Book one (Psalms 1–41)
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Blessed is the man who is fruitful and has a seed planted that grows in firm knowledge with Christ and the law of the Lord
Psalm 1 is the first psalm of the Book of Psalms, beginning in the English King James Version: “Blessed is the man”, and forming “an appropriate prologue” to the whole collection. The Book of Psalms is part of the third section of the Hebrew Bible, and a book of the Christian Old Testament. Wikipedia
God tells us to pray continuously about all our concerns, but he grants only those petitions that align with his will.
Since we cannot fully comprehend God’s will from our earthly viewpoint, we often ask him for things that are outside the scope of his intentions.
Unanswered prayers raise doubts about God’s trustworthiness.
So, why does he tell us to pray about everything when he knows that many of our petitions will seemingly go unanswered and thereby diminish our trust in him?
God does not encourage us to pray so he can stay informed of our latest wishes. He already knows our desires before we disclose them.
God tells us to pray because prayer is integral to our communion with him. It positions us to experience true contentment.
Prayer turns our attention from ourselves to God. It gives us the opportunity to worship him humbly, align with him morally, convey gratitude for his blessings, and express faith in his goodness.
The model prayer that Jesus introduced—The Lord’s Prayer—indicates that God wants us to incorporate these themes into our prayers whenever we can, but especially amid affliction.
Expressing these thoughts to God, even when we are submitting requests or lodging complaints, conditions our heart to commune with him and experience true contentment.
God tells us to pray about everything because he considers the true contentment we derive through communion with him to be more important than the distrust that may arise in the wake of unanswered prayers.
What should we conclude about God when he seemingly disregards petitions that we know coincide with his will?
• We know God wants everyone to be reborn spiritually, so we pray that a friend will comply with his salvation plan. Instead, they die as an unbeliever.
• We know God condemns hate, so we ask him to protect the weak from the bigotry of the strong. Instead, their oppression continues.
• We know God detests rank hypocrisy, so we pray that his public advocates will forsake their sinfulness and live righteously. Instead, their duplicity persists.
Unanswered prayers like these do not signify that God is aloof, powerless, malevolent, or non-existent.
Instead, they evidence his utmost respect for the moral autonomy of the will.
God so esteems the volitional freedom of those we lift up in prayer that he willingly subordinates his preferences and our desires to their moral choices.
He gives them opportunities to refrain from unrighteousness. He prompts them to choose virtue over vice. But in the end, he defers to their will.
God likewise respects our will when we make moral choices that conflict with his preferences and deviate from the desires of those who pray for us.
So, does God ever change our personal circumstances in response to prayer? Or does he only use prayer to change us?
God does indeed improve individual situations in response to prayer. Perhaps, not as often as we would like. Or in the way we want. Or as quickly as we prefer.
But if we could see everything he was doing in the lives of reborn believers worldwide, we would realize that he frequently makes life better, providently and miraculously, in answer to prayer.
Amid affliction, we should ask God to change our circumstances and us. He responds to both requests as he deems best.
But here is the caveat.
God’s best encompasses more than the goodness of our current circumstances. It also includes our understanding of his excellence and the effectiveness of our ministry—now and in the future.
God may let our distress linger despite pleas for relief because he is using it to build a unique message into our lives about his excellence that he intends for us to share with others.
God may allow our suffering to endure because our perception of his goodness is still conditioned on the goodness of our circumstances. We have yet to learn experientially that he is thoroughly good—even amid affliction.
God redeems our suffering by producing goodness in us as we walk in harmony with him. He uses our response to suffering to also produce redemptive goodness in the lives of those within our orbit.
God may allow our misery to persist after this goodness blossoms in our lives because it has yet to germinate in theirs. He is still using our example to produce redemptive goodness in others.
Walk By Faith
We will understand the rationale behind God’s responses to all our prayers, including the seemingly unanswered ones, once we settle into heaven. We will agree with his logic.
Until then, we reconcile the disparity between our requests and God’s replies by faith.
We believe God is truly good and benevolent—even though we may not feel this way—because we choose to base our judgment on what he was revealed about himself through nature and in the Bible, rather than on what we might infer about him from his seeming indifference to our desires.
We walk in harmony with God through the aftermath of unanswered prayer because we presume he is executing a plan that is superior to ours.
We trust that God will help us endure the resulting distress and produce goodness from it, until he brings about his intended conclusion.
God Cherishes Faith
God delights in the warm sentiments we express about his excellence during good times, but he cherishes the faith in him we exhibit in the wake of unanswered prayer.
