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What does the LORD know?  Again and again Scripture makes the point that the Creator is aware of all things “for the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer” as we read in 1 Peter 3 v.12 last month: but Peter was quoting from Psalm 34 which we will soon read.

The very first Psalm, which we read today, sees David affirming, “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous” [v.6] – in contrast “ … the way of the wicked will perish.”   They will perish because  they do not know, do not want to know in any detail, the ways of God or even that he exists – but there is no middle way.

The Psalms are very stimulating to the spiritual mind, we often feel it is a pity that they are all read in the first 3 months of the year.   We learn of God’s ways; Psalm 18 tells us, “This God – his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” [v.30]  How much may we need a true faith that that “shield” exists during 2016!?

The way of the righteous is wonderfully described in the first 2 verses of the very first Psalm – which we read this morning. “Blessed is the man (mg. ‘godly person’) 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 (mg: instruction)  of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”

David is marking the stepping stones of progress in overcoming ungodly ways.  First, he or she walks past such ways, then there is no chance to stop and look at such ways, still less to sit down and share a seat with them.

The result is that – those pursuing the way of righteousness are – David says in Psalm 23 – “like a tree planted by streams of water … in all that he (or she) does” [v.3] they prosper – especially spiritually – and – “even though” they, like David, may have times when they “walk through the valley of the shadow of death”, they will say in faith, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me …” [v4]

David’s son Solomon absorbed his father’s words, in Proverbs 15 v.9 he makes the point, “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but he loves him who pursues righteousness.”

May we all read and meditate on God’s word throughout 2013 –  knowing, i.e., being absolutely convinced that the LORD is with us – because “the LORD knows the way of the righteous.”