Reading Time: 8 Minutes
I want to accomplish two things in these articles on the Psalms. First, I want to increase your understanding and appreciation of these songs and prayers.
Second, it is my deepest desire to help you connect with God by using the words of the Psalms in your own prayer life.
I try to keep the reading time of my blog articles in the range of 6-8 minutes. If you read my blog, I hope you will gain a fair amount of good information.
If you take another 6-10 minutes to use these Psalms in your prayer life, I know you will benefit. God will meet you and give to you the best gift of all, a friendship relationship with the Greatest Being of All.
The structure of my articles will follow these two goals. The first section will focus on helping you better understand and appreciate the Psalm.
In the second section, I will give you thoughts about how you can best use the Psalm as a “tool” to meet God in prayer.
Let’s get started in what I pray will be a blessed journey for us all.
Happy and Prosperous
The opening three verses of the Book of Psalms describes the life of a person who is blessed, happy and prosperous.
Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper. (Psalm 1.1-3)
We are happy, blessed and fortunate if we don’t imitate the lifestyle of the wicked, sinners, and scoffers. How do we define the wicked, the sinners, and the scoffers?
— The Wicked are people who live separate from God and scorn his direction for life.
Here’s an important contrast: The righteous live to benefit and help people around them, even at a cost to themselves. The wicked live to benefit themselves at the expense of the people around them.
— Sinners – Whatever we do to disturb our relationship with God or other people can be classified as a sin.
— Scoffers – The Book of Proverbs tells us what are the characteristics of a scoffer.
A wise child loves discipline,
but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke. (Proverbs 13.1)
The proud, haughty person, named “Scoffer,”
acts with arrogant pride. (Proverbs 21.24)
Instead of following the example of these three “bad actors,” the blessed person knows and aligns their life with the instructions of God, which is called the Law in the Bible.
Joshua was told that the way to success and prosperity was to know and do the will of God. God told him, “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful” (Joshua 1.8).
If we want our lives to be joyous, we will choose a God-centered world that serves others. We will journey with God and prosper in life, the abundant life Jesus came to give us (John 10.10).
Chaff Vs. God’s Care
The next three verses describe the worthless nature of the wicked, the sinners, and the scoffers.
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 watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1.4-6)
I can not imagine how tragic it would be to summarize a person’s life in one word, “chaff.” I think everyone wants to believe that their life has significance, if only in some small way.
How is it possible to live for years on the earth and end up only being “chaff?”
Paul describes “chaff” people. He says, “Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is in their shame; their minds are set on earthly things” (Philippians 3.19).
The god of “chaff” people is their belly. They live to please their appetites and self-centered desires.
We will live a “chaff” life, when we grounded and guided by a core that is self-centered, self-pleasing and self-sufficient with no connection to God. “Chaff” people oppress and do not do right by the people in their lives, so they can gratify their own appetites.
The righteous are different from “chaff” people. They live in a relationship with God. They read the Bible on a regular basis and apply its principles to how they live their lives. They pray throughout the day and enjoy the personal relationship that they have with God. This kind of life requires discipline, but the fruit of it is an abundant life now and then heaven.
The righteous align their lives with God’s will and God watches over them with his care.
God greatly desires to draw “chaff” people into his sphere of influence. The mission of Jesus was to seek out and to save the lost” (Luke 19.10). However, to the extent they stay distant from his love, they remain “chaff.”
Praying Psalm 1
Psalms 1 and 2 are not prayers. They are the introduction to the entire Book of Psalms. However, both of these Psalm can be used as prayers. Here are some suggestions as you connect with God in prayer using this Psalm.
(1) Before you begin, ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray. Ask the Spirit to give you a sense of God’s presence in your prayer time.
(2) Read verses 1-3 – Confess to God any ways that you have joined forces with the wicked, sinners, and scoffers. Ask him for forgiveness and receive his forgiveness.
Remember the words of John, “If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1.9).
Tell God that you desire to follow him and to meditate on his instructions throughout the day. The Psalms are intended to be seen as God’s instructions. You may choose to meditate on Psalm 1 today.
(3) If at any time, God seems to impress a portion of this Psalm or any Psalm on your heart, say there. It is far more important to connect with God than it is to finish going through the Psalm. The primary goal is to meet with God.
(4) Read verses 4-6 – If you are like me, you don’t want to have your entire life be summarized by the word “chaff.”
Talk to God about what needs to happen so you can “prosper” (verse 3), be among those who live in friendship and fellowship with God (verse 6).
(5) Close your time of prayer with thanksgiving and praise. You have just spent time with the Greatest Being of All. He has graciously granted you a personal visit.
Share a Prayer Request
Maywood Baptist Church has a prayer team who would be honored to pray for any need you may have. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or private message me on Facebook. The prayer team, Toni and I will pray for you.