What Can We Expect From God? If we cannot count on God to always answer our prayers as we wish, what can we rightfully expect from him? Read more here.
Why Does God Let Us Suffer So Much? If he truly loves us, why does he not use his power and authority to make life easier for reborn believers. Read more here.
How Should We Pray? Jesus gave us the template for prayers amid affliction. It is commonly called The Lord’s Prayer. It is not reserved for liturgical church services.
PRAYERS THAT GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS AFFIRMATIVELY
God does not grant every request for health, wealth, safety, and satisfaction.
However, he always answers certain prayers affirmatively.
This is because the answers fulfill promises he has made to all reborn believers.
God answers some of these prayer requests immediately.
Other answers materialize over time as we walk in harmony with him.
God’s response to these prayers is conditional. He does his part after we do ours.
Here are some of the prayer requests that God always answers affirmatively, along with what he requires from us.
SALVATION. God grants eternal life to everyone who sincerely repents and asks Jesus to be their Savior.
FORGIVENESS. God forgives reborn believers every time we confess our unrighteousness.
STRENGTH. God gives us spiritual stamina each time we place our hope in him.
GOODNESS. God produces goodness from every situation—good and bad— when we walk in harmony with him.
ESCAPE FROM TEMPTATION. God shows us how to avoid or resist immorality when we truly desire this outcome.
BIBLE ILLUMINATION. God illuminates his Word when we study it with a sincere desire to know him.
HEARTFELT DESIRES. God helps us discover the things that truly satisfy our souls as we delight in him.
TRUE CONTENTMENT. God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, manifests his native contentment in us as we walk in harmony with him.
PERCEPTION OF GOD. He proves himself to be good each time we wait on him.
SPIRITUAL PROTECTION. God guards our hearts and renews our minds as we meditate on his Word.
PEACE. God grants peace to reborn believers who present their petitions to him with thanksgiving.
REST. God exchanges his rest for our stress when we let him carry our burdens.
WISDOM. God teaches us to exercise good judgment as we walk in harmony with him.
MINISTRY. If we tell God that we want to help advance his kingdom, he gives us opportunities to serve, pray for, and witness to others.
Psalm 1 – The Way of the Righteous and the Way of the Ungodly
Verse six presents a key to understanding Psalm 1: “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” In this psalm, the way of the righteous and the way of the ungodly are contrasted.
A. The way of the righteous.
1. (1) What the righteous man does not do.
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
a. Blessed is the man: The Hebrew word esher is here translated blessed, which has the idea of happiness or contentment. Esher is a form of the Hebrew word ashar, which in its root means “to be straight” or “to be right.” Blessed is the man speaks of the happiness, the blessedness, the contentment in the life of the man or woman who is right or “straight” with God. The righteous man will be a blessed man, a happy man.
i. “Blessed means supremely happy or fulfilled. In fact, in Hebrew the word is actually a plural, which denotes either a multiplicity of blessings or an intensification of them.” (Boice)
ii. “It is not ‘Blessed is the king, blessed is the scholar, blessed is the rich,’ but, ‘Blessed is the man.’ This blessedness is as attainable by the poor, the forgotten and the obscure, as by those whose names figure in history, and are trumpeted by fame.” (Spurgeon)
b. Walks not…nor stands…nor sits: The blessed man does not do certain things. There is a way he will not walk, a path he will not stand in, and a seat he will not sit in.
i. We can say these speak of thinking, behaving, and belonging. The righteous man and the ungodly man are different in how they think, how they behave, and to whom they belong.
ii. Others have also seen in this a progression of sin. “The great lesson to be learned from the whole is, sin is progressive; one evil propensity or act leads to another. He who acts by bad counsel may soon do evil deeds; and he who abandons himself to evil doings may end his life in total apostasy from God.” (Clarke)
c. Walks not in the counsel of the ungodly: The ungodly have counsel, and the righteous man will not walk in it. With all the advice that comes to us, from so many different sources, the righteous man knows how to stay away from the counsel of the ungodly.
i. First, it means the righteous man knows how to discern the counsel of the ungodly. Many fail at this point. They do not even consider if counsel is godly or ungodly. They hear advice, or theories about their problems, and they find themselves agreeing or disagreeing without considering, “Is this godly or ungodly counsel?”
ii. The righteous man is also discerning enough to know the counsel of the ungodly can come from one’s own self. Our own conscience, our own mind, our own heart, can give us ungodly counsel.
