The Three that are Blessed

1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.

– Psalm 1:1-2

10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

– Psalm 2:10-12

7 Arise, O LORD;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.

8 Salvation belongs to the LORD.
Your blessing is upon Your people.  Selah

– Psalm 3:7-8

Psalms 1-3 at first glance may seem unconnected, but when we take a closer look we see that these three appear to be in this particular order because of their thematic similarities. These themes are: (1.) Godly/Ungodly Men, (2.) God’s Judgment & (3.) The Lord Jesus Christ. Let’s examine these.

Godly/Ungodly Men

Psalm 1 begins by describing what the man who is blessed looks like, showing us that he separates himself from the counsel of the wicked and meditates upon the Word of God; he is stable and bears much fruit. The ungodly are contrasted against this image, and shown to be unstable, dead, lifeless, and ultimately unable to stand before God on the day of judgment.

In Psalm 2, the ungodly are not only unstable and lifeless men, they are active rebels who want nothing more than to overthrow God and His Son Jesus Christ. But Christ’s coronation assures us that He will judge them severely for mocking Him and attempting to rebelliously liberate themselves from Him in order to try to depose Him; yet, the Lord Jesus is merciful and gives them a chance to repent, to turn to Him in humility. The righteous are briefly described as “those who put their trust in Him.” In Who? In the only begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Lastly, Psalm 3 gives an even clearer picture of the godly and the ungodly, not merely from the perspective of two types of men who are opposed to one another in their thoughts, actions (Ps 1 & 2), and their allegiances (Ps 2), but also to one another. While Psalm 1 shows the wicked in conflict with the way of the Lord, and Psalm 2 shows them in conflict with the LORD and His Messiah, Psalm 3 shows the wicked in conflict with the righteous.

As the wicked increase in proximity to the righteous, the righteous increase in proximity to the Lord. Psalm 1 shows the righteous man meditating upon the Word in contrast to the wicked, Psalm 2 shows him in right judicial standing with the Lord as His judgment is made sure (i.e. he is justified by faith and will not see the wrath of God) , Psalm 3 shows him in prayer/fellowship with the Lord as the enemy persecutes him, patiently waiting the Lord’s salvation.

God’s Judgment

It’s clear to see that the godly and the ungodly stand in a very different relationship to the Lord. The righteous are blessed, the wicked are cursed; the righteous stand justified  before the Lord (by faith), the wicked stand condemned before Him for not believing; the righteous are in intimate fellowship with Christ, the wicked are so opposed to Him that they turn against His children, rising up against them for no other reason than their affiliation with the King of kings.

We see here the same manner of focusing/intensification that we saw in the Godly/Ungodly section. In Psalm 1, the judgment of God is mentioned very briefly at the end of the chapter and emphasizes the end of the wicked vs the end of the righteous man. In Psalm 2, we are shown the coronation of Christ Jesus the King declaring His Sovereign rule, warning unbelievers of His wrath and giving them a chance to repent and turn to Him in humility before they are destroyed by Him when He returns in judgment. In Psalm 3, however, we see that as the persecution of the godly man reaches a pitch, the Lord hears his cry “from His holy hill” and personally comes and destroys the wicked for the sake of His people.

The three Psalms almost seem to have an eschatological movement, and I think this is intentional seeing as Psalm 2 presents Jesus Christ our King being placed upon the holy hill of Zion prior to judgment, and Psalm 3 has Him hearing the cries of the afflicted righteous from His holy hill and coming to judge the wicked for their sakes. Let’s look at these verses.

6 “Yet I have set My King
On My holy hill of Zion.”

7 “I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.

8 Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.

9 You shall break them with a rod of iron;

You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’”

– Psalm 2:6-9

4 I cried to the LORD with my voice,
And He heard me from His holy hill.  Selah

5 I lay down and slept;
I awoke, for the LORD sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Arise, O LORD;
Save me, O my God!
For You have struck all my enemies on the cheekbone;
You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.

-Psalm 3:4-7

The Lord refrains from judgment in Psalm 2 until a later time, but in Psalm 3 He has afflicted the wicked, striking their cheekbone and breaking their teeth. The verses are reminiscent of Revelation 6:9-11&16b, where we read:

9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

16[…]“Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

As the godly man is persecuted in Psalm 3, cries out to the Lord, and He comes and judges the wicked, so here the Lamb of God is petitioned for justice, and He begins to make His way to the earth in judgment. This is a theme all throughout Scripture, but it seems to be thematically more pronounced in these three Psalms.

The Lord Jesus Christ

Seeing as each Psalm contrasts the godly against the ungodly, speaks of the judgment of Christ upon His foes, and in Psalms 2 and 3 the Lord Jesus comes clearer and clearer into view, could it be that Psalm 1 is prior to the advent of the Son of God and His post-resurrection exaltation? That is to say, could we possibly mark out another movement from: Christ read in the Scriptures (Ps 1), to Christ incarnated, resurrected, crowned and enthroned (Ps 2), to Christ returned to earth to save the just and judge the wicked (Ps 3)? At this point it would only seem proper to also see the Lord Jesus also come into clearer view as He comes to fulfill the the more sure Word of Prophecy given concerning His life, death, resurrection, Kingship and soon return.

If this is the case, which I would like to think it is :), then where are we but hidden in Him as He confronts and destroys His foes? We are blessed in three ways:

1. By being justified by faith (alone) in Christ Jesus (Ps 2:12).

2. By being in His Word, seeking Him as He has promised to return to receive us unto Himself again on that Day (Ps 1).

3. Because we are His people (Ps 3:8)

Salvation belongs to the Lord, and it is by His grace that we have been saved.

Am I Right?

I’m not sure. I’ll grant that I’m speculating as to whether or not these three psalms were meant to form some tri-unity with an eschatological thematic thread running throughout them, but I do think that there has to be a better explanation to the intricacy of shared themes between these three Psalms than just: “Well, it so happened that they were placed in the Psalter that way.” I’d like to think that the Holy Spirit had more of a direct hand in the writing of His own Word. Wouldn’t you?

Whether I’m connecting the Psalms in a way that the author/s intended or whether I am just making my own, these psalms did remind me of a few things that I often forget:

1. I am no longer condemned, but under the grace of God.

2. Those who persecute me are really trying to attack at our God, for they are His enemies first before they are ours (cf. Ps 2 and Ps 3).

3. The Lord hears my persistent cries for help. He has saved me, and He will save me from the wrath to come.

4. My mouth, therefore, should always be filled with His praises :)

God bless.

-h.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “The Three that are Blessed

  1. Heather says:

    Am I Right?

    I’m not sure, either…but this is definitely a thought provoking post.

    I do appreciate your willingness to share the triplet pictures you see in Scripture. If nothing else, the repetitive pattern expresses well the reality that God is not random in the way He chooses to reveal Himself to those who want to know Him.

    Like

involve yourself

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s