Psalms Preview and Psalm 1

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Getting Started

Welcome to the Bible Reading Plan! We are so glad you are joining us as we read through the first section of the Book of Psalms. Each day, you will read one chapter of the Bible followed by a short devotional, answer a few questions, and if you want, record any observations or insights using the interactive comments section. We believe God will use this resource to grow our knowledge and affection for Him. We know God’s Word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Sign up with a friend, your Life Group, or your family, and let’s dig in!

Make sure to download our Harris Creek App and turn on push notifications, or visit us at biblereadingplan.org and sign up to receive the BRP in your inbox. Also, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram (@harriscreek) for some fun, creative ways to interact with the readings. 

Let’s Go, Church!

Overview

The book of Psalms, the longest in the entire Bible, consists of 150 different songs (or psalms) written by a variety of authors. While almost half of them (73 to be exact) are attributed to David, some of the other 77 were written anonymously and some were penned by Asaph, Solomon, and even Moses. 

This is an interesting book because each psalm stands on its own. Unlike some of the books we have read, it’s unique in that each psalm does not necessarily build off of the one before it. Each one was written for a particular audience for a particular purpose, but then they were compiled and published collectively for the good of Israel because it gave them a theology to sing together. In the same way that we still attach words and music to show our affections for God, the Israelites were doing the same thing about three thousand years ago. 

The book of Psalms is broken up into five different sections, so that is how we are going to study it. While the book itself is not divided up by genre or theme, there are different types of psalms scattered throughout the book that we need to be aware of. There are psalms of lament, where the author is mourning or complaining to God about the state of the world. There are messianic psalms, pointing to the Messiah who is going to come some day and set the world back as it should be. There are also hymns, psalms of thanksgiving, and psalms of wisdom. Some are long (Psalm 119 will take us five days to study). Some are short (Psalm 117 contains all of two verses). 

Each day we’ll get to dive in and learn from the faith of those who came before us. The book of Psalms gives us a real glimpse into how God’s people were feeling, both individually and corporately. Just like the songs we sing now, these words were written and put to music to express emotion and affection towards God.

We’re going to read Psalms 1-41 to begin the book. As we read, remember to keep a journal handy. Grab a highlighter. Underline verses. Circle words that stand out. Commit these words to memory! Some of us are going to resonate with the psalms of lament–and that’s okay. Some of us are going to resonate with the psalms of thanksgiving–and that’s okay. Wherever you are at today, there are words from God for you in the book of Psalms. We’re excited to start this journey with you and look forward to seeing how God uses these ancient texts to shape our lives this year.

Read Psalm 1

Blessed is the one
    who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
    or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
    whatever they do prospers.

Not so the wicked!
    They are like chaff
    that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand 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 destruction.

Go Deeper

Since the book of Psalms is written by a variety of authors over different parts of their lives, we’ll read many emotions throughout these 150 books. Some chapters are filled with joy, others with pain, others with gratitude, and even some with anger. Since the book contains such a variety, it can be difficult to notice the common thread.  However, chapter 1 serves almost like a preface to the entire book of Psalms. If we’re going to understand the diversity in the other 149 chapters, we need to first understand the simplicity of Psalm 1. The lesson in this chapter is true for every stage of life. There are two paths we can take: one that leads to God, and one that leads to destruction. For all the complexity that life will bring, this truth is our reality in each and every season.  There is a way that leads to life and a way that leads to death.  

Everyday we get to stand at this crossroads and choose what we actually believe. And the choices that we make are consequential. The psalmist paints a picture of a life that thrives in every season, and pairs it with a life that is progressively fading. The difference between these two lives is a connection with God, who is our ultimate life source. While many times the way of the wicked may look better, the reality is it’s much more dangerous. The way to find life isn’t to drink deeply from all this world has to offer, but to instead dig deeply into the faithfulness of God. When we are planted near Him, He’ll guide us through the ever changing emotions of life.

Questions

  1. What did you notice about the differences between the wicked and the righteous?
  2. What do you think it means to delight in the law of the Lord?
  3. What would it mean for you to live your life “planted” near the Lord?

Leave a Comment below

Did you learn something today? Share it with our Bible Reading Plan community by commenting below.

6 thoughts on “Psalms Preview and Psalm 1”

  1. I’m reminded of the Joshua 24:15 “choose for yourselves today the one you will serve” as I read Psalm 1. Two ways of living are presented, delighting in God’s instruction or following the path of the wicked. Thanks to the BRP we have the opportunity to explore, meditate and relish the Word together, to make it apart of our daily living. I love the reference to tree given that provides both fruit & shade. This connects to a godly person’s life. Meditating on God’s Word day and night will have rewards of strength, security and prosperity. I’ve been awakened in the night with scripture/song in my mind. The mind recalls what we feed it! The greatest reward is found in verse 6, “For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous.” What a gift to take into 2021!

  2. We have to stay near the Source if we want to bear fruit in season- just like a tree planted by the water. It gets all the nourishment it needs from its nearness to the river. We have to plant ourselves in such a pivotal location too! Near God- who is our Source. We do this by studying His Word day & night like this psalm says, through being rooted in the church & in a community of believers, & by constant prayer that keeps us connected to the Source. I pray 2021 finds this church enjoying the nearness of God & as a result, bearing much fruit.

  3. Marilyn Wallace

    I love the Psalms and have read them many times. They were especially helpful at a very difficult time of my life. Psalm 1 was read at my daddy’s funeral.

  4. It is more important to remain close to God than to be popular with the world. It is hard sometimes to not laugh with others when a joke is told with words which are less than honoring to the Lord. I must ask the Lord for wisdom to know when to speak up lovingly so that others will know where I stand with Jesus, not laugh, and keep my witness truthful.

  5. Alisha d Griffin

    I have a hard time not judging success on current world standards, which is what Psalms 1 is calling us to do. Fruitfulness is greater than Fame in the world. We shouldn’t wait on the applause of others. Every one of Jesus followers clicked the unfollow button, except John. If we judge success on God’s standards and what He thinks of us we will yield fruit and be at peace and will withstand the storms of life. Psalms one is saying that believers are blessed by the assurance and experience that they live under the guardianship and faithful care of the Gracious Lord of LIFE (not indicating blessings of health and wealth as the world measures “blessed”). We will yield fruit (highlight: in our OWN season and not in other’s seasons) and be a blessing to others. We will withstand the storms of life and make it out on top with God.

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