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Lowell Brueckner

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January 1 - 7 Daily Meditations in the Psalms


                                     For the biblical text, the old King James Version is used, because
its literary beauty is unsurpassed in this most poetic of all scripture.

     The book of Psalms is the Hebrew’s hymn book. It was also a prayer book, because the Hebrew often sang his prayers. Therefore, we can learn much about prayer from the Psalms. Of course, they are inspired writings by holy men of God, writing under the authorship of the Holy Spirit. 

     The first chapter is an introduction. It describes the worthy reader; that is, one who is drawn to the Word of God to pore long over its pages. He has two qualifying characteristics: He has a thirst for God and he trusts Him. He longs after God and looks to him alone to quench his thirst and to be his shepherd, as the most famous of these songs depict.

     We could think of the Psalms as a long trip, filled with  experiences, revelations and prayers, for the one who, “walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful”. This journey promotes spiritual growth in an individual life, and the chapters end, as our days should, with an overflow of gushing, heartfelt praise. 

     To each text from the Psalms, short, daily meditations follow, as aids to help the reader pray as Jesus taught us; that is, “according to His will”. The theme of the Psalms is our relationship with God, which is also the basis of our devotional life. They are part of the Hebrew tree, into which every believer in Christ has been grafted, and so they also become his song and prayer book.

January 1                                Psalms 1:1-2

An introduction

1.  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2.  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

     A man can be honored, eulogized, fortunate, promoted, beloved, and respected, but all these endowments are not worth comparing with the high and lofty state of being blessed of God.  The God-blessed man stands apart from all his fellows in having found the richest quality of life and the most satisfying purpose.
     The blessed man first does not and then he does. The delight of the blessing of God propels his life, prohibiting certain practices and promoting others. He carefully adheres to do or not to do, thereby bringing down more blessing upon himself. So there is a never-ending chain of blessing, followed by obedience, followed by more blessing.

January 2                   Psalms 1:1

1. Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

     As we begin to read the Psalms, they inform us of the situations that the man, who is blessed of God, avoids. There are negative aspects that bring blessing as well as positive. The blessed man does not and, it seems to me, in scriptural chronology, a does not comes before a does. A negative action precedes a positive action. He puts off the old man, then puts on the new.  He dies before he lives again.  He repents before he believes.  He is familiar with the God-blessed discipline of abstention. He simply does not.
     He does not take steps down a descending scale of maliciousness. He does not follow or  heed ungodly counsel in his daily walk. The ungodly have nothing whatsoever to offer him. They are not his source of information, wisdom, or planning.
     If unscriptural, worldly suggestions, which are thrown in his path, do not divert him, he will not have to be concerned about dropping to the second level. Since ungodly advice does not stall him, he does not stand to adopt the way of sinners. It will not become a way of life for him. He does not stand upon sinful principles. He does not become fixed or habitual in a sinful way of living and thinking.
     Not having heeded the first step, he does not get involved in the second, and consequently does not stoop to step three. He does not comfortably find rapport or companionship with those, who are given over to scorn against God, righteousness and holy living. To sit and participate with their ridicule and blasphemy is the farthest thing from his heart.

January 3

Psalms 1:2-3
2. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

     The man blessed of God is delighted with one thing. His heart is given over to meditation in the law of the Lord. That which God has decreed is of great value in understanding Who God is. His word is a reflection of His person. In His law, the blessed man searches for God day and night.  It is his preoccupation and he is driven by delight. Late into the night, he meditates. When awakened in the middle of the night or early hours of the mornings, his heart and thoughts turn to God. He cannot be distracted during the daytime. Again and again throughout the day this is what he does, and consequently has no time for that which he does not.
     Devotion brings desirable qualities into his life. It builds character. He flourishes like a tree beside the waters and his spiritual roots go down into nourishing moisture. He is so involved with his delight that he may not notice the branches spreading out as the roots go deep. He becomes stable, unmovable, and as John the  Baptist, strong in spirit. His source of strength is the river by which he dwells. Dry seasons do not affect the leaves and without conscious effort, fruit forms on the branches.

