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Advice helps us decide who is the happy man – the person who is taking his advice from the right source.
The most important question is, Where do you get your advice about living, about the meaning of life? From the supermarket tabloid? From Entertainment Tonight? From the Jerry Springer Show? Or from God’s word. Not all advice is created equal. There is good advice and there is bad advice. Good advice comes from God’s book, containing God’s values. There is a group of people who represent the worst possible source of advice-ungodly advice.
This psalm divides all advice into two great categories: good and evil. Often times it may not be as easy to recognize the distinction between the two categories as is stated here, but often recognizing the difference is just as black and white as it is portrayed in this passage.
When we speak of law, it has a heavy, restrictive idea-things we cannot do. The low of the lord is more like instruction. It tells us the right way and the wrong way to do things. An instruction manual when written well and used appropriately helps us to understand why some things work and others don’t it tells us what things to avoid, what things to make sure and not leave out or fail to tighten so that our project turns our well. That’s what it is all about so that our project of living doesn’t end in the scrap heap. So that we don’t come to the end of putting together a life only to find out that we left out the things that really work. Or helping us repair our life when we find out that we got it all put together backwards. These instructions are found in the laws, so we should love this instruction book, filled on advice for living.
The truly happy man is one who not only consults God’s word in hard times – he is one who loves the book and reads it continually. It is the Bible, God’s little instruction book that is the true guide, helping us in all areas of life. The truly happy man mediates in the word of God day and night.
Then we go out into the laboratory of life. We observe, we test, we experiment to see just how what we have read and learned can be put into practice. One way to teach kids to love the word of God is to read to them from the great Bible stories.
Life is filled with difficult circumstances. It is precisely at times of great difficulty when the ability to drink of the deep waters of life. A local bank advertises: other banks have branches, ours has roots. There are times when we need roots that go deep into God’s sustaining water. Then, when the unrighteous face the same circumstances, they do not have the depth to sustain them.
If we have partaken of the advice of the wicked, if we have spent our substance in riotous living, the only thing left is the chaff. Someone said that to be able to look back and say, I have lived well is to have doubled one’s existence. If we live within the framework of God’s advice, we will not dry up and blow away. We will be sustained by God himself.
The ultimate test comes as one lives his or her life. The psalmist gives us this reassurance. The LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.