate day and light
  • We need God
  • God is available, it’s not hard to find, we just have to stop running away
  • God loves you
  • Promise
  • v3 – like tree, growing and producing fruits, big and small

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