Reading the Word
Psalm 1:1–6 (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; 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.
Understanding and Applying the Word
This psalm tells us that the person who delights in and meditates on the law of God is blessed. It is important to understand what is being referred to as the “law” here. Some may quickly assume that this speaks specifically of the Mosaic Law given to Israel at Mount Sinai. However, in the context of this psalm, the word refers to all of God’s word. The one who delights in God’s word (i.e. Scripture) and meditates on it by thinking through its meaning and implications is blessed.
How is this person blessed? Because, as the psalm says, God’s word is life-giving. This person is like a thriving tree growing next to a stream. Whereas the person who disregards God’s word is like dried up chaff that blows away in the wind: dead and lifeless. This is how the wicked live and one day they will stand in judgment before the Lord.
God’s word is not a burden for his people. It is not something to we read and study because we are obligated. God’s word gives us great delight because through it we learn of the one who gave us his word and because that very word brings us true life. Praise God for his word!
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