June 7, 2016
This is the first in a series of guides which will briefly explore the psalms covered this summer at Reach. It’s important to recognize a few things about the Book of Psalms before we begin. First, these were written originally as songs and poems to be sung by the people of God throughout history—they’re designed to engage both the mind and the heart in ways that simply stating facts could not accomplish. Even more than that, these are the very words given to us by God to help us understand his character and purposes in the lives of his people and how we can pray to him. Psalms takes us over the highest peaks and into the deepest valleys of the human story, and it shows how an infinitely majestic yet unimaginably loving God meets his people when they need him the most.
The first two chapters of the Book of Psalms begin and end with a blessing. These two statements help frame the author’s intent—and ultimately the purposes of God, who inspired the author. The first verse says that a man who delights in the Lord’s law or instruction is blessed. The second verse says that everyone who takes refuge in the Son is also blessed. These are not too different actions, but one-in-the-same. God seeks to bless those who rely on him above everything else. The only way that reliance can exist and grow is through delighting in God, who is displayed most clearly in his kind instruction. The main purpose of this passage is that the reader would desperately seek this blessing.
There are only two paths in life. One of them delights in God and his instruction, the other does not. One is akin to being planted next to a life-giving stream, the other withers into chaff and is driven away by the first wind. One path sees the loving instruction of God worthy of continuous meditation both day and night, the other views it as “bonds” and “cords” that should be broken and cast away. One of these results in the powerful, refuge-like protection of a righteous King, the other’s end is the tragic destruction of those who scorn and despise God’s gracious instruction.
In part, this text depicts David’s own trials as God’s anointed servant, the King of Israel; yet, there is a very real connection to the final King, God’s only begotten Son: Jesus. The apostles saw this clearly and interpreted the ultimate meaning of the text through Jesus (Acts 4:24-28, Hebrews 5:5). The tragedy at the heart of this song is that God’s instruction here, certainly including the Old Testament passages which point to Jesus, should be delighted in, but instead are raged against. God’s Anointed Son enters the world to take away sin by absorbing the wrath of God in the place of sinners, yet many scorn this King, refusing to love and trust him—refusing to kiss the Son. Not only is this refusal utterly futile and hopeless, but it ultimately cements their rebellion and ends in their destruction.
Delight in God’s instruction. Get a Bible and read it. Pore over it, even if delight doesn’t come when you first begin. Look for the Son in it, look for glimpses of Jesus and what he did on the cross to rescue us. See who he is and how worthy he is of our affection and our adoration. This is what it means to delight in God’s instruction. This is what it means to kiss the Son. When we pursue God through his Word, our hearts begin to delight in it and obey it. Why is this? It’s because we find that we’ve fallen in love with him—it’s impossible not to when you’ve really encountered him.