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Psalms for the Summer

“Contrasting the Righteous and the Wicked” Psalm 1:1-2:12

Date:May 19, 2024
Author: Wayne J. Edwards


For the next 12 Sunday evenings, (except June 2), I will preach a series of sermons on selected Psalms. Given the spiritual condition of today’s church, I believe God’s people need to spend much more time in the Psalms, for while the Psalms reveal both the intellectual and devotional aspects of our daily walk with the Lord, in the Psalms, we also learn how to connect with God through prayer, showing us how to pray, and then how to hear from God through His Word.

This Sunday evening, I will cover Psalms 1 and 2 under the heading, “Contrasting the Righteous and the Wicked.” Beloved, even though these Psalms are 3,000 years old, it will seem as if we are reading today’s news.

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“Contrasting the Righteous and the Wicked”
Psalm 1:1-2:12


   The Book of Psalms is a collection of 150 different psalms collected and recorded over many years.

  • The Book of Psalms is split into five different books or sections, with Psalm 1 and 2 as the introduction.
  • Many Psalms also include the details of how the psalm is to be performed and on what instrument.
  • Since the Psalms are written in poetic language and rooted in the Hebrew culture, they are not only intended for instructive teaching, but also for personal and corporate worship.
  • According to one psychologist, every emotion we are likely to feel or express can be found in the Psalms.
  • They are to be read, sung, chanted, wept through, or even shouted, for they lead us into the very heart of God’s presence.

   The writers used the Psalms to contrast the righteous with the wicked.

  • Psalm 37:1 – “Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who are wrong.”
  • Psalm 37:9 – “Those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”

   God uses the imagery of the Psalms to reveal Himself to man.

  • Psalm 57:1 – “Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in You I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.”

Psalm 1 – David contrasts the way of life for the righteous and the way of life for the ungodly.

  • The righteous follow the will of the Lord and live fruitful, productive lives.
  • The ungodly follow the ways of the world and are never fully satisfied.
  • In the end, the ungodly shall perish like the chaff in the wind, but the righteous shall stand in the congregation of the righteous.
  • Here is wisdom: the Lord will bless the righteous, but He will punish the wicked.
  • Therefore, the prudent man will examine his heart to make sure he is walking in the way of the Lord, not in the way of the world, and in the fellowship with the righteous, and not in the fellowship of the wicked, and the delights of his life is to learn all he can about the law of the Lord.
  • Here is wisdom: the one who receives God’s blessings will delight in studying the Law of the Lord so much he will mediate on it day and night.
  • In John 15:7-8, Jesus told His disciples, “If ye abide in Me, and my words abide in you (live in you), ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, and so shall you be my disciple.”
  • Psalm 119:11 – “Thy word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against God.”

   When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus countered Satan’s lies with the specific truth of the Scriptures.

  • “Command these stones become bread,” – “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
  • “Throw Yourself down and God will save you,” – “Tempt not the Lord your God.”
  • “All these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me,” – “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.”

Psalm 2 – David contrasts the way of life for the nations that respect the Lord’s authority, and those who try to usurp it.

  • According to Psalm 2, the operation of the world has not changed in 3,000 years – as it was in David’s time, so it has been since Adam and Eve were chased from the garden, and so it will be until Jesus comes again.
  • David began with a rhetorical question: Why do the nation’s rage, and the people plot a vain thing?”
  • Even many of today’s Christians are asking: “Is God still in control?” “Is evil going to triumph over good?” “Is there any hope for this world?”
  • A brief history of why the nations are always in a rage:
  • In Genesis 1:27-28 – God gave Adam and Eve “Dominion” over world and all of His creation.
  • When Adam and Eve sinned, not only were they cast out of the Garden of Eden, but they also relinquished their right to exercise the dominion God had given to them. Satan stepped in and stole it, and, therefore became the Prince of his earth.
  • Even after the resurrection of Christ, the Apostle John said “the whole world [still] lies in the power of the evil one.”
  • However, although Satan rules as the Prince of the earth, God has not lost control – He is still sovereign over all, in all, and through all.
  • Satan has to ask God’s permission to afflict us beyond the natural temptations of the world.
  • 1 John 4:4 – “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. “
  • Daniel 2:21 – “God removes kings and establishes kings.”
  • Romans 13:1“There is no governing authority on earth that has not been approved by God.”
  • However, when God puts someone in the position of power, Satan tempts them to compromise their position or to corrupt their character, so they end up serving Satan instead of the One who put them in that position.
  • As long as we are in this “age,” we will always be in this recurring cycle of God’s appointing, and Satan attacking.
  • Sadly, this also includes the Church, as Satan continues to do all he can to prevent the influence of the Church from rising above the government’s leadership, which he controls.
  • Satan tried to squelch the message of the gospel through Communism, Socialism, Humanism, Islam, and now through Marxism, the Equal Justice System, and the various alphabet organizations, including DEI, SEG, LBGTQ, etc.
  • Satan’s main focus today is upon the nation of Israel.
  • Throughout the Old Testament, God promised He would gather the Jewish people from all over the world and bring them back to the land of Israel to do two things:
    • Judge them for their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah.
    • Redeem a remnant of the Jews to fulfill His promise to Abraham.
  • Satan hates the Jewish people, for it was through the Jews that God gave us the Scriptures and our Savior, and he is stirring the nations of the world to come against Israel.
  • However, in Psalm 2, David said God is sitting on His throne and “LAUGHING” – because, once again, God knows exactly when He will take what Satan is doing for evil and turn it into something for our good and His glory.
  • God scoffs at them – for no matter what they do, it will still serve to bring glory to the Lord Jesus.
  • God will speak to them – for the Day of the Lord is near.
  • God will not be mocked – every person will stand before God – the lost will stand before the Great White Throne, and the saved will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ.