PSALMS 1 AND 2
THE GODLY AND THE UNGODLY
Memory verse: Psalm 1:2
Hebrew poetry is unique. We need to understand it to study the Psalms because the Psalms were written in poetry form.
In English poetry, the words rhyme. In other words, it is a rhyme of sound. However, in Hebrew poetry, it is not the words that rhyme but the ideas that rhyme.
Therefore, you will see two lines that are set side by side for you to compare together. This is called “parallelism”. The two lines of thought (A and B) run parallel to each other.
• For example: Psa 1:2
• “his delight is in the law of the Lord.”
• “and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
“Parallelism” can take 4 forms:
• =1= The two lines can say the same thing in slightly different words. For example: Psa 25:4
• “show me thy ways, o Lord.”
• “teach me thy paths.”
• =2= Sometimes you will see a word picture in the first line that illustrates the thought in the second line.
• For example: Psa 42:1
“as the hart panteth after the water brooks”
“so panteth my soul after thee, o God.”
• =3= Sometimes you will see the second line add to or complete the thought of the first line. For
• Example: Psa 23:1
“the lord is my shepherd.”
“I shall not want.”
• =4= Sometimes the two lines will contrast with each other to give you opposite thoughts.
• For example: Psa 18:27
“for thou wilt save the afflicted people.”
“but wilt bring down high looks.”
Because of parallelism, the poetic effect is like a see-saw that goes up and down.
Read Psalm 1:1-6 The godly man and the ungodly man
What does this psalm tell you about the godly man?
The life of the godly man: (1-2)
• That which he does not do:
• The three progressive positions of posture—
He does not walk seeking ungodly counsel (advice).
This often is the first step a person takes to fall away from following God.
He does not stand with sinners.
When he begins to listen to ungodly advice, you will find him in the company of sinners doing the things they do.
He does not sit with those who scorn God.
When he begins to practice the deeds of sinners, he will eventually fall away from God and blaspheme against him.
The “scornful” are the atheists who say there is no God. (Psa 14:1)
That which he will do:
• He delights in God’s law (His Word).
• Delight means = “to take pleasure in”.
He will take pleasure in studying and reading the Bible.
• He meditates on the word of God.
• The word “meditate” means = to chew the cud like a cow. The believer will go over and over the word, digesting it, memorizing it, and thinking about it. Etc.
What does the psalm tell you about the life of the ungodly man? (4-5)
The life of the ungodly man (4-5)
• He is like the chaff that the wind drives away.
• There is no permanency of purpose in his life. There is no permanent standard to guide him. His life is confusion without standards and with his decisions based on the desires of the moment and the whim of worldliness.
• He shall not stand in the judgment.
• This does not mean he will not be judged. It means he will have no defense in the time of judgment. Because he lived his life without God’s standards, he will be judged by those standards. As a result, he will be unable to stand in defense of himself against them.
• He will not stand in the congregation of the righteous.
• He will be separated at the judgment from those who trusted in God for salvation through Jesus Christ.
What are the results of being a godly man? (3)
The results of being a godly man (3)
• He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.
• His life has stability and purpose because he is planted in God’s kingdom when he is born again. Read Isa 61:3
• The “rivers of water” refer to the word of God.
• Read Isa 55:10-11
• The believer does not get far from the word of God because from that is where he gets his life, cleansing for sin, and power. He is filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit.
• Read Psa 104:16
• He will produce fruit.
• The fruit he produces:
A righteous life.
A godly character.
Souls for the kingdom of God.
• His leaf will not wither.
• The “leaf” is the believer’s external testimony to the presence and power of Jesus Christ in his life. This is your lifestyle that people see.
• God’s trees (believers) are nourished by the word of God. They are evergreens. They do not lose their leaves (external testimony).
• Everything he does will prosper.
• Everything he does will prosper because it is for the glory of God. And in the end, God knows who he is. (6)
What are the results of being an ungodly man? (6)
The results of being an ungodly man (6)
• The way of the ungodly shall perish.
• This person is lost and condemned forever.
In Psalm 1 there are two men, two ways, and two destinies.
The godly man represents Adam before he sinned, but he also represents Jesus Christ who is called “the last Adam” in 1 Cor 15:45.
The ungodly man represents Adam after he sinned.
• There are two ways from which a person must choose. He can choose to live, either a godly life or an ungodly life. There are no other choices.
• There are two destinies, either eternal life with the Lord resulting from being a godly man, or eternal damnation separated from God resulting from being an ungodly man.
The prophetic significance:
The picture of the godly man surrounded by the scornful (1) is a picture of Jesus Christ surrounded by his enemies before his crucifixion.