iii. The righteous man knows where to find completely godly counsel: Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors (Psalm 119:24). God’s word is always the best counselor, and godly counselors will always bring the truth of God’s word to help someone who wants counseling.
d. Nor stands in the path of sinners: Sinners have a path where they stand, and the righteous man knows he does not belong on that path. Path speaks of a way, a road, a direction – and the righteous man is not traveling in the same direction as sinners.
i. The righteous man is not afraid to take a less-traveled road, because he knows it leads to blessing, happiness, and eternal life. Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it (Matthew 7:13).
ii. The righteous can have the confidence of Psalm 16:11: You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. God has a path, and it is a good road to take.
e. Nor sits in the seat of the scornful: The scornful love to sit and criticize the people of God and the things of God. The righteous man will not sit in that seat!
i. When others are putting down Christians, it is easy to sit with them and criticize them. It is easy because there are many things to criticize about Christians. But it is wrong, because we are then sitting in the seat of the scornful.
ii. Instead, we should be proud to follow Jesus Christ. “Be out-and-out for him; unfurl your colours, never hide them, but nail them to the mast, and say to all who ridicule the saints, ‘If you have any ill words for the followers of Christ, pour them out upon me…but know this – ye shall hear it whether you like it or not – ‘I love Christ.’” (Spurgeon)
2. (2) What the righteous man does.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
a. His delight is in the law of the LORD: Throughout Psalms, the phrase law of the LORD is used to describe God’s entire word, not only the “law” portion of the first five books of the Bible. The righteous man is delighted with the word of God!
i. What makes you happy? What gets you excited? This is a good way to see what is important to you. If personal pleasure is the only thing that makes you happy, then you are a selfish, self-centered person. If being with your family or friends delights you, that can be better, but it still falls short. The righteous man finds his delight…in the law of the LORD.
ii. Martin Luther said that he could not live in paradise without the word of God, but he could live well enough in hell with it.
iii. “Man must have some delight, some supreme pleasure. His heart was never meant to be a vacuum. If not filled with the best things, it will be filled with the unworthy and disappointing.” (Spurgeon)
iv. If a person delights in something, you don’t have to beg him to do it or to like it. He will do it all by himself. You can measure your delight for the word of God by how much you hunger for it.
b. In His law he meditates day and night: The righteous man ponders the word of God. He does not just hear it and forget it; he thinks about it. Christians should meditate on God’s word!
i. In eastern meditation, the goal is to empty the mind. This is dangerous, because an empty mind may present an open invitation to deception or a demonic spirit. But in Christian meditation, the goal is to fill your mind with the word of God. This can be done by carefully thinking about each word and phrase, applying it to one’s self, and praying it back to the Lord.
ii. “Meditation chews the cud, and gets the sweetness and nutritive virtue of the Word into the heart and life: this is the way the godly bring forth much fruit.” (Ashwood, cited by Spurgeon)
iii. Many lack because they only read and do not meditate. “It is not only reading that does us good; but the soul inwardly feeding on it, and digesting it. A preacher once told me that he had read the Bible through twenty times on his knees and had never found the doctrine of election there. Very likely not. It is a most uncomfortable position in which to read. If he had sat in an easy chair he would have been better able to understand it.” (Spurgeon)
iv. The righteous man only has God’s word on his mind two times a day: day and night. That about covers it all!
3. (3) How the righteous man is blessed.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
a. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water: A tree by a river has a continual source of water. It will never wither away, because it is always getting what it needs. If we are constantly needy, it may be worth examining if we are planted by the rivers of water or not.
i. This would also be a tree that is strong and stable, sinking down deep roots. The life of the righteous man is marked by strength and stability.
b. That brings forth its fruit in its season: The righteous man bears fruit, such as the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). The fruit comes naturally from this tree, because it is planted by the rivers of water. It is abiding in a life-source. As Jesus spoke of bearing fruit in John 15:5, as we abide in Him. Fruit also has a season. Some get discouraged when they begin to walk as righteous men, and fruit is not immediately evident. They need to wait until they bring forth fruit in its season.
i. “There are no barren trees in God’s orchard, and yet they may have their fits of barrenness, as an apple tree sometimes hath; but they will reflourish with advantage.” (Trapp)
c. Whose leaf also shall not wither: Brown, dead, withered leaves are signs of death and dryness. The righteous man does not have these signs of death and dryness; his “leaves” are green and alive.
d. And whatever he does shall prosper: It isn’t that the righteous man has a “Midas Touch,” and everything he does makes him rich and comfortable. But in the life of the righteous man, God brings forth something good and wonderful out of everything. Even tough circumstances bring forth something that shall prosper.
