Tuesday 2 June 2020
Psalm 1 TWO WAYS OF LIFE (Introduction 2)
“Walk with God, and you cannot mistake the road; you have infallible wisdom to direct you, permanent love to comfort you, and eternal power to defend you.” Charles H. Spurgeon.
I love reading Psalms again and again because Psalms is a book for all seasons of my life. I can identify myself so easily in every situation of my life. It is a songbook of the Jews in the Old Testament. It is written in poetry. The language of the Psalms is very illustrative known as the figures of speech that paint pictures in the minds of the readers. Hebrew poetry uses vivid images, similes, metaphors and parallelism to communicate thoughts and feelings.
Psalms 1 is the door to the whole Book of Psalms. This Psalm presents two ways of life. The blessed life of a righteous man in contrast to the wicked, like chaff, a life without stability and ending in God’s judgement.
“Blessed is the man” let us look at this word “blessed”. What makes a man blessed, joyous or happy? This word is used by the Psalmist and Jesus in the Beatitudes. The Psalmist experienced blessedness when God forgave his sins, Psalm 32.1-2, when God kept him safe Psalm 34.8; when God choose him to be in the presence in His holy Temple Psalm 65.4; and when he joyfully worshipped and walked in the light of the presence of God Psalm 89.15. Similarly, we can be blessed or be joyous when our sins are forgiven and we become His children. He gives us access to His presence anywhere and anytime.
The original meaning of blessed means “to be straight” or “to be right.” This word is in plural form. So a blessed man or woman who walks straight and right with God, He or she is supremely happy or fulfilled or contended in life. Jesus talks about when He lives in us, he gives us abundant life. That is blessedness.
In this Psalm, the Psalmist points out there are three things a blessed or righteous person will 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;
The blessed person’s character and attitude are vastly different and separated from the wicked. The blessed person and the wicked are very different in the way they think, behave and the people they associate with. There are three groups of progress words “walks, stands and sits,” “counsel, path, seat,” and “ungodly, sinners, scornful.” The blessed will refuse to be influenced by the ungodly. Watch out for what occupies your thought, what you read, what you see or hear! The negative influence of the ungodly constantly attacks our daily walk with God. May the Holy Spirit grant us wisdom and discernment to see through the scheme of the wicked. May we choose to walk with integrity, humility, dependence upon God, and live a life of self-control. May we carefully set ourselves apart from sin.
How can that be done? The Psalmist reveals the secrets that set us apart from the wicked and their ways. The positive things that a blessed person does. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1.2. Instead of walking standing and sitting around with the wicked, sinners and scoffers, he chooses to spend time with God. He has a heart and love for God’s Word. He immerses himself in the Word, spends time reading it, and thinking about it all day long. Yes, how do we spend our time? Psalm 63, is a wonderful Psalm describes the true longing of David’s heart for God. “O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you, my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water … when I remember you upon my bed and meditate on you in the watches of the night; … for you have been my help, … My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.” Psa. 63.1,7,8). David was in the wilderness of Judah. But he was in the sweet presence of God worshipping and meditating on the goodness of God. So delight is born from a deep personal intimate experience with God. God becomes our preoccupation. His words continue to linger on throughout the day. The experiences with Him through thick and thin of life’s situation cause us to burst out in praise and thanksgiving. The object of our desire is God and His Word.
The “Day and night” or constantly, consistently, and regular meditation on God and His Word will produce a productive life. His life will be “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.” Psa. 1.3. Like a tree with deep roots in the word of God. It is strong and sturdy. It will grow in wisdom and strength. The leaves will not dry up because it is planted by the stream. It will bear fruits of the Holy Spirit. This strong tree will give shade to many weary people to rest and be refreshed to journey on. To crown it all is “all he does, he prospers.” What a lovely picture of a blessed person! That is a very graphic picture of what Jesus talks about, abundant life in Jesus Christ.
The character and destiny of the wicked are totally different. “The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” Psa. 1.4. The word wicked occurs 4 times in this Psalm 1. The picture of the wicked is like chaff. The basic idea of the wicked is light and unstable, restless running here and there without direction, no peace and happiness. There is no peace for the wicked. It is like the tossing sea, which cannot rest, whose waves cast up mire and mud. He will not be able to stand before his judgement. He has no place among the blessed.
The two contrasting lifestyles lead to two distinctly different destinations. The blessed are stable, fruitful and greatly blessed. The wicked are unstable, unfruitful and will be judged.
Prayer for today
Dear God, we praise and thank you for calling us to be your children. We are truly blessed because your Son Jesus Christ has died for our sins. You have changed our destiny from the wicked way to the way of the Cross. Thank you, Lord, you are great and mighty God, yet you can live in us as we live in you. It is hard to comprehend. Your holy presence in our lives constantly reminds us to walk in your way rather than the way of the wicked. Help us to seek you first daily, give us wisdom and help keep our feet from evil influence. Gives a deep desire to delight in You and your word.
Help us to honour you each day through our lives in all that you lead us to do, in places you lead us to go and in the words you want us to speak. We need you every moment of every day. Help us to stay strong in faith, love others genuinely and lead us Holy Spirit that we will follow obediently. In Jesus’ Precious Name. Amen.
Pastor Isaac Yim
“与神同行，就不会走错路；有完全的智慧指导你，永远的爱安慰你，并有永恒的力量护卫你”。 – 查尔斯•司布真（Charles Spurgeon）
“这人便为有福”，让我们看一下“有福”这个词。是什么使一个人有福，喜乐或快乐？诗篇和耶稣在八福中使用了这个词。诗人在以下几个情况下使用了“有福”来形容自己的感受：诗篇32：1~2 – 被神赦免，诗篇34：8 – 投靠神、受神的保佑，诗篇65：4 – 当上帝拣选他住在圣殿，诗篇89：15 – 欢心敬拜神、在上帝脸上的光里行走。同样，当我们的罪孽得到赦免并成为神的儿女时，我们也会蒙福、喜乐。上帝许可我们随时随地与祂亲近。