Reading through the Bible together

Thursday, August 8, 2013

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Psalms is a book of poems.  Their poetry is characterized by rhythm of thought and vivid imagery.  It uses concise language to lead the reader into prayer, praise and profound instruction.  Notice how this works in the six verses of Psalm 1:

Verse 1 introduces both the righteous and the ungodly by showing what the righteous DO NOT DO.  They do not progress in the downward path of evil.  They do not follow the advice of the wicked, nor join them in their actions, nor finally become one with them in rejecting God and his Word.

Verse 2 shows what the Blessed DO.  Instead of rejecting God’s Word, they follow it--but not legalistically.  They DELIGHT in it.   Instead of walking in the counsel of the ungodly, they meditate on God’s counsel daily.

Verse 3 shows the result of daily delighting in God’s Word.  Instead of standing in the path of sinners, the  Blessed stand like trees.  They do not, however,  stand by their own power.  It is God who plants the trees where they shall be fruitful, withstand  drought, and not fall.

Verses 4 and 5 show the result of a life of wickedness.  Instead of standing like trees,  they are like chaff--dry, helpless, and at the mercy of the elements.  They stand in the way of sinners, but they shall not stand in the judgment.   They  sit  with the scornful, but they shall have no part in the congregation of the righteous. 

Verse 6 makes the final contrast between the two ways.  The Lord knows the way of the righteous.  The bond between God and His people is more intimate than that between a man and his wife who have become one flesh and know each  other.  To his followers, Jesus will not say “I never knew you.”   The way of the scornful is to hear those words after repeatedly refusing God and His Word.  The way of the ungodly shall perish.

Lord, help  me delight in You and Your word that I might be numbered with the Blessed, who know You and are known by You.  Amen.

 

R. Lynn Sauls
Retired Professor
Southern Adventist University