Battle Cries: Psalm 1

psalms_battle_cries_logoThe Psalms are at the same time deeply personal songs borne out of struggle, and yet they are often given “to the choirmaster” for the congregation of Israel to sing. These songs are the battle cries of those fighting “the good fight of faith” (2 Timothy 4:7); they are weapons in our hands and sparring partners to train us how to pray and fight as we walk with the Lord in this world.

Psalm 1 invites us to see an individual blessed man and to realize that we are not Him. But we are invited to be united to Him, to have His life as our own, to have His delighting as our own, and to have His obedience as our own.

Notes available here.

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Inside vs. Outside

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To the contrary,
in Yahweh’s teaching is his pleasure,
and in His teaching he meditates by day and night (Psalm 1:2, Motyer translation).

[Note on “pleasure” from verse 2]: Note the emphasis—not on outward obedience (as in v.1)—but on inward realities: ‘pleasure,’ the delight of the will; ‘meditates,’ directing and feeding the mind. Compare Joshua 1:8.

Godliness starts on the inside.

— Alec Motyer, Psalms by the Day, 11 (emphasis added).

Grafted

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The blessed man is a well-rooted tree
Planted by free-flowing streams;
It bears its fruit in every season
Its leaves are the deepest green.

The pure, cool streams feeding this tree:
The Word of God, His great delight
It does not leave His mind or His love,
He stands in it by day and night.

We have been grafted into the tree of Israel
We are branches in the Vine
His delight is our life
In Jesus we will abide

The wicked man has no good roots
His branches wither and fall;
He will not stand in the Holy Storm
He won’t join the righteous at all

But every branch grafted into the Vine
Will grow and bear much fruit
The Gardener knows who are His own
He will sanctify them in the truth

We have been grafted into the tree of Israel
We are branches in the Vine
His delight is our life
In Jesus we will abide

2-23-2016

“The Whole Book and All Its Parts”

Far from being simply a collection of subjective reflections by various pious individuals, every part of the Psalter should be viewed as teaching, as divine revelation intended to function as the Lord’s directions regarding what to believe and how to live. Whether it be instruction, praise, lament, thanksgiving, or confession, the whole book and all its parts should be referenced as Yahweh’s inspired teaching, which is the essential significance of the term Torah.

— O Palmer Robertson, The Flow of the Psalms: Discovering Their Structure and Theology, Kindle Location 1364.