431.) Psalms 1 and 2

Psalm 1

The Two Ways

1twopaths

1Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;

I prefer the more straightforward verbs, “walk, stand, sit,” as in the old King James and the new NIV.

2but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.

Luther said that he could not live in paradise without the word of God, but he could live well enough in hell with it.

3They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.

from This Day with the Master
by Dennis F. Kinlaw

The Scriptures say that God is the source of all truth.  If we turn away from truth, we will end in illusion or delusion because only truth is reality.  When we walk away from truth, we lose reality and are destroyed by delusion.

I was in my sixties before I ever wondered where the word true comes from.  I pulled down my dictionary and found that the word true comes from an old Indo-European word for tree.  I was intrigued by the idea that the word truth comes from the word for tree.  The more I thought about it, the more it seemed to make perfect sense.  Trees do not move.  We can count on them to be there every morning when we wake up.  Truth is the same way.  We can count on it.  It will not deceive us.  It will not give us one face today and another tomorrow.  The best news of all is that Jesus Christ is true.  He is absolutely, totally reliable and faithful.  And when our lives are ordered by Him, we stay in reality, and we walk in truth.

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4The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

5Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;

6for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

At least four times in the Book of Acts, Christianity is called the Way.

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Music:

Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken,” put to music for orchestra and voices by Randall Thompson.

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Psalm 2

God’s Promise to His Anointed

2-mt-zion-bw

1Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?

2The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed,

“The anointed” refers to the ideal future Davidic king, the Messiah.

saying,

3“Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”

4He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision.

Diocletian

Through the centuries many have opposed God and His Kingdom in Jesus Christ. Each one of these opponents shall be frustrated and crushed.

A famous example of an opponent of Christianity was the Roman Emperor Diocletian (A.D. 245-313). He was such a determined enemy of Christians that he persecuted the church mercilessly, and fancied that he had defeated Christianity. He struck a medal with this inscription: “The name of Christianity being extinguished.”

Diocletian also set up two monuments on the frontier of his empire with these inscriptions:

 

–Diocletian Jovian Maximian Herculeus Caesares Augusti for having extended the Roman Empire in the east and the west and for having extinguished the name of Christians who brought the Republic to ruin

 

–Diocletian Jovian Maximian Herculeus Caesares Augusti for having everywhere abolished the superstition of Christ for having extended the worship of the gods

Diocletian is dead and gone, a footnote on the pages of history. The fame and glory of Jesus Christ is spread over all the earth. The Lord shall hold them in derision.

—David Guzik

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5Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying,

6“I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.”

Zion is often a synonym for Jerusalem.  Zion and the Davidic kingship are often united in the Bible.

7I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you.

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Acts 13:26-33 (New Living Translation)

“Brothers—you sons of Abraham, and also you God-fearing Gentiles—this message of salvation has been sent to us!  The people in Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize Jesus as the one the prophets had spoken about. Instead, they condemned him, and in doing this they fulfilled the prophets’ words that are read every Sabbath.  They found no legal reason to execute him, but they asked Pilate to have him killed anyway.

“When they had done all that the prophecies said about him, they took him down from the cross and placed him in a tomb.  But God raised him from the dead!  And over a period of many days he appeared to those who had gone with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to the people of Israel.

“And now we are here to bring you this Good News. The promise was made to our ancestors,  and God has now fulfilled it for us, their descendants, by raising Jesus. This is what the second psalm says about Jesus:

‘You are my Son.
Today I have become your Father.’”

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8Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.

9You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

10Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.

11Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling

12kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him.

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The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
two roads.  http://www.pajohnsonmediation.com/db3/00211/pajohnsonmediation.com/_uimages/Twopaths.gif
weeping willow tree.    http://www.free-picture-graphic.org.uk/images/weeping-willow-tree.jpg
Mount Zion photograph.     http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/564693.jpg
Diocletian.    http://timothyministries.org/images/Diocletian.jpg

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