This Week’s Reading Schedule
Friday’s (today’s) Bible Reading is Psalm 1-5
Next week is Luke beginning with chapters 1-5 on Monday.
The overall year’s plan is here.
Psalm 1 is short, but it is one of the greatest promises in the Bible. If we will avoid evil ways and meditate and delight in the law of the Lord we will always prosper. We’ll be like a tree planted by a river. Even in drought, summer, and heat, we’ll prosper.
There is much to be said for zeal for God, even when it is misled zeal. God will take responsibility for the person whose goal is to please him. He will teach and guide such a person, and he will empower them in their ways. Thus, they can be misguided and make mistakes, but God will teach them and straighten their paths.
This is what is called a "Messianic Psalm." It addresses the coming Messiah.
Messiah is a Hebrew word meaning "Anointed One," and it applies to any person that the Lord anoints with oil or the Spirit, but it has always applied especially to the king of Israel. Of course, when we speak of "the" Messiah, that has meant the coming, final King, whom Christians believe to be Jesus.
The Messiah is spoken of as both judging and showing mercy to the nations at various points throughout prophecy. This is one of the judgment prophecies.
Of course, judgment and mercy is entirely dependent on our response to the Gospel. Thus Psalm 2 does not threaten, but it calls the nations to "worship the Lord with reverence" and to "do homage to the Son" (NASB).
Psalm 2 addresses the Messiah as "the Son," which we Christians know to be a reference to the fact that the Messiah is actually God’s Son. We’ll address the Trinity further when we get to passages that address it more directly.
Most Bibles have introductions to the Psalms. Prayer Psalms like this one are much more interesting if you know the context. I use BibleGateway.com when I’m doing these commentaries, and its New American Standard Bible says that Psalm 3 was written while David was fleeing from his son Absalom (2 Sam. 15:1ff).
This psalm shows David’s heart, thoughts, and prayers in an incredible difficult situation where his own son has stolen his kingdom. I’ll let it speak for itself.
Psalm 4 is an evening prayer.
I’m not going to comment on it. It’s a prayer to meditate on at the end of the day, and it speaks very well for itself.
The context of Psalm 5 is a time when David is under a lot of distress from the wicked, perhaps during the time he was fleeing Saul in the wilderness, which we’ll get to in 2 Samuel.
Thus there is a strong emphasis on judgment and the difference between the way God treats the righteous and the wicked.
These kind of passages help resolve a conflict that exists today as well. Many churches teach that Jesus came to pay for sins so that it does not matter how we live, we can still be forgiven and go to heaven. This is nonsense and contradicted on almost every page of the Bible (e.g., 1 Cor. 6:9-11).
God is the same always. He has never stopped hating sin, and the point of God’s work is always to deliver us from sin, not to leave us wicked, then overlook sin.