Jan. 11, 2021, Psalm 1
For many of us, reading the Bible is a popular New Year’s resolution. It’s a great goal to get into God’s word more, but it’s definitely a daunting task. The pages are thin and many, the text is small, and the language can sometimes either confuse us, or trigger some past hurt that actually has more to do with the brokenness of people than with God.
That’s why it’s helpful to go through Scripture with a good Study Bible and a community of people – the Bible was meant to be shared and discussed! It’s also helpful to hear where the words speak into different people’s life experiences, with their new perspectives breathing new life into very old words that are still relevant to our everyday lives.
If you’re just starting a reading plan, you might have already encountered Psalm 1. This book of poetry and wisdom begins with this first chapter about what it looks like to be “rooted” in God’s words. We hear this a lot over the new year, about getting “rooted in the word of God.” But what does that actually mean? Luckily, Psalm 1 starts off with a great description.
Verse 2 states that a person should “delight in the instruction of the Lord.” The word “instruction” could also be translated as “law,” and that might lead a reader to believe that we need to delight in telling people right from wrong. I certainly don’t find joy in that, and luckily, that’s not only what the verse is actually saying. The Psalm also starts talking about not “standing in the way of sinners,” or “sitting at the foot of scoffers,” which both involve the way in which we follow God’s instructions.
As you seek to read the Scriptures in a new way this year, the author of Psalm 1 is articulating something for us all to remember in 2021. Being “rooted” in the word of God isn’t only about having Bible verses memorized. It isn’t only about telling someone right from wrong. It isn’t about standing in someone’s way because they aren’t “holy” enough or joining a “holy huddle” that judges others for their mistakes. Verse 3 talks about bearing fruit: living as God intended us to within our communities with grace, hope, and love. May we all experience that in our reading of Scripture, and in our communities that we share it with this year.
Questions for reflection:
- Where might this new year be inviting you to read the Bible in a new way?
- Who in your life might you be able to study with? Learn with? Be truly “planted” with?