Day and Night

Today we are flipping to the middle of your Bible to a large collection of poems, the book of Psalms. When we come to this collection, it’s helpful to look at it the way an ancient Jewish person would have.

The way the Jewish people encountered this book would have started in their childhood when they heard these songs sung by their parents in worship on a Saturday, on a Friday night poetry reading at the dinner table, or through the lullabies of their mothers. This is the way Jesus would have encountered the Psalms, in a much more organic way. They reminded the Jewish people of their story and gave insight into how the Jewish people processed their anger, joy, and every emotion in between. Psalm 1 gives us a model of the ideal reader:

"How happy is the one who does not
walk in the advice of the wicked
or stand in the pathway with sinners
or sit in the company of mockers!
Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.

He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams
that bears its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.

The wicked are not like this;
instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to ruin."
(Psalm 1)

The ideal reader is depicted as someone who can discern good and bad advice. This is done through meditation. Let me pause. Meditation is not a special skill and does not have to be done in silence. What the psalmist depicts is thinking about the scriptures throughout your day and night. So let’s continue and do just that.

Scroll back up and re-read Psalm 1. I’m serious, scroll back up, and read Psalm 1 again.

If you can turn it into a song, great! It will be easier to remember that way. The goal is to think about it as you go about your daily routine. You will notice details, applications, and deeper meaning as you ponder Psalm 1 in different scenarios that would never have come to mind in a one-time reading.

If you practice this skill you will become like the tree planted by the stream. Knowing that your source of life is outside of you. You will grow deep roots in knowing God and produce a life that helps others do the same.

by Lee Sharp

Lee and his wife, Tess, are members at our Armstrong Mill Campus and have two children. Lee and his wife both love board games, good movies, and above all Jesus.

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