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Exegesis Psalm 1:1-6, Research Paper Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1198

Research Paper

God’s law on life is central in Psalms, as the author describes a life worth living. The book uses poetic formats to present an eloquent picture of the centrality of life. Multiple authors wrote the poems. However, David and Moses are the most popular authors of most poems in Psalms. Each verse depicts and describes divinely inspired thoughts of the authors about God and how he wanted his people to live. From the first chapter to the last, the authors focus on devotion to God. Also, messages of encouragement to worship and honor God are provided throughout the poems, highlighting God’s image during decent and dark moments. Psalm 1:1-6 reveals the integrity of God and how he wants righteous people to live. Understanding the historical, literal, and cultural context of Psalm 1:1-6 can help people understand God’s divine direction and expectation of how people should live.

Historical Context

It is crucial to look at the earliest days of creation to understand the historical context of the Psalms better. Zooming out to Genesis, God blessed those who put their faith in him. By contrast, those who engaged in wickedness suffered consequences ranging from famine, drought, ailments, and death. However, the ultimate message in the book is that God loves, hears, and wants to redeem relationships with humans. The first chapters of Psalms describe David’s life and relationship with God. His understanding of God helps people know what it means to be righteous. Moses is another critical figure who authored some of the poems in the book of Psalms.[1] Numerous Hebrews emulated him because of his trust and faith in God. However, Moses was aware of his imperfections as a human but God still used him to release his people from bondage and guided them to the promised land. During their journey, God’s instructions are clear to his people. The instructions known as the Torah are the laws that guided their life and made God the central figure of their worship.

Psalms are ancient texts written by characters such as Moses and David. MacArthur claims that some of the poems date as far back as 1410 BC to the post-exilic period.[2] The period between saw the Jews get reasons to obey and follow God’s instructions. They experienced all ills associated with going against the word of God. Famine, wars, miracles, hunger, and slavery are a few consequences the Jews suffered for disobeying God. For instance, David’s sins of adultery and murder drew God’s wrath upon the Jews in the form of divisions and Jerusalem’s destruction. Such consequences are a basis for Psalm 1”1-6, which describes how God blesses the righteous and sends evil to sinners.

Cultural Context

Psalms played a critical role in the life and functionalities of the Israelites. Believing in God is the primary culture among the jew. Psalms was a source of wisdom within the culture of Jews. It also acted as a source of knowledge that helped them through different situations. Often, the people could recite them when lamenting calamity, crying for justice, and expressing their praise to the Lord. The law was operational based on the setting of Psalm 1. The inference is justified by Psalms 1:2, which describes the concept of meditating and delighting in God’s law.

Some scholars believe the word law refers to the Pentateuch. Others believe the word refers to all the sections of Psalms. The term’s division in verses 1-6 shows how the issue is a debate courtesy of limited information. However, interpreting its existence in verses 1-6, it is definite that the law dictated how Godly living entails. In the first section, the author is hands-on when describing God’s expectations of humans. In King James Version, the word blessed depicts the yields of following God’s path. Those who meet God’s expectation of rejecting the advice of the evil will exhibit happiness and contentment with their life. Verse three shifts to an optimistic viewpoint describing the productivity of trees planted alongside the river banks. The flourishing trees symbolize people who dwell in the Lord and follow his laws indicating the significant role of God’s expectations in the Jew’s culture. Trees represent stability and the ability to withstand storms of life.[3]

Literal Context

Psalm 1:1-6 falls under the wisdom Psalms. The purpose of scripture wisdom in Israelites’ lives was to ensure instructions to believers in Godly ways. Also, the biblical wisdom educated the believers on the contrasting lives of righteous and wicked and their corresponding destinations. In Psalms 1:1-6, the message indicates two paths that humans can follow. The first path is God’s, while the second is the course of this world. In verse 3, the author uses imagery to describe God’s direction. The usage of flourishing trees growing alongside streams of water depicts the good things the righteous enjoy for obeying and dwelling in God’s command.

Proverbs 2:1-15 is a section that can describe the acquisition of wisdom from God and his teachings. Based on Proverbs 9:10, all knowledge starts from knowing and acknowledging God’s purpose in people’s lives and living according to his ways. As described in Psalm 1:1-6, the righteous will benefit and exhibit God’s blessings through his law and expectations. Throughout Psalms 1, righteousness is the theme. According to Proverbs 2, the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Therefore, to receive God’s blessing, one must fear God. Interestingly, one will exhibit righteousness by fearing God as the fear prevents them from sinning.

Parallelism, figures of comparison, and contrast dominate the literal devices used in the section. For instance, the author compares and contrasts righteousness and wickedness outcomes. Also, the author compares righteous people using similes. For example, in verse three, the author states that “the righteous are like a tree.”

Conclusion

Those who desire true life can get in God, his spirit, and his people based on this exegetical analysis of Psalms 1:1-6. However, God only considers those delighted and devoted to his law as the righteous. A man dedicated to God’s laws and commands is compared to a tree planted by the streams and would always be fruitful. Therefore, to be happy and content with life, people must dwell in the Lord and refrain from following the example of listening to the advice of sinners. The command is to be true for Christians of the current generation. Believers should understand that Jesus Christ is the pillar of true life. To exhibit contentment with their life, they must live according to his word and ensure their lives resemble the beautiful picture painted in Psalms 1:1-6.

Bibliography

“TitleSurvey of Psalms,” TitleBibleRef.com, Date Accessed: May 26, 2022, https://www.bibleref.com/Psalms/survey-of-Psalms.html

Graham, Caroline. “Slouching towards Jerusalem: Pentecostalism and the end times.” AQ-Australian Quarterly 92, no. 3 (2021).

Keathley, III, J. Hampton. “Psalm 1: Two Ways of Life – A Psalm of Wisdom,” (2019): accessed May 26, 2022, https://bible.org/article/psalm-1-two-ways-life-psalm-wisdom.

[1] “TitleSurvey of Psalms,” TitleBibleRef.com, Date Accessed: May 26, 2022, https://www.bibleref.com/Psalms/survey-of-Psalms.html

[2] Caroline Graham. “Slouching towards Jerusalem: Pentecostalism and the end times.” AQ-Australian Quarterly 92, no. 3 (2021).

[3] Keathley, III, J. Hampton.  “Psalm 1: Two Ways of Life – A Psalm of Wisdom,” (2019): accessed May 26, 2022, https://bible.org/article/psalm-1-two-ways-life-psalm-wisdom.

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