Psalms 1–2: The Righteous & The Wicked

Read the Bible in 2011 ◊ Week 1: Wednesday

Today was a day of annoyances. Before I sat down to read my Bible, there were some frustrating disruptions that began to elicit both grief and anger within me about being caught up in the aftermath of a maelstrom of events outside my control.

That’s the way life is, sometimes, isn’t it? I was quite glad on Wednesday to be able to turn to the Psalms, the book where cries of the heart are poured out to God in words that echo our own feelings, yet in words that do not let our deep-felt reactions pull us away from Him, but draw us to Him. In other words, they give voice to our emotions in all of their widest ranges, yet give them expression without sin.

I really, really like Michael Coley’s Bible reading plan for charting readings from Psalms on every Wednesday of the year. Falling as it does in the middle of the week, Wednesday can sometimes be an exhaustion point, and it was a relief to come to the Psalms.

Today’s reading was Psalm 1 and Psalm 2—both Psalms are about the righteous and the wicked. The focus of Psalm 1 is on the individual, and the focus of Psalm 2 is on nations. Today I really needed the words of Psalm 2; to know that as nations and peoples stand against God:

“He who sits in the heavens laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.”
Psalm 2:4

In those times when I observe with fear or anger the news and events of a day, God is there, scoffing at the wicked, and He will move and act in judgment. When my personal life is affected by the actions of the powerful, I must go back and let Psalm 1 be the guide for my life with the assurance that the Lord knows my way, but the way of the wicked will perish (see Psalm 1 and 1:6).

Psalm 2 closes with these verses. There is warning for the wicked and final words for the righteous.

“Worship the LORD with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry,
and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!”
Psalm 2:11–12

Reading these Psalms together as a pair, I noticed something: Psalm 1 begins by describing those who are blessed, and Psalm 2 closes by describing those who are blessed. We see the ways and ends of the wicked, but their actions are bookended by the blessings of the righteous.

That’s good to know, and good for the reassurance and rest of my heart.

Isaiah 42 Photograph: – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publications

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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