There’s a 1970’s song, “Don’t Let the Green Grass Fool Ya,” released by the late Wilson Pickett, and later performed and recorded by a number of pop and country artists. The opening lines go like this.
Girl, try to remember when we didn’t have no shoes
We stuck together, just me and you
It took a long time to get what we got today
Now you wanna give it all up for another guy
Baby, I’m tellin’ you
Don’t let the green grass fool ya
Don’t let it change your mind
The song is about a woman leaving her husband for another man. They had been together when they had nothing, through the struggles and challenges of life. But now the grass looks greener with someone else and she’s about to give up this relationship for another one.
In one of the great chapters of the Bible, Psalm 1, the writer warns us against leaving our relationship with the Lord and turning toward the ways of the wicked. The Psalmist begins with this contrast.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night. (Ps 1:1-2)
There is an obvious comparison between our marriage relationship and the relationship we enjoy with the Lord. If we fail to nurture either relationship, it can grow cold. Become stale. And leave us feeling distant.
“How do I get closer to God?” is a serious question often asked by those seeking spiritual communion. It is one often addressed in the Psalms.
The Psalms deals with issues that have a common thread through the history of humankind. How do you deal with difficult times? How do you pray when your heart is breaking? Where do you turn when life throws you an unexpected curve? Why do the wicked seem to prosper when I’m struggling? And more importantly, “Where’s God when I’m hurting.
In the last quarter of the year, we want to consider some of these themes in the Psalms to help us sustain and grow a deeper spiritual intimacy with God.
In the very first Psalm, we are presented with a series of contrasts describing two basic ways of life.
(1) There is the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked.
Righteous people reverence God. Respect spiritual values. Walk in Divine wisdom. And avoid evil. Wicked people revel in unrighteousness. Live according to their lusts. And embrace evil.
(2) Everyone has 2 fundamental choices in life: Follow the path of reverence or walk the road of rebellion.
The person who is blessed by God does not take his counsel from the ungodly. The wise man wrote, “As he thinks in his heart, so he is” (Prov. 23:7). How we think affects our feelings, our attitudes, our actions, and ultimately shapes our character.
Righteous people reject the advice, values and attitudes of wicked, worldly people. They do not “stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers,” who mock God, defy Truth and ridicule righteousness. The righteous are separated from the world and saturated with the Word.
(3) Our choices lead to two different qualities of life.
The Psalmist uses two vivid metaphors to mark the stark contrast between the saint and sinner. Godly people are like the tree situated by the water. They are sustained by the nourishment that feeds its roots. They proposer. They’re fruitful. They enjoy God’s blessing.
The wicked are like chaff. They are unstable. Unsettled. And uncertain. Their lives lack true significance and lasting value. They are easily blown away.
(4) These two decisions produce two dramatically different results in life.
As we face two distinct decisions and differing directions of life, each one produces its own consequence. The way of the wicked ends in ruin. The road of the righteous results in reward.
If you’re struggling either in your spiritual or marital relationship, and the grass looks greener on the other side, remember this: the grass is greener where you water it.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman