The weather is quite a contrast  this morning here on the New Jersey shore.  Last night we have a ferocious thunder and lightning storm with a soaking downpour to boot.  Didn’t get a lot of sleep, needless to say.  And this morning, calm breezes, lots of sun and warming up nicely to the upper 70’s at least.  The beach is calling out to us!  Our last day here before taking a leisurely 2 week drive across the United States getting home who-knows-when. (Blogs for the next few weeks will be short and infrequent but we’ll get back on track by mid-June at the latest).  Enough about the weather and travel plans!  Read Psalm 52 for an amazing contrast of a godly life with one quite the contrary.  King David paints a very vivid picture of 2 totally different people.  Verse 1 describes the ungodly as a ‘mighty man’.  But he’s mighty all in himself.  He’s a boaster, a braggart, an image maker and spin doctor trying with all his evil might to come out on top no matter what, no matter who…gets in his way.  His tongue can cut you to shreds.  His deceit and lying know no ends.  He’s in love with evil, anything false, saying whatever he can to hurt you and make you feel  less of a person raising up himself in his own eyes and with others.  David continues in this Psalm to say that this is by far the worst road to take in life.  Don’t take it.  It leads, he says in verse 5, to ruin and destruction…forever.  He’ll be judged by God Almighty, torn from his home and security and just plain uprooted.  He has  made a fatal mistake–not making God his stronghold and foundation.  No, he trusted in his wealth, as great as it was (verse 7).  And he’d stop at nothing to get what he wanted out of life and if he had to destroy others in the process,well, so be it.  Sounds like someone we’ve just read about in the newspaper this morning or on a TV news program, not just a politician either!  David has spent 7 of the 9 verses in Psalm 52 describing the ungodly person, but only 2 verses for his contrast, the godly one.  Maybe it’s because a sinful life is just so complicated and convoluted and twisted and messed-up; where for those who seek to follow the Lord,  the way is quite a bit clearer, lighter, and lighted.  David says the godly are like olive trees, so useful and productive and  good for so many purposes for others.  ‘Flourishing’–knowing that giving is always more rewarding than taking.  And flourishing… in God’s house, a place of safety and security and purpose and variety and joy in the Lord.  Nothing of the ungodly or their ways here.  A place where you can trust in God’s love, a love  that never runs out; the oil of His gladness never dries up, a love that never fails to fulfill.  A place of praise for what the Lord has done, all that He’s doing and all that He will do.  Nothing of the ungodly or their ways here.  Praise…and hope because His name is Wonderful, His name is good, His name is Jesus, that name above all names.  And I really like the very last phrase of this Psalm. We get to praise the Lord not in some isolation chamber or ward but ‘in the presence of your saints’.  Being with God’s people,  all who  have bowed the knee to Him, all of us singing in unison making the most beautiful harmony ever heard, no debates or arguments or divisions over there.  What a contrast indeed!  Have you made that commitment to Jesus Christ, asked Him  into your heart… simply asking Him– that you want your life with the ones who flourish and praise and hope all buoyed and fed by God’s love unfailing?  Have you?    What a contrast!  Make the step of faith–you’ll never,ever be sorry!

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