Saturday, January 13, 2018

Looking Into Psalms: Psalm 1

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted! Allow me to offer my most sincere apologies, and send out a hearty "thank you" to all you faithful who stick around. I wish you a very late Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! :)


This morning, in reading over Psalm 1, which I've read and studied more times than I can count, something new jumped out at me. That's one of my favorite things about the Bible; God always reveals new things to us, even in passages we know by heart. If you read nothing else from this post, please make sure you read the key points in bold below. Throughout the post, all Bible verse references are links to the verse/passage, where you can read them yourself. Don't trust my interpretation; read the texts and do it yourself! The text of Psalm 1 is as follows in the ESV.

Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

My interpretation of verses one and two is: "God will bless those who avoid wrongdoing and keep their minds focused on God and His Word at all times—in all circumstances." [NOTE: meditate in the Bible means simply to focus on God, His Word, and things pure as commanded in Philippians 4:8. New Spirituality (aka New Age) has stolen the word from Biblical context and given it a poor connotation, but in a Biblical sense it is not the same type of "meditation" as New Spiritualists promote.] Lately, I've been attempting to meditate more on God, His promises, and His Word, like verse two instructs. Thus I found myself rereading Psalm 1 today as I've been doing the past few days. How do we meditate on God's law? Read the Bible, reread passages, pray about it, and ask God to reveal new things to you. He will.

The following verse is what stood out to me this morning. Isn't the metaphor beautiful? Who wouldn't want to be like a strong, thriving tree provided with everything it needs? Who brings glory to God and prospers? But how do we achieve this? Look back at verse two for the key. We must meditate on God's Word. Now that we have that knowledge, let's look at the third line of verse 3: "that yields its fruit in its season" This is the part where I found some new insight which inspired me to write this post.

Key Point 1: I looked over the passage, half reading, half reciting from memory, and almost instantly, "in its season" jumped off the page at me. Oftentimes as Christians, we look around but fail to recognize any fruit of our faithfulness to God. First, make sure you are being "righteous" as we learn in verses one and two. If you realize you are obeying the commands in the first verses, then take a look at "in its season." We aren't always privileged to witness the fruit of our labors. When we are, it isn't usually right away. God decides the "season" for each person to yield their fruit. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8) It might be the next day, the next month, or not even in our lifetime. But Psalm 1 promises there will be fruit for those who fulfill the part of the righteous man depicted in the passage. Galatians 6:9 affirms this: "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

Key Point 2: My second revelation came from my new Study Bible's commentary. (Thanks, Dad and Mom!) Also from the third line of verse three, my commentary pointed out, "As a tree bears fruit not for itself but for others, so also, when the faithful person prospers, he brings benefit to others." As I considered this, I realized its truth. A tree doesn't eat its own fruit! Instead, others are blessed by it. This is the purpose of being a righteous man, to bring glory to God through our works. (See the post I wrote on bringing glory to God: God's Billboard.)

Moving on to verses four and five. In the end of time when Jesus returns or we die and meet our maker, God will segregate the wicked from the righteous. He, and He alone, knows who are the righteous, and who are not. No one can fool God. He will divide the goats from the sheep, the sinners from the saved, the wicked from the righteous. To the unrighteous, no matter how they plead and grovel, He will speak the dreaded words: "I never knew you; depart from me." (Matthew 7:22-23) For the righteous, however, he will welcome them with open arms into His kingdom, as His children come home.

Finally, verse six ends the Psalm on a happier note for the righteous. God looks with pleasure and joy upon the way of the righteous. He rewards them, if not here on earth, then in heaven.

I'm praying that some of this may have blessed you as it did me. Have a marvelous weekend, friends!

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful thoughts. I've been incorporating meditation into my everyday life. It's a small thing, but it's huge to see what God reveals.

    Thanks for drawing out these points!

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    1. Awesome! I'm so glad you enjoyed this. :)

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  2. Lovely post, this truly was a blessing. Thank you. <3

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    1. Thanks, I'm thrilled to hear that! <3

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  3. Bethany, you are wise beyond your years. I can't agree with you more. I haven't been in the Psalms for awhile and you've encouraged me to get back to it. Your commentary is right on. You are an encouragement. Thanks for the post!!!

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    1. Aw, thank you so very much, Carla! Hearing this from you means a lot. Honestly, I didn't used to be very fond of the Psalms but recently I've found them a blessing and encouragement. :)

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  4. Bethany! I've so missed you! I was worried about you, I'm so glad you're back! Been praying for you.

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    1. That means so much to know you were thinking of me and praying for me! I've missed being around in the blogging world. Life has been hectic, but everything is pretty good. :) Thanks for the prayers, Libby!

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  5. Splendid absolutely splendid! I am so encouraged by your dedication to meditating on scripture! Thank you for being a blessing to us all and I am sure we are all enjoying your fruits. ;) Glad to have you back my friend! Keep up the great work!

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    1. I'm thrilled to hear that this post encouraged you! I'm glad to be back. ;) Thanks for sticking around, my friend! I'm blessed by your kind words. :)

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Bethany R.