Psalm Saturday: Memorial Day Review

For the past several Saturdays, we’ve looked at what the psalms say about prayer and examined the prayers contained in them. We plan to continue that over the Summer. Since we’re celebrating Memorial Day Weekend, I wanted to glance back at the Psalm Saturday series and list the weekly offerings in one post for the convenience of those of you who may have missed one or two… or all (LOL).

I pray you’ll have a happy holiday weekend honoring the sacrifice others made so that we could enjoy the freedoms we cherish today.

Here’s the list:

Psalm Saturday: Psalm One

Psalm Saturday: Psalm 49

Psalm Saturday: Psalm 90

Psalm Saturday: Psalm 104

Psalm Saturday: Prayers in Psalms

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Psalm Saturday: Psalm One Devotional

Psalm One is one of the best known and most beloved psalms, summarizing the two roads of life people can choose: a) the way of the righteous and b) the way of the wicked. There is a right way and a wrong way. The right way leads us closer to God. The wrong way leads us further and further astray the longer we remain on it.

As we are often reminded viewing the nightly news, there is a Good and an Evil that exists in this world we temporarily call home. The battle between Good and Evil is certainly nothing new. It has existed since the earliest beginnings of time; perhaps even longer. We can choose to follow Good or fall prey to a lifestyle of Evil. 

Psalm One reveals the importance of how we think about God, describing godly living contrasted against the hazards of an ungodly lifestyle. For the original biblical audience, Psalm One serves as a reminder of their hope in the Mosaic Covenant. For you and me, it reflects a picture of two roads. One road produces blessings. The other road results in the bitter fruits of sorrow and destruction.

Psalm One

Living a life of obedience yields blessings, provides good spiritual health, and transforms our character and actions into something that is pleasing to the Lord. Without a healthy root system grounded in the Word, we are as sure to die spiritually as a tree is certain to rot. Following God leads to good things. 

The wicked have no concern for the things of God. They do not live to please the Lord.  Instead, they live to please themselves and satisfy their own passions. They have zero regard for living the spiritual life. A life lived simply to feed our own desires falls short of God’s plan for us. 

Psalm One ends with a warning of a future day of judgement in which the Lord will separate the godly from the ungodly, the righteous from the wicked, and the wheat from the chaff. It offers a stern warning reminding us to live our lives with the knowledge that one day we will be asked to give an account of the road we chose to travel. The road we choose is up to us. 

Psalm One makes it abundantly clear that a life lived trusting in the Lord and in full obedience to all He commands is the more profitable path to take.

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Are you ready to choose the right road?

I pray that you are.

God loves you. He does not wish anyone to perish. He gave His only Son so that we could be restored on a right path leading to a life lived in His presence forever.

Prayer:

Father God, I love you. I thank you for the grace and mercy you have bestowed on me and for giving me a second chance to follow You on the right path. Father, I pray that Your truth would be revealed to others and that they might come to know You as I have come to know You. Thank you for the truth of Your Word and the Wisdom it provides. Thank you for Your Son, through whom I am saved. Amen.

Sons of Korah-Psalm 1

 

Psalm 1: Living Life in the Light of God

As a worship musician and lover of Scripture, the book of Psalms ranks high on my list of Bible favorites. Filled with songs of praise, Psalms is considered to be the songbook of the Bible.

According to the notes of bible scholar Tom Constable, the title of this beloved book of the bible is Tehillim in Hebrew, meaning “praise songs.” The translators for the Greek Septuagint used the word Psalmoi, meaning “songs to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument.” Over time the meaning morphed to simply “Songs of Praise”, dropping the stringed accompaniment reference. Our modern English bibles transformed the Greek Psalmoi to Psalms.

While not all the psalms indicate authorship, modern Bible scholars have credited David with writing 73 of the 150 Psalms found in our bibles. Psalm 90, written by Moses around 1405 B.C, is considered to be the earliest psalm written. Bible scholar Eugene Merrill has narrowed down the dates that majority of psalms were written to 970 and 550 B.C. From a historical perspective, the psalms cover a period of about 1000 years.

Book 1 of Psalms includes Psalms 1-41 and is known as the book of personal experience. Almost all the psalms in Book 1 are attributed to David.

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Psalm 1 is the perfect door leading into the treasure trove of psalms.

Psalm 1

The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked

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;

2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is 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.

4 The wicked are not so,

but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm One, one of the best known and most beloved psalms, summarizes the two paths of life open to people: a) the way of the righteous and b) the way of the wicked.

The psalm brings forth the importance of how we contemplate God, describes godly living and contrasts it with the perils of an ungodly lifestyle. It reminds the original audience of their hope in the Mosaic Covenant.

For us today, it paints a picture of two roads in life, proclaiming the blessings of the right road and declaring the consequences of going down the wrong path. Right living brings God’s favor. Ungodly living yields the bitter fruit of sorrow and destruction.

In the first half of the psalm, we read about the good fruit that a righteous life produces. It declares that the righteous person is influenced by the Word of God more than the schemes of the wicked. The Word of God shapes the righteous person’s conduct and directs their behavior. Godly people respond to life in light of God’s Word. A life of obedience brings us blessings, gives us good spiritual health, and transforms our character and actions to that which is pleasing to the Lord. Without a healthy root system grounded in the Word, we are as sure to die spiritually as a tree is certain to rot.

The wicked have little, if any regard, for God and do not live to please the Lord but to please themselves and satisfy their passions. While they may not be as evil as they could potentially be, they live life with no regard for the spiritual life.

The psalm closes with a warning that a future day of judgement is coming. In executing his winnowing judgement, the Lord will separate the godly from the ungodly, the righteous from the wicked, and the wheat from the chaff.

Psalm One is a stern reminder warning us to live our life in light of a final judgement by God. It also directs us to live life today trusting in the Lord and in obedience to all He commands.

As a worship musician, Psalm One is a steadfast measuring stick directing me in the ways of the Lord and guiding me toward a path of humility, trust, and obedience. Anchored in Psalm One, I can rest assured that my mind and heart will be focused on providing my Creator an offering whose sweet fragrance is pleasing to Him. Through heeding the words of Psalm One, I can live a life reflecting the light of God shining through me.

Amen.