Bible Poetry: Discipleship in Psalm 1

April is Poetry Month, and I thought it might be fun to look at some of the poetry in the Bible and what it teaches us about being disciples. I want to start with one of my favorite discipleship verses: Psalm 1:1-3.

It says:

Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the Law of the Lord,
And on His Law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers. (NASB)

The poetry:

In Hebrew poetry the writers often used opposites, repetition, acrostics, symbolism, and simile/metaphor. In these verses we see mostly the use of opposites and simile.

The opposite of being a disciple and blessed person is someone who listens to those who give wicked advice, walk in sinful ways, and scoff at the truth.

Instead, we’re blessed if we love God’s word and spend time meditating on it day and night.

We listen to the counsel and wisdom of God and walk in obedience because we know God’s word.

When we do, we become like a tree planted by the streams of water, bearing fruit, and being blessed by God.

The lesson:

These verses paint such a clear and rich picture of what we need to do to be a disciple. The life of faithfulness is one that is rich and full of life. We find contentment and purpose in knowing and following God’s word. We grow, bear fruit, and live in abundance—not abundance of material possessions, but true abundance of joy, fulfillment, love, and life.

It shows us the picture of the life we now live: one of wisdom and not following the unwise advice of those how live without God. We don’t walk in those ways now that we know Christ. We don’t follow their advice but follow the advice of God’s word. We walk in the path of righteousness (Christ-likeness), and we live with an attitude of love toward others, not scoffing and mocking.

We are new creations. All things are new. Our old ways are gone. We live a life of lavish joy, love, peace, and purpose.

Dear Lord, help us to walk faithfully and to live in the richness you give us when we live out Your purpose in our lives. You are so good to us. Thank you for new life. Thank you for forgiveness. Lord, grow Your fruit in our lives. Help us to be love and light to those around us. Help us reflect Your beauty and holiness. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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