Speaker: Jerry Cisar
This Sunday we begin a new series, Psalms: Living in the Presence of God. The Psalms give us ways and words which teach us how to dwell in God’s presence, how to pray and worship in a world that is “East of Eden” – often far from His presence and evident blessing. If we are going to bring the life-giving waters of God’s presence to the desperately needy and dying world around us, we need the psalms to help us drink from the river of the water of life daily!
We will begin this week with Psalm 1 and 2. You might wonder why I might take these two together. In terms of style, they are very different psalms. One is a Wisdom Psalm – reflecting on the Wisdom of God’s law, the other a Royal psalm – addressing issues surrounding kingship. One speaks mostly of the individual, the other of the nation. But many things unite them.
There is a fair amount of evidence that though they were written independently, they were once considered as one psalm – or two panels of one psalm. Not only are there a lot of verbal and thematic connections between them, as we will see, but they present contrasting ways to live and promise radically different outcomes. Do we join in the rule of Yahweh (the Lord) and meditate on His way of life which is a tree of life (Psalm 1)? Or, do we join in Adam’s rebellion, which in Psalm 2 has become the rebellion of the nations who plot new ways to rebel against God and His chosen ruler – Jesus Christ?