B. The way of the ungodly.
1. (4) The dangerous place of the ungodly.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
a. The ungodly are not so: Everything true about the righteous man – stable as a tree, continual life and nourishment, fruitful, alive, and prosperous – is not so regarding the ungodly.
i. It may often seem like the ungodly have these things, and sometimes it seems they have them more than the righteous. But it is not so! Any of these things are fleeting in the life of the ungodly; it can be said that they don’t really have them at all.
b. Are like the chaff which the wind drives away: Chaff is the light “shell” around a kernel of grain, which must be stripped away before the kernel of grain can be ground into flour. Chaff was light enough that it could be separated from the grain by throwing a scoopful into the wind and letting the wind drive away the chaff. This is how unstable, how lacking in substance, the ungodly are.
i. Spurgeon on chaff: “Intrinsically worthless, dead, unserviceable, without substance, and easily carried away.” There is a huge difference between a tree and chaff.
2. (5) The dangerous future of the ungodly.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
a. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment: Because the ungodly have no “weight,” they will be found lacking on the day of judgment. As it was said of King Belshazzar in the book of Daniel, You have been weighed in the balances, and found wanting (Daniel 5:27).
b. Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous: This is true in the future, because sinners will not share the same glorious future of the righteous. It is also true in the present, because sinners sense they do not belong in the congregation of the righteous if they insist on remaining sinners.
3. (6) Summary: The way of the righteous and the way of the ungodly.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
a. The LORD knows the way of the righteous: The righteous can have peace because a loving God in heaven knows their way, and will protect and preserve them.
i. “Or, as the Hebrew has it yet more fully, ‘The Lord is knowing the way of the righteous.’ He is constantly looking on their way, and though it may be often in mist and darkness, yet the Lord knoweth it.” (Spurgeon)
b. The way of the ungodly shall perish: The way of the ungodly leads to destruction. They are on a broad path that may seem comfortable now and the path gives them lots of company, but in the end they shall perish.
c. At least four times in the Book of Acts, Christianity is called the Way. Certainly, it is the way of the righteous, not the way of the ungodly. Which way are you on?
(c) 2020 The Enduring Word Bible Commentary by David Guzik – email@example.com
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1 % Of The Population Experiences “Profound” Love
1 % Of The Population Experiences “Profound” Love
Boom. What if that statement is true? A question came up the other day when I was discussing spiritual growth with someone and how we can recognize if we are growing spiritually. The question was, “what does it mean to have “profound love”? This phrase or idea was used as a descriptor of the highest levels of spiritual growth. The top. The absolute ceiling of what we are capable of as humans when it comes to our relationship with Jesus and with other people. Let’s look at the word “profound” for one second so we can get an idea what we are talking about. When we look at the synonyms for “profound” we find, heartfelt, intense, keen, great, extreme, sincere, deep, overpowering, radical, overwhelming and fervent.
Love Equals Time
Looking at some of these ideas made me think about how we measure things such as love, devotion, faith or obedience. How would you measure your love for your spouse? How about your child? How can you tell if your love grows and gets stronger and more “profound”? One thing we know is that love is invisible, until we see action. Our actions are a reliable indicator of whether or not our love is “profound”. It can be seen in how we spend our time and what we do with that time.
Someone may say, “I know that I have a profound love for Jesus.” Well, is this love evident in our actions and in our priorities? These are questions that I am aiming at myself. How about a “profound” love and compassion for other people? Am I exhibiting “overpowering, radical” love in my actions at work or at home? When I ask myself these types of questions, it makes me realize the pain of truth. Truth burns and truth hurts. But it also burns away all the lies that we tell ourselves when we create a self that is false.
All of these ideas came about because I am in the middle of the editing process on my third book. It’s main focus is on overcoming fear and breaking out of complaceny on the road to fulfilling our purpose. The writing process is complete, but just recently I came across some research and statistics that really grabbed my attention and I felt compelled to incorporate some of these ideas into the book. These ideas are supported by cold hard data. The kind of data and statistics that are rare and hard to find.
The Barna research group acquired this data over a period of six years conducting surveys on spirituality, Christianity and spiritual growth. All the data and statistics are summarized in the book Maximum Faith. Based on surveys looking at over 15,000 adults, the researchers concluded that there are 10 spiritual “stops” on the spiritual growth journey.
