The Reading: Psalm 1:1-6
“In all he does, he prospers” (v3.) RSV
This verse is such an encouragement. The Christian whose “delight is in the law of the Lord” (v.2) will “prosper”. Now a warning, “prosper” does not mean grow sleek and wealthy. It quite clearly says that what he “does” (v.3) will prosper. And what are we doing? The follower of Jesus Christ will be doing the works that he did, and that he has sent his followers to do. That person will be fruitful in bringing in the kingdom of God on earth. He or she will be a peacemaker and a spreader of the Word of God.
It is of course true that God has promised to give us food and clothing (Matt. 6:31-33), and in a general sense if we work hard and honestly, our labours will usually bring us material growth and prosperity. That is the law of nature. But it is sadly true that many, many people work hard in slave-like conditions and receive hardly any benefit.
But the Christian, whether he prospers materially or not, can work the works of him who called him. He can bring blessing and prosperity to those around him.
Another warning. When it says “delight in the law …” it does not mean only spending time reading the Bible, and learning verses, and having theological thoughts: the Pharisees spent their time doing that! It is referring to reading with a desire to be changed and to try to live out the “law of the Lord”. The person who does that will prosper in “all he does” (v.3).
Help me, O Lord, to find out not only what You have done for me, but also how I can live in such a way that pleases You, and enables me to be fruitful. Amen.
1. What did the foolish man do wrong, and the wise man right?
2. What does James teach about obedience?