Following up from Psalm 1:1 in the previous article, in contrast to the sort of evil people whose behavior we should avoid, we might expect the psalmist here to say that we should copy the pattern of good people. But, the “reverse” is a little different in verse 2:
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
Psalms 1:2 NIV
Note that it’s not necessarily a bunch of good friends that the blessed person surrounds himself or herself with; instead, it’s God’s law.
Now, having good friends and a healthy community within the church seems like a good idea, and there are positive examples of this elsewhere in the Bible. However, people – other than Jesus – are fallible, so if we want to get the truth (i.e., the perfect explanation of righteous behavior that God blesses) we need to go to the source of truth. While the law of God at the time when this Psalm was written may have been thought of as being from the first 5 books of the Bible (as we know it today), we have even more of the Word of God to use as direction for our lives. We can learn about the law of God as given to Moses (in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy, for instance), but we can also learn about the law of God as taught by Jesus (in the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).
Notice how the blessed person feels about the law of God, and how they interact with it: It isn’t a chore or a burden – it is a delight. It isn’t something that the blessed person hears about on Sunday and then moves on – instead, this person meditates on God’s law.
God’s Word (the Bible) shouldn’t be something that we just look at once in a while, like the newspaper or an online news feed (although I suspect that those may get read more often than the Bible these days, and I’m guilty of the same). Instead, God’s Word should be something that we spend lots of quality time in, both in reading (or hearing) it the first time, and then thinking about it.
If you find it difficult to “delight” in God’s law, I suggest a solution. To set up that proposed solution, consider this: Have you ever known someone who tried something once (maybe a sport or a new card game with their friends) and didn’t like it, but then – after getting into it – they got better at it, learned some strategy, and started to understand it better, and later they found that they really liked it? In the same way, if God’s Word is not your delight, I encourage you to intentionally spend more time with it. Read it more regularly (even if you don’t want to). Listen to teaching and sermons about it. Try following its instructions. Ask God to make it alive to you, as His word. Then, after you’ve given that a try for a while, see if it doesn’t become your delight!
From Sunday School lesson prepared for October 2, 2022
- The Lookout, October 2, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
- Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
- The College Press NIV Commentary, Psalms, Volume 1, S. Edward Tesh and Walter D. Zorn, © 1999, College Press Publishing Co., Joplin, MO.