Faith With No Direction Or Meaning
Before we look at the 10 spiritual stops, I want to include an excerpt from “Maximum Faith” that is quite startling to consider as we go through some of these ideas. Here is an excerpt from the introduction of my new book,
As we are looking at the ideas of fear and complacency, we are going to use statistics and data supplied by the Barna research group because this data is unique, powerful and compelling. The Barna group collected and compiled data gleaned from surveys over a six year period that involved over 15,000 people. From the data we have found that:
More than 100 million American adults who describe themselves as Christian contend that despite their commitment to God they are still searching for clarity regarding their purpose in life. Tens of millions of self-described Christians feel unfulfilled in life, admit they lack direction, and are disappointed that their faith has not produced the kind of meaning and identity they need, and question whether their life makes a difference.
George Barna- “Maximum Faith”
From a statistical view of things, we know that if we have 15,000 subjects as part of the analysis, there is real power in that study. From my experience in medicine, if there are 15,000 people in a study, pay attention. It means that the data is powerful.
Looking at these numbers makes me realize that there are large groups of people who are going about their lives in their Christian faith, still searching for clarity and purpose. Millions upon millions of Christians:
1. Feel unfulfilled
2. Lack direction
3. Are seeking meaning
4. Are seeking identity
5. Are looking to make a difference
This was somewhat startling to me. We are not talking about people who have no faith, we are talking about believing Christians who are going to church and are involved in faith based activities. I have used the analogy of the “walking dead” as far as unbelievers who are going about their lives with no aim or purpose and I have discussed the futility and danger of living our lives in such a way. The problem is that the data is telling us that believers are going through the same type of behavior with no fulfillment, no direction, no meaning and wondering if their lives make a difference. Why is this happening?
The Ten Spiritual Stops
Hold on to your hat because we haven’t even gotten to the 10 stops of spiritual growth yet. This is when it gets really interesting. Just a warning, I showed these numbers to a couple of people just to get an idea of what they thought and they immediately began to look at themselves to see where they were on the “spiritual spectrum.” These stops and numbers are not listed to guilt or shame anyone into anything. They are just to give us an idea of where we are and to give us an idea of where we should be heading. I know from my own experience, I am no where near the highest levels of spiritual growth, but I believe a list like this is helpful because it allows us to aim for something greater than where we are now. In essence, what we are looking for is an authentic, loving, more Christ like version of ourselves. It is a vision of ourselves that God has in mind.
Looking at these stops or steps made me realize, I got a long, long way to go.
1. Ignorance of the concept of or existence of sin (1 percent of the population)
2. Aware of and indifferent to sin (16 percent of adults)
3. Concerned about the implication of sin (39 percent of adults)
4. Confess sin and ask Jesus to be their savior (9 percent of adults)
5. Commit to faith activities (24 percent of adults)
6. Prolonged period of spiritual discontent (6 percent of adults)
7. Experience personal brokenness (3 percent of adults)
8. Surrender/Submission to God (1 percent of adults)
9. Profound love/intimacy with God/Jesus (.5 percent of adults)
10. Profound Love and compassion for people (.5 percent of adults)
Just for convenience and to help us get our minds around these numbers, let’s put these categories into groups and look at the size of the population.
Group A Ignorance of the concept of sin and aware of and indifferent to sin (17 percent of the population)
Group B Concerned about the implication of sin (39 percent of the population)
Group C Confess sin, accept Jesus and commit to faith activities (33 percent of the population)
Group D Prolonged period of spiritual discontent and experience personal brokenness (9 percent of population)
Group E Surrender/submission to God, profound love for God/Jesus and profound love and compassion for people (2 percent of the population)
Just to reiterate, these numbers are not to guilt or shame anyone, but they are rather stunning if you look at the groups. If we stop to think about ourselves and our family and friends, it isn’t that hard to be able to categorize people who you know and love. Also, if you believe there is value in spiritual growth and in growing in intimacy with Jesus, you will take special notice of the word “profound”. Not only that, the numbers are screaming to us that it is extremely difficult to get to the highest levels of love, if this were not so, more people would be reaching this level.
Here are the synonyms again, heartfelt, intense, keen, great, extreme, sincere, deep, overpowering, radical, overwhelming and fervent.
