Psalm 1 – Prophetic Words For a Beautiful, Blessed Life
One of my most treasured items currently is a card I received from family members at my last birthday. It has an ornate tree on the front and inside it are the words of Psalm 1 from the old King James Version. The card has pride of place on my window sill at work where I can frequently reflect on its meaning.
The first psalm is clearly in the group of my favourites-and for so many reasons. But recently I was awoken with thought in my mind toward the importance of inputs in life; and there are two sorts of inputs I believe this psalm refers to.
INPUT 1 – Counsel/Way/Presence of the Godly & Love of His Word (vv. 1-2)
As the first and second verses ascribe to the negative and positive, we’re to be careful who we spend lots of time with. It seems a device of first up command in wisdom literature tradition–something a young man or woman needs to be aware of. We must seek the consistent council/counsel/way of the godly persons in our midst.
There are various ways the parallelism of the lines of this first verse could be viewed. Progression is favoured: the godly person walks; they see the godly and stand–having gotten his/her attention; then, they sit in “council” with them. (Though negatively set, I’ve tried to transpose it positively.)
Obviously, the incredibly positive and life-giving thought comes in verse 2, where ‘the LORD’s Torah’ is the believer’s delight and they utter and murmur it continually. The blessed one is set apart not by social status, or necessarily by behaviour, but by attitude and by what draws their attention.
And, ‘the Law’ is frequently misunderstood. It’s deeper, thicker and richer than anyone can assimilate in any one helping, or even over an entire lifetime. We can’t put a ‘neat’ construct around it.
So, fellowship (v. 1) and self-discovery through divine biblical revelation (v. 2) are key fundamental inputs. They are the ’cause’ part of the cause and effect process toward the blessed life.
INPUT 2 – (Conditional on Input 1) God’s Provision of Water, Feeding the Tree of Life (v. 3)
The ‘tree of life’ is mentioned variously throughout the Bible and importantly it’s a bookend at both ends in Genesis and Revelation. Pivotally, it’s also alluded to no less than four times in Proverbs.
But, this ‘tree of life’ is not just about source–where we go to. Our lives are metaphors of plant life. Whether we wither and slowly die or we grow and thrive depends on input one. God has set up the conditions for us to realise the divine Request prophetic word in our lives provided we do this.
He orders the flow of our lives hence; in the presence of water our burgeoning fruit thrives–ready for a season that yet awaits.
INPUT 1 + INPUT 2 = OUTCOME (A Blessed, Righteous Life)
Verses 3-6 speak of ‘the effect,’ given the first two verses are adhered to. This is the prophesy we need to believe in when we’re at the sharp end of things. And though it may appear simplistic, we’re to rise in faith to meet God’s promise.