Read Psa 2:1-12 A Messianic Psalm
In Psalm 1 we saw the godly man, Adam, before he sinned.
In Psalm 2, we see all Adam’s descendants down through history to the present day.
Scene 1: man’s prideful rebellion against God (1-3)
• Through history all mankind, all nations, all political and religious rulers of the earth are sinners who rebel against God because of Adam’s original sin. (1)
• The “heathen” rage = gentile nations (1)
• They “imagine vain things” =
“vain” means = empty
Psa 2:1 is quoted in Acts 4:25-26
The early Christians declared that the Lord, He is God. Based on Psalm 2, it was proof that “God’s Anointed”, the Messiah, was Jesus Christ, and that the persecution by Rome and Jewish religious leaders against the Christian church would spread.
• “let us break their bands asunder and cast away their cords from us.” (3)
• This is the desire of the ungodly people to be rid of the restrictions that God’s standard puts upon mankind. They don’t want to hear about sin and the Ten Commandments.
Scene 2: The heavenly reaction and provision by God, the Father (4-7)
• How does God feel about man’s rebellion? (4-5)
• God laughs (4)
This laugh is not one of pleasure but of disbelief. God can’t understand why puny, little man would want to rebel against the almighty God thinking he will succeed.
• God will give mankind great trouble (5)
However, he will give man an escape…God’s King, Jesus Christ, who will come and establish his kingdom in the millennium. (6)
Scene 3: The heavenly reaction of God, the Son
• Read Acts 13:33
• Psa 2:7 is quoted in Paul’s sermon in Acts 13:33.
On what day had the father begotten the Son?
It is not the day that Jesus was born in the manger, as some cult groups say. It was not the day that Jesus was baptized by John. According to the context of Acts 13, it is the day of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. On resurrection day, God begot Jesus Christ from the dead. In other words, he raised him to live forever.
• Jesus Christ accepted the plan of God to provide redemption for sinful man.
Scene 4: The heavenly conversation of God, the Father, with his anointed Son (8-9)
• God will give all the nations to Jesus Christ to rule in the millennium. Jesus will rule in the millennium with a rod of iron. It will be a period of law and not a period of grace like that in which we now live.
Scene 5: The counsel to earthly man by God, the Holy Spirit (10-12)
• What man must do to be wise:
• He must serve the Lord with fear and rejoicing
“fear” = awesome respect and reverential trust.
Rejoicing = man can rejoice because God has made a way of escape for man through Jesus Christ.
• He must “kiss the son” (12)
The word “kiss” means = to worship, to believe in. In New Testament wording, we would say, “be born again”, or like in acts 16:31, “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou salt be saved.”
Why does God use the word “kiss” here?
Prophetically it refers to Judas who betrayed Jesus with a kiss. After the betrayal, Jesus said to him “friend…” In other words, Judas could have still been saved had he repented and been born again.
Sinful man is given this same opportunity. Repent and be born again. Worship (kiss) the Son and you will be saved.
“blessed are they who put their trust in him” =
The Old Testament word “trust” has the same meaning as the New Testament word “faith”. It means to take refuge in, to lean on, to wait on.
The prophetic significance:
The pattern of Psa 2 is the progression of the establishment of Christ’s millennial kingdom on earth.
Sinful man rages against Jesus Christ at his crucifixion (1-2).
The rebellion against God and “his anointed”, Jesus Christ, takes gigantic form at the battle of Armageddon when the world will fight against the second coming of Jesus Christ. (Rev 14:14-20 Rev 16:13-14 Rev 19:11-20)
Man presumes to set aside God’s covenant. (3)
God will give the earth 7 years of great tribulation. (5)
Jesus Christ will return to earth a second time. (6)
Jesus Christ will judge the nations. (9) (Mat 23:32-43)
Jesus Christ will rule the nations with a rod of iron. (8-9)
When will Psalm 2:9 be fulfilled?
• In the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ.
Psalm 3 and 4
Application of Psa 1 and 2
What activities in your life need changing so as to correspond to the viewpoint of a godly man in Psa 1?
Have you been born again (“kissed the son”) and received Jesus Christ in your heart? If you have not and would like to receive Jesus, talk to the pastor, his wife, a church leader, or to me.
Preparation for Psa 3 and 4
To understand David’s feelings in this Psalm, you will need to read the background events of David’s life at that time.
Read 2Samuel 15-18
Read Psa 3:1-8 A morning Psalm
What were ungodly men telling David that David knew was not true?
Read Psa 4:1-8 An evening Psalm
What did David say about God that gave him enough peace to be able to sleep at night despite problems in his life?
Memory verse: Psalm 4:8