On the Word of God Made Text and the Word of God Made Flesh

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Psalm 1:1–4 (NIV)

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.

CONSIDER THIS

Already there is a ton going on in this garden project. So we started with Galatians 5:22–23 and the fruit of the Spirit,

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

and we pivoted to James 1:21 and the salvation-garden.

In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. (The Message)

Now we find ourselves in Psalm 1. Where is all this going, you may wonder. It’s going deep down in the ground, friends. We are getting down to the ground of the garden where we will find ordinary soil and miraculous seeds.

And what, after all, is a garden? Thanks for asking. A garden is an incubator for seeds. It is a seedbed. The seed is the Word of God. Our lives are the incubator, the seedbed, the demonstration plot for the living, active, powerful Word of God.

So if the seed is the Word of God and the garden or seedbed is the mundane soil of our ordinary lives, and God (not us) is the gardener, how does this incubator work? What is our part in this work? We see it clearly and elegantly stated in verse two. But let’s grab the opening line for context:

Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.

Let’s get clear on something. The word “Law” is something of a technical term here. It doesn’t mean the “laws” so much as it means the first five books of the Bible—the Torah. In the biggest frame, the Hebrew Bible is made up of the Law and the Prophets. Similarly, the New Testament is made up of the Gospels and the Letters. The Gospels bring to fulfillment the Law and the Prophets and the churches carry this fulfillment forward into all the world.

The 150 Psalms are ordered into five books, with a broad sense of correspondence to the first five books of the Bible. Of course, at the time, the psalmist did not have the New Testament. When I read “law of the Lord” in the Old Testament, I read it as “Word of the Lord” extending its meaning to the whole of the Bible—the crystallizing coherence of which is Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, the Word made flesh. 

Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the [Word] of the Lord,
and who meditates on his [Word] day and night.

As Christians, we read the whole Bible with Jesus. Jesus, via the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, interprets the Bible to us, teaching us the Story and the stories, fulfills its precepts and promises within us, and enfleshes and expresses it through our lives together in the world. The psalmist gives us a snapshot vision of what it looks like when this happens in a human life:

That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. 

We will dig deeper into this invitation to delight in the Word of God tomorrow and the biblical meaning of meditation. For now, spend some time meditating on Psalm 1. 

Wake up sleeper! You were made to be a flourishing, fruitful vision of true prosperity for your good, others gain, and God’s glory. 

THE PRAYER

Farmer God, thank you for the vision of flourishing fruitful prosperity. Thank you for the way you put this vision into a Word who became a person, indeed whose name is Jesus. Jesus, you are the Word made flesh, the vision of a prosperity beyond imagination. Holy Spirit, thank you for inspiring human beings with the Word of God and causing them to write it down on scrolls and now in books. Lead us into this book, which is like no other, in a way like never before. We are praying in Jesus’s name, amen. 

THE QUESTION

Are you seeing the intricate relationship between Jesus, the Word of God made flesh and the Word of God as revealed in the text and how the Holy Spirit fuses these horizons and so forms our life and faith within them? Are we going too deep too fast? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

3 COMMENTS

  1. If and when we can grasp the image given to us in Jesus’s parable of the vine which he gave to us in John 15, then at least for me, this all comes together. Prune me Father, and cause me to be fruitful, into the image of your Son.

  2. The Jesus Book

    I was a church attending cultural Chirstian. One day it was revealed to me that what I thought was belief in Christ was nothing more than my passive acknowledgement of church doctrine. Suddenly I realized that I was a Christian in name only, so to be honest with myself, I rejected Christianity and asked whatever or whoever Created the universe to show me the truth.

    About two years later I heard two people tell how they had experienced the living Jesus Christ, and, in a moment, Jesus became real and present to me. I’ve never been the same. The risen Jesus working inside of me prompted me to read the Bible and the words jumped off the pages and thrilled my heart. Reading the written Word flooded my soul with the living Word and began to become flesh in me by transforming my thoughts, feelings, and desires and changing the way I live from the inside out. That process has never stopped! I still delight in the words of the Bible. Ever since I first began to read it, I’ve only missed a handful of days exploring it. The words echo in my mind and heart throughout the day.

    Open your heart and surrender your life to the ever-living Jesus. Then He will lead you to His Book and make the words convict, delight, heal, and transform you from within. Read the Jesus-book — red or black the words will impact you deeply!

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