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Abiding in God


By Benjamin H. Liles

          How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. ~ Psalm 1:1-2

          I sit here this morning reading these verses and reading about a man who sat in public office in the 1930s. And I can hear it now, What does this have to do with Psalm 1:1-2? In 2008 a book was published by Max Lucado titled On the Anvil. In the book he wrote about a justice who presided over the New York Supreme Court in New York County. His name? Joseph Force Crater. Crater was born in Easton, PA on January 5, 1889. The court which he presided over is actually trial court, not an actual supreme court where decisions are declared "final." That being despite the case the end of Crater's story is as follows.

          A man named William Klein "testified that "the judge got into a taxicab outside the restaurant about 9:30 p.m. and drove west on Forty-fifth Street," and this account was initially confirmed by Sally Lou Ritz: "At the sidewalk Judge Crater took a taxicab." Klein and Ritz later changed their story and said that they had entered a taxi outside the restaurant while Crater had walked down the street" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Force_Crater, Last Known Sighting tab). I'm not much for changing a story as it implies lying. But there's far more.

          The truth is when there are conflicting stories about someone's disappearance, more than one suspect appears in that case regarding this person's whereabouts. I did a bit more studying on the issue. Apparently, what happened was he simply disappeared. Although this is disputed since he had numerous flings with women, two of whom left New York and one died. So, what does this have to do with the David's pen on his life?

          David is saying, "The blessed man delights in the word (the law, commands) of God, and he remains in the word meditating on it day and night. He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor does he stand with sinners or sits in the seat with scoffers (making light of the law). The point is before Justice Crater disappeared it was found that he made a mockery of what a justice is supposed to do. He had shredded documents in his office, cashed out two checks for more than $5,000 (over 73,000 in 2013), and had his assistant carry two locked briefcases to his apartment. He wrote a letter, concerning his state of mind, to his wife, "I am very weary. Love, Joe." Then he vanished. He was declared dead nine years later as authorities never found him.

          What happens when someone changes the laws for their own advantage? Don't they realize that by corrupting their behavior and character that they are saying where they are at? I find rest in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. For others they find living hard and most likely unrewarding. When those who find themselves so bone-weary from life, doing things contrary to their character or behavior it shows a lack of being upright and abiding by the law. David is basically saying, "The upright hold God's laws. They walk in it. They have peace." We see this where David says, "His delight is in the law of the Lord."

          How can we appropriate David's word into the fabric of our lives? We rend our hearts before a God who is mighty to save. We open ourselves up to Him. We allow ourselves to become less than we believe ourselves to be, becoming humble and contrite. More than this, it is a daily attitude than only God sustains and bears with us in all things. This was David's posture. It is the posture of one who delights and walks in His ways.

          Father, I come to You this morning seeing the radiance which You shine upon me. This is Your glrious favor, Your countenance toward me. I admit I am unworthy to behold You, even in being before You on the cross. It is too much to bear. Thank You for what You have done on my behalf--taking my sins, my former ways, and life so I may have life with and in You. I ask that You come into my life, making me whole and pure as only You are. Thank You, Jesus, for going to the grave on my part, forgiving me, as well as loving me; thus extending Your righteousness even though I don't deserve it. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.