The Psalms is a collection of Hebrew poetry that spans over a 1000 years and a wide variety of human experiences. We want to feel good about life but the human experience is so wide and deep that we can take solace in the fact this truth is reflected in scripture. Week 1 of the series we take a deep dive into Psalm 1.
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
The author is encouraging people to have a good life and wants to give instruction about how to obtain it. Out of all the Psalms written the editors chose to put this Psalm first. Why do you think that is? Why this poem? How does this Psalm set the table for us to take a deep dive into an emotional collection of wisdom literature?
The author wants his readers to be blessed, happy, fortunate… and that won’t happen if we WALK, STAND, or SIT in the wrong place. If we mindlessly move in the direction of those on the wrong path we will end up in the destination of the wicked. If we stand with sinners we’ll blend in with values that won’t allow us to carry our blessing. If we passively sit among voices that are critical, negative, sarcastic and knock everything down it will influence our inner monologue. Take a moment to evaluate the voices influencing your life on a daily basis. Are any of them impacting you negatively? Have you ever successfully broken a negative voice taking up space in your heart?
Our call is to delight in what the Lord instructs (law). To keep in step with the spirit (Gal 5:25) and dwell (meditate, muse, take focused time) on what is true, lovely, pure, admirable, and praiseworthy (Phil 4:8). What has helped you gain a wisdom perspective on your life in hard times? How do you listen when your soul speaks?
Take a moment of silent meditation with eyes closed to picture yourself as a tree planed by streams of water. Deep roots. Strong and grounded. Well nourished. Lush and nurtured. Bearing good fruit in season. Brightly colored leaves. Ask yourself how you can become more of that person this year.