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Pondering the Psalms (Psalm 1, Part 7)

My friend Frank and I have an agreement, a covenant, which we have followed for several years. We read the same chapter in God’s Word each day for a week and then drop each other a short email about what we have learned. We then move to the next chapter the next week. I describe our modest online Bible study here. You might want to try this with a friend or relative.

We’ve now embarked on a journey of reading through the book of Psalms! So this week we’re reading Psalm 1 each day for a week, then on to Psalm 2, etc. Whew! I’ll post a few comments on our Psalm of the week that I pray will be an encouragement to you.

Let’s think about verses 4-5 today.

1. Please notice that a simile is also used of “the wicked.” While the blessed person is likened to a productive fruit tree, the wicked person is “like chaff.” And not just any chaff, but chaff “that the wind blows away.” They have no stability and, needless to say, they don’t produce any edible fruit! Try living on chaff for a while!

2. It is certainly true that our good works play no part in saving us. However, believers are called to good works once they are in God’s family. The normal Christian life is to be one of fruitfulness, both personal (note the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5) and public (spreading the seed of God’s Word, doing good works both to believers and unbelievers). The last thing any of us should want is to see our works burned up as wood, hay, and stubble on the Day of Judgment (I Corinthians 3:15).

3. Don’t fail to note that “the wicked” will not stand in the judgment. This doesn’t mean they won’t be there. It means they won’t survive God’s holy judgment. These are also described as “sinners” who won’t stand “in the assembly of the righteous.” For all eternity evil and evil doers will be excluded from the people of God.

Today’s Challenge: All who have not yet trusted Christ are in the category of “the wicked.” What steps are you taking to reach “the wicked” that you know? Are they on your prayer list? Let one of them know that you are praying for them today!

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2021 in Psalm 1

 

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Pondering the Psalms (Psalm 1, Part 6)

My friend Frank and I have an agreement, a covenant, which we have followed for several years. We read the same chapter in God’s Word each day for a week and then drop each other a short email about what we have learned. We then move to the next chapter the next week. I describe our modest online Bible study here. You might want to try this with a friend or relative.

We’ve now embarked on a journey of reading through the book of Psalms! So this week we’re reading Psalm 1 each day for a week, then on to Psalm 2, etc. Whew! I’ll post a few comments on our Psalm of the week that I pray will be an encouragement to you.

Let’s think about verse three today.

1. I love good metaphors, don’t you? While both similes and metaphors are used to make comparisons, the difference between similes and metaphors comes down to a word. Similes use the words like or as to compare things—“Life is like a box of chocolates.” In contrast, metaphors directly state a comparison—“Love is a battlefield.” In our verse this morning, the believer who chooses not to side with the wicked but instead delights in and meditates on God’s Word is described as “like a tree.” That’s a simile.

2. My earliest memories of trees are not so positive. I remember slamming into a tree on my bike. And the tree won. On my 10th birthday I wanted to climb a tree in my backyard and my friend Tate was already climbing it. I pulled him down and proceeded (on my birthday) to climb that tree. A wasp nest fell on me and I was stung numerous times.

3. But here being compared to a tree is a very positive thing! Notice (1) this tree is planted by streams of water. Not in the desert or near a dried up creek bed or by a stagnant pond. But “by streams of water.” How refreshing! Notice also (2) that this tree is fruitful! It produces appropriate fruit when it should and even its leaves don’t wither and die. So it’s a fruit tree!

In a world obsessed with prosperity, this kind of fruitfulness is commended by God Himself. And this kind of simile ought to make us smile!

Today’s Challenge: Do you see yourself as a fruitful, well-nourished tree that is prospering in your walk with Christ? Don’t miss this challenging figure of speech about your life. And mine.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2021 in Psalm 1

 

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Psalms of My Life (Psalm 92)

Psalm 92

A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 7.55.56 AM

It is good to praise the Lord
    and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
    and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
    and the melody of the harp.

For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
    I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
    how profound your thoughts!
Senseless people do not know,
    fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
    and all evildoers flourish,
    they will be destroyed forever.

But you, Lord, are forever exalted.

For surely your enemies, Lord,
    surely your enemies will perish;
    all evildoers will be scattered.
10 You have exalted my horn[b] like that of a wild ox;
    fine oils have been poured on me.Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 7.59.29 AM
11 My eyes have seen the defeat of my adversaries;
    my ears have heard the rout of my wicked foes.

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
15 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2015 in the book of Psalms

 

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