The Blog of Pastor Mike Wilkins
"The long run" referred to in the title of this blog is, in the first place, the many years Mike Wilkins served as West London's solo pastor, and then its Senior Pastor, since he and his wife Deb moved to London (and this church) in 1984.
In these past few years (beginning November 2011,) Mike's various health challenges, particularly a serious and ongoing case of cancer, has added another layer to the "long run" metaphor, and lots to blog about. Mike is currently on an extended Sick Leave, but generally worships with the church family on Sunday mornings.
With the publication of a book he wrote in 2016 entitled "Glory in the Face" (now available electronically and in paperback from Amazon.ca, and other online venders), Mike has just launched a new website, which will serve as a sort of scrapbook for readers of the book, with relevant background photos, for example, of That Last Final Solo Canoe Trip in May, 2011, as well as additional information about the book, and--coming soon--a new set of blog posts, mostly about the peace of God and the joy of the Lord and the face of Christ and the strength to face anything. You'll find the new website now at www.gloryintheface.com.
Oct30ThuOctober 30, 2014
Psalm 1:1-3 ESV
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.
Times have changed. People much younger than I might be surprised to know that I memorized Psalm 1 in Miss Thurston's Grade 6 Class. (How times and Public School Boards have changed.)
These many years later, I have questions. Two of them about this blessed man who is profiled in this first psalm. And another question about chickens and eggs. Three questions in all.
Firstly, about the Psalm 1 Man: Does God bless him because he doesn't walk the way wicked people counsel him to, and because he doesn't stand the way that sinners stand and sit around with scoffers? Or is it the other way around? Does he walk the way he walks and stand where he stands and sit where he sits just because God is blessing him?
Secondly: Is this blessed man firmly rooted and seasonably fruitful and unwithered and prosperous because he delights in the Lord's law and meditates on it `round-the-clock'? Or is this also the other way around? Does he delight and meditate upon God's law just because he is so firmly rooted and seasonably fruitful and unwithered and prosperous?
Thirdly, on another note: which came first, the chicken or the egg?
My years since Grade 6 now total 49, and I have answers. Beginning with Question#3, I'm going with the chicken, not because of anything I find in Psalm 1, but rather because of what is written in Genesis 1. In fact, the answer to Question #3 has been clear since Day#5. "God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, `Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.' And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day."
And there was the particular winged bird we call the first chicken. The chicken's egg of course made its appearance some time later.
Speaking of which, and helped as I am by the chicken, which was blessed by God, and the egg, which was the blessing of God, I am now ready to answer Question#1. Like the Day 5 Chicken, the Psalm 1 Man was blessed, and the blessings were many. The way he walked, where he stood and where he sat. These were all the blessings of God, like so many eggs.
As for answering Question#2, being firmly rooted and fruitful, being non-withering and prosperous are also the blessings of God. More eggs. Dozens of them. And most of them obviously the result of obedience to God. As surely as he commands birds to multiply, so God gives his people his Law and commands them to obey it.
Joshua, for example. To him, the LORD said, "Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Joshua 1:7,8 ESV)
The way God speaks to Joshua, anyone might think that Psalm 1 was written about him.
At any rate, when he was old, Joshua was heard to say, “I am about to go the way of all the earth, and you know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one word has failed of all the good things that the LORD your God promised concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one of them has failed." (Joshua 23:14 ESV)
A Psalm 1 Man, to be sure. Blessed by God, just like a tree planted by streams of water. He yielded seasonal fruit, his leaf did not wither and in all that he did, he prospered.
By the blessing of God, so may you. And so may I.