God executes his judgment against evil and against evildoers. The righteous desire justice in the world. They live according to God’s word. They want to see his salvation come to all. Evil is opposition to God. It must therefore be defeated. When God judges sinners, his people are vindicated. Glory to God for his righteous judgment!

Psalm 1. The psalm serves as an introduction to the book. It emphasis the joy, pleasure, success, and divine approval of the righteous, functioning as a recommendation to everyone of the way of the righteous. It presents two ways, that of the righteous and of the wicked, showing the end of each one and how each end is tied to the choice that one makes. The end is determined and carried out by God. We are either righteous or wicked, in God’s eyes. No other option exists. Choosing the good way means rejecting association with, and influence of, sinners, besides constantly concentrating on God’s law. The figure of the tree suggest both stability and security, as well as the permanent connection to the source of spiritual nutrition. In the end, the psalm calls to mind God’s action, which reveals the good way through the law, offers satisfaction to man through it, judges without encountering resistance, and guarantees the success of the righteous.

To be blessed/happy, we must choose the way of the righteous, remove ourselves from the influence of sinners, concentrate upon God’s word, connect to the source of blessing, and recognize that God invites us to the pleasure of his fellowship and grants to all the proper reward.

This is a partial translation of the new series on the first book of Psalms, begun today on the “Deus Conosco” devotional site.

SEEK: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you” Mt 6.33 HCSB.

THINK: Seeking means priority, maximum effort, and defined focus. It implies confidence in God to provide what is necessary, as one dedicates time to the search. The kingdom is to put God above all, first “(1) in importance; (2) in point of time, and (3) in emphasis” (Coffman). Justice is the practice of righteousness, obedience to the divine will. Seek is a strong, intense verb. Continue reading

exclude-fence

Psalm 101. As the one responsible for the spiritual well-being of the nation of Israel, the king declares his intention to make the people do the will of God and to cultivate loyalty and justice (1). Aware of the strong influence that others exercise, he wants to surround himself with the faithful and people of integrity (6). Continue reading

GraceGrace takes care of sin, breaks its power, releases from its condemnation. But some take a lax approach to sin because of grace. After all, God is going to forgive, regardless — so they think. Such an approach comes close to the attitude that Paul anticipates when he writes about grace.

What shall we say then? Are we to remain in sin so that grace may increase?
Romans 6.1 NET Continue reading