January 4

Psalms 1:4-5
4. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

     The book of Psalms is a sword. It cuts a sharp incision between the righteous and the unrighteous. The contrast is very pronounced. The ungodly are not at all like a tree planted by rivers of water, but instead are likened to chaff; empty shells without the desired kernel, powerless to even begin to sprout and grow. The seed of God is that kernel and the UNgodly are without God; henceforth, they are chaff.
       Every wind of doctrine blows them in all directions. They crave companionship, associating here and there, looking for the newest fad, hearing the latest news and developments, but nothing fills the void or adds weight to a shiftless existence.
     What will these have to offer, when the Husbandman comes looking for fruit? What will they say in their defense? Judgment will blow them away. What are they among the congregation of trees? What can they contribute? It is an overwhelming comparison, a ridiculous mismatch.

January 5

Psalms 1:6
6. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

     The Lord knows the way of the righteous, because the righteous knows the law of the Lord. He is on God's side, therefore God is on his side. It is ridiculous to pray for God's attendance along the path of the ungodly. Who can follow the disoriented, senseless wanderings of weightless chaff? God's ways have purpose and design.
"These are...carried about of whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."  - Jude 12,13
"Beguiling unstable souls...which have forsaken the right way and are gone whom the mist of darkness is reserved had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment." - 2 Peter 2:14-21

January 6

Psalms 2:1-3
1.  Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?
2.  The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
3. Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

     From the time that governments began to form and placed leaders in power on earth, the question that heads this Psalm has been asked. Its subject continues through the Old Testament, in the Gospels, the book of Acts and finally in the Revelation. It is in the final inspired book that it reaches its apex. The nations are angry and gather around anti-christ and finally, after the millenium, around the devil himself.
      When the fallen nature of Adam receives popular support and power, it rises in rebellion against the One on the throne and the Lamb. Pilate and Herod were enemies, until there was an opportunity to unite in opposition against the Christ. Gentile and Jew joined at the cross to kill the Lamb of God. Pilate, in order to realize his ambitions, must please the Jews, and so he sides with them, however reluctantly, and delivers the Christ to be crucified. (How many souls will be damned because of a reluctant dismissal of Christ?)
     We have the advantage of knowing the outcome of the opposition. Revelation predicts that the most powerful armies will be fed to the birds and their leaders cast into the Lake of Fire. Not only prophetic books, but history teaches that rebellion against God is fruitless and insane. The plot against Jesus disintegrated at the tomb in spite of the armed guards, the official Roman seal, and popular religious influence.
     The reason for the opposition is a disclosure of fallen human nature. The Lord and His Christ restrain them from realizing their sinful, selfish plans. The Communists came against true religion because it hindered their utopia. All the talk of world peace is only to bring about a world in which man can comfortably live in his sin. God is hindering peace in a world that disdains or ignores him.

January 7

Psalms 2:4-9
4.  He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
5.  Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.
6.  Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.
7.  I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.
8.  Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.
9.  Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

      "He who laughs last, laughs best" is a paraphrase of verse 4. It is an awful laugh. Man has mocked God and now God mocks man. Elijah mocked the false prophets of Baal.  The fool is treated in accordance with his folly. What can puny man do against Almighty God? Let the mouse boldly agitate the cat. He has more chance than man revolting against his Creator.
     God is slow to anger. The nations were first angry against Him and they prodded and provoked, as a child might tease an unchained lion, until God arose to scatter his enemies with frightful fury. They did not want His King. Herod the Great tried to kill him. Men mocked Him to scorn, put a purple robe upon Him, crucified Him and then challenged Him to come down from the cross.
     God, in hot displeasure for their ceaseless refusal to accept His will, thunders a decree. His King will yet rule from Zion. The voice from heaven testifies, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." Though the entire world rise in protest, the Son of God will inherit all  things. Over the noise of the tumult and the cries to crucify Him, comes a challenge from God for His Christ to petition Him and He will put the heathen and the uttermost parts of the earth into His hand. "Take the iron rod," He says, "Dash them to pieces like so much pottery.” They are, after all, just colorful, decorated earth.

David Zosel said...
January 1, 2014 at 9:53 AM  

Luke 24:44-45
"Then He said to them, "These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning me." And he opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures."

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