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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Selected Psalms: Psalm 1

How fitting that the very first Psalm details the vital nature of God’s word in the life of the Psalmist.

1 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.

Blessed literally mean happy. Happy is the man. Happy is the man who is not influenced by the world, who does not look like the world, who does not act like the world. A friend recently told me that he’s been giving a lot of thought to what it means to be worldly. He’s been asking himself in what ways has worldliness worked its way into his life. It’s a great question and one which most believers probably do not consider.

How can we know what it means to be worldly? How is it that we can be prevented from living a worldly life? Psalmist gives us an indication in the next line:

2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

Passion and time. The happy man delights in the word of God, his passion is the word of God, and because of that he spends his time meditating on it. When we hear the word meditation, we may automatically think of the ungodly practice of transcendental meditation, wherein a person completely empties his mind of everything. That certainly is not the idea here. Biblical meditation is the spiritual discipline of filling your mind with one thing – Scripture. I won’t take the time to go into methods of doing this, but here is a link to Don Whitney’s website. Dr. Whitney is a professor at Southern Seminary who does conferences all over the country on the spiritual disciplines. On this page you’ll find a link to a downloadable file outlining various methods of Scriptural meditation.

Passion for the Word of God has become an uncommon thing. I’m convinced that this has resulted from the decline of strong biblical teaching in the church. When a people are not encountering the Bible every Sunday, it becomes very easy to forget about its power, its relevance, and its sufficiency. However, when the text of Scripture is faithfully exposed to God’s people, the Holy Spirit Himself argues for its power, relevance, and sufficiency.

Passion and time. What do you do if you don’t have a deep passion for God’s Word? Time. Spend time in the Word, praying that the Holy Spirit will illuminate the text. Memorize it. Meditate on it. Read it. Pray it. Sing it. If you’ll do that, the passion will follow. It may be that that well of passion for the Word in your life isn’t completely dry. The pump just needs to be primed.

I encourage you to read the rest of this Psalm here and answer these questions:

What will the man who delights in the Word be like?

How many observations can you make about that tree? (How will it be planted? Where will it be planted? Etc.)

What kind of person is contrasted with the man who delights in the Word?

What will he be like?

What other observation can be made about these two kinds of people in vv5-6?

How might the imagery of the tree and the chaff apply to your life?

May the Lord bless your time in this wonderful Psalm and may it be said of you that your delight is in the law of the Lord and on His law you meditate day and night.

Psalm 119:162 I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.

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