The Ideal Bible Reader
“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; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 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. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
– Psalm 1
I love the Psalms. By mixing poetry with lyricism, the psalmist seems to have a line for everything. The first psalm is my favorite though. This text is rich and lays out what the ideal reader of the Bible is like. This ideal Bible reader is a person to aspire to and this psalm lays out what this person does and what they are like.
The book opens by stating that the blessed man is the one who does not walk with the wicked, stands with sinners, or sits in the place of scoffers. The idea here is three actions that the psalmist exhorts the reader to avoid. First, avoid behaving based on the advice of the wicked. Second, avoid giving too much honor and respect for the journey of the sinner. Third, avoid dwelling in the habitation of the scoffer. Overall, the believer is called to avoid living as the world does and avoid the influences of those who are wicked, living in sin, or scoffers.
The blessed person, instead, delights in God’s law and in following God. The result is being like a tree planted by streams of water. The imagery here tells of a tree that is right near its source of nourishment. The main source of nourishment for the believer must be scripture. The person who is rejoicing and delighting in God’s way is planted right by the very nourishment that it needs. Furthermore, this person yields their fruit at the properly appointed time. Not only is this individual right by the nourishment they need, but they are also fruitful in their life.
Contrasting this person is the wicked who are described as being like chaff that the wind drives away. I think of a tumbleweed here. While the tree is immovable because of its roots, the tumbleweed floats wherever the wind takes it. Not only is the wicked person moving from place to place based on the wind, but they also do not share the same future as the righteous person. The question that comes from the text is “Which person am I?”.
Do you rejoice in God’s word or is it a burden to you? Do you enjoy following God or is it sometimes a hindrance?
Pray: Father, thank You for Your word that You have given to us. Help me to understand it and rejoice in the things You have told me are helpful for life. Help me to avoid the things that You have said are not good for me. Thank You for loving me.
First Baptist Broken Arrow