Tag Archives: eternity

Seeing Psalm 1 through the Right Lens

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1, ESV)

The contrast made in this short psalm is quite distinct. Sadly, the world often cannot see the points that are being made. They see an unrighteous man who becomes rich, a scoffer who has no worries, a lazy man who is able to live comfortably off of the generosity of others and they perceive that the psalmist was wrong.

The problem is that they are looking at this psalm through the wrong lens. Instead of looking at it through the lens of present day-to-day life, it must be seen through the lens of final judgment and eternity. In eternity, the righteous man of verses 1-3 will truly prosper. While that prosperity will be seen in many ways in physical life (physical possessions being the least of those ways), it will ultimately be seen in eternity. Equally, while the unrighteous may seem to get everything they want on this Earth, in eternity they will lose it all.

Remember the importance of seeing things through the right lens, for it is the only way we can keep our focus on Christ as we should. The final phrase of the psalm is the most important: “the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

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Feast or Famine?

In Matthew 22:1-14, Jesus will bestow upon those listening yet another parable. It is a parable depicting the kingdom of Heaven. The basic premise of the parable is that God has made the kingdom available to all, but only a few have shown themselves worthy of the honor of being a part of the wedding feast. With this in mind, consider the differences to be seen in this parable between feast and famine.

The feast was prepared and ready to go. The only thing that was needed was guests to partake of it. Initially the invitation was sent to the king’s first choice of guests (Vs. 2). All they had to do to obtain a part in the feast was show up prepared for it. Upon the refusal of the first list of guests the king then sends his servants everywhere to find the lesser members of society and bring them in to the feast (Vs. 9). Therefore, by the time the orders were finished, all had been invited to partake in this feast.

Consider the honors bestowed to those who chose the feast. They were given the opportunity to set at a feast in the very presence of the king. This should have been considered a great honor by all, yet only a few took advantage of it. The same holds true for the kingdom of God today. Though many are called, only few take advantage of the opportunity to remain in the very presence of God.

They were not given seating based upon social status. It did not matter from whence they came or who they knew, only that they had answered the call to come to the feast. This is God’s attitude toward men today also. He does not care who we know, what we have done, or where we live, but only whether or not we are willing to take part in the appointed feast.

Hence, this feast was a great opportunity for all to come forward to be in the presence of the king and to take part in the glorious nature of the feast set before them. So the option is also laid before us today. We have the opportunity to take part in a great Heavenly feast in eternity, but we must be willing to make our plans to be present.

On the other side of the coin is the famine, which the remainder of the individuals portrayed in this parable received. They laughed and scoffed at the king when he invited them to his feast. They refused to come and participate with him and thus were not again offered entrance into the feast. Instead, the king gave them famine. The king sent forth his armies to destroy them and their city (Vs. 7). They had nothing left by the time the king was finished with them, and did not have any opportunity to take part in the feast after that point. There are many in the world today that fit this bill. They are unwilling to answer the call of God with anything other than derision and scorn. God says that He will take care of them and their attitude at the appropriate time.

There is also another type of individual which received famine in the parable. The one who tries to come to the feast unprepared will not be allowed participate in the feast (Vs. 11-14). This individual is one who seeks to gain the rewards, but because he seeks to do things his own way is unprepared and not given entrance. Unfortunately, this is typical of many in the religious world today. They want to come to the feast, but they want to come on their own terms. However, the terms of the king are the only terms that matter and those who refuse to adhere to those standards will receive nothing but famine in return.

The parable of the wedding feast is a very powerful and vivid parable in portraying the judgment of God upon mankind on that final day. We must ever prepare ourselves to be seated at the feast, so that we are not left with famine.

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