Psalms: Devotional Psalter
The ESV Devotional Psalter is a brand new resource put out by Crossway books. In it you will find a brief devotional reading for each of the psalms. Consider this excerpt from Psalm 1.
1Blessed 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.
In a sustained contrast, Psalm 1 reminds us that in the end there are only two ways to live. And whatever else happens in our lives today; the crucial bottom-line question is: which of the two ways described in this psalm will we embrace? Beneath the never ending list of “to do’s” clamoring for our attention, lies the fundamental choice to receive instruction and influence either from God or from fools. Will we listen to the voice of life or to the voices of death? Will we breathe in God’s life-giving instruction, sinking deep roots (v. 3), or will we breathe in the empty instruction of those who “will not stand in the judgment" (v. 5)? Will the trials still to come in our lives prove us to be deep-rooted trees, incapable of being blown over, or will they show us to be chaff, blown away by the slightest breeze?
Happily, this psalm and its two ways to live are not a choice between stoic obedience or gleeful disobedience. The first word of the psalm makes clear that true, solid happiness – what the Bible calls “blessedness" – is found in God and his Word. Verse 2 reiterates – “His delight is in the Law of the LORD.” Nothing can compare with the blessedness – the fruitfulness, the flourishing, the prospering of a life saturated with the Word of God.
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