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Psalms 1 and 2

Jews consider the first psalm and the second to be referring to the perfect man and therefor messianic.

Psalm 1:1 (ESV) 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;

The psalms begin with a contrast between the blessing on the righteous and the eventual judgment of the wicked. It begins with what the of the blessed man does not do. Notice the progression of involvement as well as wickedness. Walk, stand, sit - in the counsel of sinners, way of sinners, scornful of godliness.

Psalm 1:2 (ESV) 2  but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.

The blessed man's pleasure is the LORD's Word. Instead of the counsel of the wicked, the blessed man meditates on the Word day and night. His mind is renewed by the Word of God (Romans 12:2). The blessed man is continually nourished by that Word He on which he is meditating. Law = Torah, meaning instruction, and often references all inspired Scripture.

Psalm 1:3 (ESV) 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.

Trees take in many gallons of water every day and evaporate them through the leaves. The process cools the leaves and the surrounding area and is used in the process of photosynthesis. We all know that when the earth dries up, the plant dies. The blessed man stays by the consistent source of water (the Word). John 15:5 tells us Jesus is the vine and our source. If we abide in Him He will abide in us. The result is (spiritual Galatians 5:22) fruit in its perfect time and leaves that don’t dry up and shrivel. Everything he does is successful from an eternal perspective.

Psalm 1:4 (ESV) 4  The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

The wicked don’t have the spiritual water. Remember that Jesus told the woman at the well that He could give her living water (John 4:13-14). She was drying up and about to be blown away like chaff, but the water of Jesus’ words changed everything. She almost immediately bore fruit. The wicked reject the water of life, dry up, and are blown away (John 15:6). The focus shifts from actions (verses 1-3) to destiny because of the actions (4-6). See Isaiah 35:5; Hosea 13:2,3.

Psalm 1:5 (ESV) 5  Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

To stand is to not be condemned, to remain, to survive. The wicked will not escape judgment or have a place in the congregation of the righteous. They will be on their knees, heads hung low in conviction.

Psalm 1:6 (ESV) 6  for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

YHWH knows our way is not that of the wicked, but the path of righteousness, fearing God and placing our hope in Him (Psalm 139:3). We are never in a situation of which our Lord is unaware. The LORD says He never knew the wicked, meaning that they are no friend of His (Matthew 7:23).


The choice is set before us in this first psalm to meditate on the words in this book and to walk in the Spirit, OR to listen to the counsel of the world and go the way of the world. We meditate on the words, bear fruit, and are blessed, OR we can dry up and blow away. We will survive God's judgement because of Jesus, or we will receive His wrath.


Consider:


Have you felt a little dry lately? Maybe you need to be refreshed by the water of God’s Word. The hotter it is, the more water we need. Where is your refreshment found?



A Psalm of the Messianic King.

Psalm 2:1 (ESV) 1  Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?

This is the conclusion of the conflict of the blessed man and the ungodly in the first Psalm.


This verse is cited in Acts 4:25,26 as being fulfilled when the Pilate, Herod, the Sanhedrin, and many people in the crowds agreed to kill Jesus. That would be an intermediary fulfillment. The early church read this as the voice of Jesus.


I believe the ultimate fulfillment of this "rage" (a noisy assembly of people) is preparation for Armageddon. God reigns. The nations know it. The rulers abhor it. The multitudes reject it. But there is nothing they can do about it.


Why did Herod the Great think he could stop prophecy by killing the babies of Bethlehem? Why did Sanhedrin and Caiaphas think they could stop the One who raised Lazarus from the dead and fulfilled Isaiah's predictions about the Messiah? Why do Muslims and communist leaders think they can snuff out Christianity?

Psalm 2:2 (ESV) 2  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,

The first readers would have considered the Lord's anointed to be the king over their nation, however, the end of the psalm calls Him the Son. This is definitely considered to be a messianic psalm by both Jews and Christians.

Psalm 2:3 (ESV) 3  “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

The bonds and cords of the LORD and His Anointed are conviction, a true interpretation of the law of God, and perhaps the most repulsive of all to those who rage, the cords of God's love (Hosea 11:4; John 6:44; 12:32).

Psalm 2:3 (ESV) 3  “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

Is God disturbed in one little bit? Does the Almighty Maker fear vulnerable and weak created beings? He knows their every thought. He can extinguish them with a word. He only need send one angel and 185,000 are dead in an instant. He laughs at their ignorant efforts to stop Him, to stop the very One who holds the universe together. He mocks their puny efforts.

Psalm 2:3 (ESV) 3  “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

But after laughing, He terrifies them with the thunder of His majestic voice that declares verse 6.

Psalm 2:3 (ESV) 3  “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”

Jesus, the King, has been placed on the throne of David to rule the nations forever. The prophecy says His reign will never end (Isaiah 9:7; Psalm 89:4). God has done it. Who can stop Him?

Psalm 2:7 (ESV) 7  I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.

Cited in Hebrews 1:5 and 5:5 as the title and authority given to Jesus, setting Him above the angels. The day the Father begat Him was the resurrection not the day of His birth or sometime in the past.

Psalm 2:8 (ESV) 8  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.

God invites Jesus to ask for the entire earth to be under His dominion, His heritage as a possession. Satan tempted Jesus to claim headship over the earth by worshiping him. It was a shortcut to a similar end, without the suffering. Jesus knew those kind of shortcuts lead to dead ends.

Psalm 2:9 (ESV) 9  You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

Jesus will crush those violently opposed to Him (Luke 19:27). That is God's sovereign decree. So they can plot and scheme all they will. God laughs at man's puny efforts. What God has decreed shall be. His wonderful decree is that evil will be crushed and righteousness will reign forever.

Psalm 2:10-11 (ESV) 10  Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. 11  Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

Because that is how it is, wise up! Serve YHWH/Yeshua with fear. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10). By that fear we depart from evil (Proverbs 16:6). Then you will find reason to rejoice, tempered with trembling knowing what judgement you mercifully escaped.

Psalm 2:12 (ESV) 12  Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

Touch/kiss the Lord Jesus in reverent honor and submission, lest you die from just a bit of His just wrath.


Blessed (esher) as in Psalm 1:1 (from ashar – masculine plural). It is not used when from or referring to God (in which case is word barak). Esher is more of the sense of happiness or contentment (to be envied). It is a term of congratulation rather than a benediction. It is the result of a person’s unequivocal trust in God.


Mankind either comes to God for refuge or turns against and fights Him. The Holy Spirit draws us and we yield or we rebel. We either desire His merciful grace and dwell in His love, or we reject that grace and are embittered that we can't be our own lord. Psalms 1 and 2 lay out a choice before us. The choice is clarified in this psalm to be about our relationship with the Son. We either rage against Him and are judged, or we serve Him with reverence and worship and find Him to be our refuge.

Questions:

  1. What people are being contrasted in Psalm 1?

  2. What are the blessings promised and to whom?

  3. Who is raging and why?

  4. When was the Son begotten?

  5. What is the warning of Psalm 2?

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