# 43 Psalms of Wisdom (#1) ‘run in such a way that you may win’ (1 Cor. 9:24)

So we now move on to the next genre of Psalms, which are the Wisdom Psalms.
One definition of wisdom is that it is the ability to judge correctly and to follow the best course of action, based on knowledge and understanding.
As I consider the world around me, and the lack of wisdom that is too often displayed, I am very conscious of needing much wisdom from God in these days. Generally though, when we think of wisdom literature in the Bible, we are more likely to turn to Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. As Longman puts it, “in these books we read in concrete ways how God wants us to live our lives. They reveal God’s will in the nitty-gritty and difficult areas of our lives.” (see references # 1). But so do many of the Psalms and the most obvious is Psalm 1.
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
This psalm reminded me of Wayne Cordeiro’s book, “Leading on Empty – refilling your tank and renewing your passion” (Bethany House Publishers 2009) which talks of “four basic courses by which we can live…” They are:
1. “A life of reaction…[when] we plod forward until something forces us to change direction, [e.g.] the loss of a job…the initiative of another person toward us [which] determines our course, but without it, we aren’t motivated to action…a dangerous way to live, but the majority of people [seem to] have chosen this lifestyle, most of them by default.
2. A life of conformity…[when] we live according to the view of the crowd. We float along on the current of popular opinion…We allow how we look to trump what we believe, and we permit what others think to drive what we do…another dangerous way to live. It puts you at the mercy of opinion.
3. A life of independence…[those] who choose [this] cherish the illusion of autonomy. But when they group together with other like-minded people, carefully steering away from the current majority, they form a clan of virtual clones…a self-delusional way to live.
4. A life of intentionality… When we were young, life happened as a matter of course…[but] somewhere along the line, things moved from automatic to manual, from natural to deliberate, and from involuntary to intentional…[e.g.] Healthy marriages require intentionality and planned investment…The scriptures exhort us to ‘run in such a way that you may win’ (1 Cor. 9:24). It is not automatic. If you choose to win, you have achieved half the victory. If you do not choose, you have gained half your defeat.”
Choosing to “win” (which equals “blessedness”) is what Psalm 1 is about. The psalmist (and we don’t know who wrote this one), offers some good advice on how to win/be blessed in life.
First he suggests some activities not to get involved in:
• do not walk in step with the wicked
• do not stand in the way that sinners take
• do not sit in the company of mockers,
Followed by some positive things to adopt for a healthy lifestyle:
• delight is in the law of the Lord
• meditate on his law day and night
It seems pretty simple, but the beginning of wisdom is to take note of these truths and act upon them, and according to the psalmist, whatever else you do you will “prosper”.
A life of real wisdom, is a life of intentionality lived according to God’s wisdom as revealed in his word. In this way we can’t help but be blessed.
How’s your delighting in and meditating on [and responding to] God’s word going?

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