First, a little recap. If Psalm 1 is the introduction to the whole book of Psalms, then I am here invited into a life of blessedness: the very first word of the whole book is the word “blessed” (אַשְׁרֵי).
The word signifies: “a heightened state of happiness and joy, implying very favorable circumstances, often resulting from the kind acts of God.” (Hebrew/Aramaic to English Dictionary and Index to the NIV Old Testament from Zondervan NIV Exhaustive Concordance ed. by Edward W. Goodrick, John R. Kohlenberger III, and James A. Swanson. Copyright ©1999, 1990 by the Zondervan Corporation Grand Rapids, Michigan 49530 All rights reserved. Electronic text prepared by OakTree Software, Inc. Version 1.0)
And the Psalm says (verse 1):
אַשְׁרֵי־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָלַךְ בַּעֲצַת רְשָׁעִים וּבְדֶרֶךְ חַטָּאִים לֹא עָמָד וּבְמוֹשַׁב לֵצִים לֹא יָשָׁב
“How blessed is the [person] who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” (more…)
This past summer I preached for the evening services at the Family Bible Camp at the Albright Park Camp & Retreat Center in Reed City, Michigan.
It was a very natural place for me to be, and I was glad to preach there. I have a fondness for the tradition of the holiness camp meeting, and it felt right to be there preaching in that old tabernacle.
And, it occurred to me: why not preach on the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew? I remembered the importance of the Sermon on the Mount in the preaching of John Wesley, and I wondered if a series of messages suitable to a camp meeting could be delivered based on it. I think it went very well. (more…)