Psalm 128

A fork in the path in the woods

Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in obedience to him.

I don't like the word, “obedience.” It makes me feel like God is some sort of task master. I do like the word, “blessed.” I like the idea that God is doing something special for me.

These double feelings are ones that I'm guessing I'm not alone in having. If we are really honest with ourselves we prefer “blessed” over “obedience.”

What am I supposed to do with my two sets of feelings?

Perhaps, I need to think about them a bit differently. What if blessed is related to obedience but not in the sense that blessed is a reward but as a state of being living an obedient life? Is that splitting hairs? Perhaps, but it resonates a bit with me.

Eugene Peterson in the Message translates this passage like this, “All you who fear GOD, how blessed you are! How happily you walk on his smooth straight road!”

Do you see the slight difference in how Peterson takes this from the NIV in the opening? He translates “obedience” as “happily you walk on his smooth straight road.” One might even say that as we walk on the way we experience blessing.

I want to live God's way. When I live God's way I am blessed. The blessing is not the result of obedience. The blessing is the reality, I experience this state of being through walking on God's smooth, straight road.

What I'm wrestling with today: “In whose way am I walking, mine or God's?”


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