December 12, 2017

Psunday Psalms: Psalms 1-2 Together

King David, Chagall

Psunday Psalms
Devotional Thoughts on the Psalms

* * *

Psalm 2
“But I have installed My king
on Zion, my holy mountain!”

…Happy are all who take refuge in Him.

– Psalm 2:6-9, 12, Tanakh (JPS)

* * *

Psalms 1-2 go together, and serve to introduce the Book of Psalms. The simplest way of seeing this is to look at the first verse of Psalm 1 and the last verse of Psalm 2. These psalms are “framed” by blessings:

  • 1:1 — Happy is the man who…the teaching of the LORD is his delight…
  • 2:12 — Happy are all who take refuge in Him.

In addition, we may note that neither psalm has a heading, and that both psalms share a common vocabulary. The Tanakh translation renders some of these words differently in English, but those in the table below in quotation marks are cognate Hebrew words.

PSALM ONE PSALM TWO
Heading: None Heading: None
1:1 — “Happy” is the man 2:12 — “Happy” are all
1:1 — “Counsel” of the wicked 2:2 — Regents “intrigue” together
1:1 — “Joined the company” of the indolent 2:2 — Kings…”take their stand”
1:1 — Taken the “path” of sinners 2:12 — Your “way” be doomed
1:2 — Company of the “indolent” 2:4 — The Lord “mocks” at them
1:2 — He “studies” the teaching 2:1 — Peoples “plot” vain things
1:6 — Way of the wicked is “doomed” 2:12 — Your way be “doomed”

 

As we saw last Sunday, Psalm 1 presents this collection of songs and poems as a book of torah, upon which we should meditate day and night. Psalm 2 goes further and summarizes the main content of the book.

PSALM ONE instructs as to how this book is to be read:

  • Accept it as God’s Torah
  • Delight in it and meditate upon it always
PSALM TWO sets forth the main content of
the book that we should know:

  • The Lord reigns (despite all appearances)
  • The Lord will triumph through his chosen Messiah
Those who do will know God’s blessing from the Tree of Life in the good land.
(see Joshua 1:8)
Those who take refuge in him will experience God’s blessing.
Those who don’t will perish from the good land.
(see Deut. 30:15-20)
Those who refuse to submit to him will perish in their rebellious ways.

 

The Book of Psalms is God’s instruction, designed to teach us about God’s King.

Originally, these psalms were words God’s people spoke to him in worship. Now, by being edited and put together in this book, they function as God’s Word to us, to be studied and digested that we might live in God’s blessing in this life and forever.

Don’t miss that this blessing does not come from merely engaging a book, but by letting this book lead us to take refuge in God’s King.

Comments

  1. Mary Ann Dutton says:

    Thank you for instructional heft, it is this that preserves awe and reverence for the Divine, a concept that is so sadly lacking in the evangelical wilderness we truly are in.

  2. Wow, I have never seen or heard such a succinct presentation of these two psalms–or seen how closely intertwined they are! I just spent a season reading through the Psalms, and this really helps to bring things full circle. As I progressed through the psalms, the focus on Jesus the Messiah and His Kingdom rose to a crescendo and became more and more unmistakable; and this article really helps to cement that impression.