Here is some commentary I found about this data that I thought was quite fascinating,
Most Americans, according to the research, never get beyond stop three (awareness and concern about sin and its effects, but not cooperating with Christ to alleviate that problem). Among those who become “born again Christians,” most never move past stop five (i.e., having invited Christ to be their savior and then engaging in a lot of religious activity). In other words, a majority of the American public never reaches the second half of the stops on the journey to wholeness. Barna also determined that most church programs are designed to help people get to stop five of the journey but not to move farther down the road to Christ-likeness.
If you are one of the 100 million Americans who describe themselves as Christian, but who feel unfulfilled and lack direction or are still trying to find meaning, looking at data like this can help you to move forward in your faith. The whole point is that everyone is at a different point in their spiritual life and in their spiritual growth. Clearly the majority of the population (56 percent) are concerned about sin or are indifferent to sin, but don’t feel the need to do anything about it or don’t see the value in committing to Jesus. As we grow in our faith and we have a better understanding of the value that Christ brings to our lives, it is incumbent on us to share our testimony. Either way, wherever we are on the spiritual growth stop list, we all have work to do.
If you have read my books Brave the Wave and Discover Your Passion, Release Your Power, there is a focus on self-examination and self-awareness because they are absolutely critical on the path towards authenticity. In my next book on overcoming fear and breaking out of complacency toward growth, the emphasis is still on self-awareness, but there is also a focus on personal responsibility. It is the attitude of “it’s on me.” That is a clear prerequisite to overcoming our fear and breaking through complacency. If we don’t closely examine our own behavior and then compare and contrast it with the perfect model of the life of Jesus, there is no growth, no power, no passion, no direction, no meaning and no hope of getting to a place that brings peace and love to ourselves and our families. If we want all of these, it truly is on us.
Here is a link to the books in the Authentic Self Series, Challenge Your Fear, Empower Your Spirit , (Transform from worrier to warrior in the power of the Authentic Self) should be coming out in mid to late June. If you thought this post was interesting, please share with your friends and family. God Bless and have a great day !!!
What does Psalm chapter 1 mean?
The book of Psalms contains 150 inspired songs, each referred to as a “psalm,” written mainly by King David. Fifty of the psalms are anonymous. Asaph, a worship leader and prophet, wrote twelve psalms. The sons of Korah wrote ten. King Solomon wrote two (Psalm 72; Psalm 127). It is thought that Heman (Psalm 88) and Ethan (Psalm 89) each wrote a psalm, and Moses also wrote one (Psalm 90). All 150 psalms are poetic works which offer praise to God. These cover a wide range of topics from joy to depression, from peace to persecution, from contemplation to confession, from praise to prophecy, from creation to coronation, and from anxiety to adoration.
This collection was known to the Jews as Sepher Telhillim, “Book of Praises.” Set to stringed instrumental accompaniment, Psalms became the hymnbook for temple worship. The Book of Psalms takes its place among the Old Testament’s poetic Books: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.
The Book of Psalms has five divisions. The first of these extends from Psalm 1 to Psalm 41 and relates to Genesis because of its recurring theme of creation. The second division extends from Psalm 42 to Psalm 72 and relates to Exodus because of its theme of redemption. Psalms 73 to 89 comprise the third division and relate to Leviticus because of their emphasis on worship. The fourth division is Psalm 90 to Psalm 106 and relates to Numbers with its many references to Israel’s wanderings in the desert. The fifth division extends from Psalm 107 to Psalm 150 and relates to Deuteronomy because of its emphasis on God’s Word.
Psalm 1 proclaims truths echoed in the book of Proverbs: that following the wisdom of God is the best and wisest way to live. Like Proverbs, this psalm declares that those who obey God’s teachings can avoid consequences arising from sin and disobedience.
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ”Psalm” in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
Psalm 1, typically ascribed to David, stresses the importance of ordering one’s life according to God’s Word. This emphasis sets the tone for the rest of the collection of psalms. Themes in this passage echo the early chapters of Proverbs, with an emphasis on seeking godly wisdom. Psalm 1’s emphasis on meditation on and obedience to God’s Word parallels God’s instructions to Joshua when He commissioned Joshua to lead Israel into the Promised Land (Joshua 1:6–9). Its teaching about the blessing of obedient believers and the disastrous end of the wicked parallels the blessings and curses we read about in Deuteronomy 28. New Testament passages that emphasize the link between devotion to God’s Word and righteous living include Matthew 7:24–27; Colossians 3:16–17; 2 Timothy 3:16–17; James 1:19–25; and 2 Peter 1:19–21.