Summary: Who reads the Psalms?

Like A Tree – Psalm 1:1-3

Introduction: Psalm 1 is anonymous. It is one of the “orphan psalms.” The theme is God’s Word and how it is to be loved, pondered, and obeyed by His people. It shows us God’s Word as the great safeguard against the blandishments and philosophies of the unsaved man. This Psalm belongs more to the category of “wisdom” rather to the hymns and prayers that make up most of the book. This psalm introduces the entire collection of psalms by describing the type of person who reads and uses them.

1. A Safegaurded Life (1:1)

a. The foolish advice or council of the ungodly. The word “happy” or “blessed” (´ashrei) refers to the joy and satisfaction that comes from knowing that one is right with God, even though at times the world may bring difficulties. The word “man” in this verse is referring to persons in general, here any believer who is trying to live in obedience with God. You may ask, “Should all of our advice come from only Christian minds?” Well, that would be good. The advice of unbelievers may be necessary in matters of commerce, law, medicine, or other technical fields, but this psalm is concerned with spiritual matters such as ethics, morality, and faithfulness to the Lord in daily life. Sometimes we are looking to hear some specific advice just to do the wrong thing. Man’s will does not line up with God’s will. We must be careful to not take the advice or “walk in the council of the ungodly.” Even then, we may get the go-ahead from man, but the final say must be from God. (Isaiah 40:20, Prov. 4:14-19)

b. The friendly association of sinners. If you walk in the counsel of the ungodly, you’ll soon find yourself standing in the way of sinners. That is, you’ll be stopped in your tracks and eventually find youself in the company of those who mock and dismiss the things of God. We must surround ourselves with the people who we know are trying to live in the lines of God’s will for their lives. I am not saying to isolate yourselves from the rest of the world. In fact it is our duty, given to us from God Himself, to interact with the lost people and be a witness to them. I am saying to have a friendly association with sinners, but we must be careful not to let them be an influence on us, but the other way around. As a new believer, you should have someone strong in their walk with God to consult with for questioning, prayer, and fellowship. It is our job to witness, but not to “stand in the way of sinners.” The Bible tells us that “one plants, another waters, but God brings the increase.”

c. The full acceptance of scorners. Christians, too much of the time, try and fit in with the mockers. We try to be accepted by the ungodly. As a believer in Jesus Christ, we do not need their acceptance. The Bible tells us that we are already accepted in full by our Heavenly Father. We do not need to be concerned with earthly acceptance, but be concerned about God’s acceptance. It is God who “Was, Is, and Is to come.” The Bible tells us in Isaiah 40:8, “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth, but the Word of our God shall stand forever.” The earthly will fade away. Our life here on earth is “like a vapor”, Job says. You will never see a hurst pulling a u-haul trailer. Let’s not be so concerned about “sitting in the seat of the scornful.”

2. A Spiritual Life (1:2)

a. Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, not under it, but in it. As believers were not under the law (Romans 3:28). In it we can glean principles, precepts, and see pictures of our Lord and Savior. Meditate day and night in the Word. Meditation involves studying a passage of scripture, memorizing it, praying about it, and exhorting oneself to fulfill it. Many Christians say they are meditating in the Word when they are simply reading it. As crucial that is, it is not meditating. It is wonderful to just read through the different stories of God’s Word, but to meditate is more emotionally deep. Spiritual success depends on the constant study and application of God’s Word. The Bible tells us in Duet. 6:6-9, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” The Hebrew word translated "meditate" speaks of what a cow does after grazing all day. As she chews the cud over and over again, she extracts every nutrient. In other words, to meditate means to ponder a section of the Word day and night, extracting more from its inexhaustible supply each time (Jon Cursor). We are to memorize God’s word for the transformation of our minds. These verses are telling us to read it, teach it, speak it, and live it. We are to do this in the morning, night, through our day. The way to do this is have the Word stored in your heart. When you are presented with certain situations through your day, the Holy Spirit will pull these words out of your memory bank for you to help you asses the options.

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