“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.” – Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)
The book of Psalms. Such a powerful book when the time is taken to allow it to saturate the depths of the heart. There is such a powerful expression in this book of the rawness the writers expressed before the Lord. Especially those that are written by David. It is interesting to me that we read the Psalms, the prayers and songs of people like David and how real they get in their writings, yet we teach the opposite in our church culture. David, a man after God’s own heart, was so close to God that he felt he could write exactly what was on his heart and take it before the Lord, and it would not grieve the Lord. A mere man. And does he get into it! We will get into this more as we go along.
Something else that is so powerful about the Psalms is how there are numerous places which we find the writers pointing towards Jesus. The coming of Jesus, the life of Jesus, the death of Jesus. It is all to be found in the Psalms. We find this already in Psalm 2.
“But the One who rules in heaven laughs. The Lord scoffs at them. Then in anger He rebukes them, terrifying them with His fierce fury. For the Lord declares, ‘I have placed My chosen King on the throne in Jerusalem, on My holy mountain.’ The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: ‘The Lord said the me, “You are My Son. Today I have become Your father. Only ask, and I will give You the nations as Your inheritance, the whole earth as Your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.”‘” – Psalm 2:4-9
“Serve the Lord with reverent fear, and rejoice with trembling. Submit to God’s royal Son, or He will become angry, and you will be destroyed in the midst of al your activities – for His anger flares up in an instant. But what joy for all who take refuge in Him!” – Psalm 2:11-12
God’s royal Son, His chosen King. These are references pointing directly to Jesus, the Son of God. Even the reference of the breaking with an iron rod, even this points directly to Jesus! The writer of this Psalm had an understanding of God and His Son that we today have a hard time grasping. The writer understood the characteristics of God that so many in our modern church culture try to deny and explain away. The characteristics of God’s wrath and fury against those who do not abide in Him, and the joy and protection for those who do abide in Him.
This is but a taste of the deep understanding that is contained in the Psalms, and we will unpack more of it as we go along. But this is the start. We must understand, yes God is love. Yes, He is merciful. But His love and His mercy are present to those who abide in Him, and it takes the form of fury against those who are not for Him. His fury and anger is rooted in the love and mercy for His people. It is love and mercy because He does not allow the wicked to dwell among the righteous in the end. He displays His love and mercy to those who belong to Him by getting rid of the wicked that contaminate the righteous. We see before our eyes the results of the wicked and the righteous living together, and it is not something the Lord can allow to remain for eternity. That is why He must destroy the wickedness in the end.
As I said, this is but a taste of what we will discover in the Psalms.