A Contrast Between Psalm One And Psalm Two Concerning Law, Man’s Concept, Vs Grace, God’s Concept
After Jesus crucifixion and resurrection, He appeared unto His disciples and Luke gives this account.
Luke 24:44, And He said unto them, “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets and in the Psalms concerning Me.”
We don’t know what things were verbally discussed between Jesus and His disciples, but we can examine the writings carefully.
Moses on Mount Sinai gave the law, but we will eventually see that God’s first intention was not to give a law to man, knowing that even the best of men couldn’t keep.
We don’t read of a law in chapter two of Genesis. Instead we see God positioning man before the Tree of Life and he was told to take of it, Genesis 2:16, and freely eat. We know that Adam and Eve took of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil instead, Genesis 3:9. God then had to close and guard the Tree of Life until we read of it in the Book of Revelation 22:2.
Man was brought into rest with God on the Seventh Day.
Genesis one and the beginning of chapter two state that man was created on the sixth day. It took six days for God to complete the work necessary in His creation and preparation for man’s existence. Now, with His creation completed, He rested on the seventh day.
What did man do while God rested on the seventh day? The only conclusion is that man was brought in to rest with God. This first Sabbath day mentioned in scripture tells of God and man were resting together. This rest is before man’s fall of which we read about in chapter three. There is no mention of any law or rules for man to enjoy his rest with God. As a matter of fact, the law was not given until fifteen hundred years after the creation of man. As a matter of record, Noah was commanded to build an ark, not to obey any laws. Abraham was called from his father’s house and told to leave his own land. This action of Abraham, which we read about in the book of Hebrews chapter eleven, is an act of faith because of his following and believing in God’s lead, not living and obeying any laws or rules.
Man’s Concept of Psalms One
Verse two of Psalm one reads:
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.
No one knows who was the writer of Psalm one, although some think that Solomon wrote it. The Apostle Paul says that the law entered in or was added, Galatians 3:19.
Romans 3:20, Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
When we try to keep the law with our own effort, we will fail, yet the law was never abolished but raised to a higher level for those who are in Christ.
Romans 7:12, “wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just and good.”
It seems that the scriptures are contradictory until one realizes that Jesus Christ, the son of God, fulfills the law, Matthew 5:17. The Psalms were written before Jesus was ever born, so how is it possible for any man to fulfill or satisfy the law.
God’s Concept Is Expressed In Chapter Two, God’s Son Brings in Grace, merciful Judgment, Not The Letter of The Law
Psalms 2:6, ” Yet have I set My King upon My holy hill of Zion,” 7, ” I will declare the decree: The Lord hath said unto Me, thou art My Son: This day have I begotten Thee.” and verse 12, Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish on the way.”
Scripture tells us that both Psalms are God breathed and are for our inspiration and learning, 2nd Timothy 3:16. But what is it that saves us? Grace or law? Romans 6:14.
Almost all Denominations put emphasis on the Law and they teach to be obeying the law is to improve the nature and behavior of men. The first Psalm says that the writer delighted in the law, yet, where is there any scriptures saying that the law saves us, or who was ever perfected by the law? Even Moses, as noble as he was, stumbled and wasn’t allowed to enter the Promised Land because of his striking the rock twice, Numbers 20:11, which shows us that the spirit of his natural life led him rather the leading of God’s Spirit.
The Law, Lacking Light and Life
John 9:5 tells us that Jesus is the light of the world. And in John 10:10 we read that Jesus had come into the world that we may have life and have it more abundantly.
In the Gospel of John 10:10, and verse 11, Christ uses two different words for the word life. The word for life in the Greek is the word Zoe which is the Greek word used for the Divine Life and the eternal life. In verse 11, the word psuche is used and is a Greek word used for soul, the soulish life, that is, the human life.
When we think of life, we usually think of the natural created life like, grass, plants, trees, fish, animals, as well as humans, but these are only the initially created life we read about in Genesis chapter one. That life is the natural created life. The life as to the life pertaining to the word Zoe is the uncreated life, God’s Life. This life can only be obtained by and through God himself. The law, which men think they need to obey, will never obtain this life. The Zoe life that Jesus was teaching His disciples about was the the eternal uncreated life, the same life that Jesus and His Father had, see Luke 10:25; Matthew 19:16.
To have life and have it more abundantly is for God to raise men from this psuche life, his natural created life, or soulish life, into His Divine Life, His Zoe life, which is His eternal life
Nicodemus, a Humble Pharisee
Probably in all scriptures there was not a more honorable man than Nicodemus, a Pharisee. This experience by Nicodemus is recorded in the Book of John, chapter three. He was a Pharisee, a ruler of the Jews, yet this man came and counseled with Jesus. He probably knew more of the Old Testament Scriptures than most only to find that he needed to be corrected by Jesus. Jesus informed him that if he wanted to see the Kingdom of God, he needed to be born again. Nicodemus didn’t know what Jesus was talking about. He didn’t know or understand that his natural, soulish life had to be eliminated, not to be improved upon, by trying to keep the law. Through Christ, our natural life will give way to the Zoe life, the uncreated Eternal life. He didn’t realize that all men were contaminated with the Serpentine nature, acquired from Adam in the Garden of Eden. He was like many of us who think that the law will make us better citizens and pleasing to God. Only Jesus Christ, who was accepted by His Father as a willing, living sacrifice, was able to remove the curse and death penalty which occurred in the Garden. When we understand this, we will then realize that Jesus saves us not the law. As harsh as this sounds, the Apostle Paul gives us an astounding hope.
1st Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear hath heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man, the things that God hath prepared for them that love Him.”
The verse above, written by the Apostle Paul, a converted Pharisee was taken from the Book of Isaiah 64:4. Both men, Nicodemus and Paul were trying to be law-abiding men, as far as their ability was concerned, but never realizing that the Law practiced by the flesh profited nothing, John 6:63.
Psalm one was written by one who had a love for God and believed that his efforts in applying the law in his life were the noblest of efforts. Matter of fact, there are many praises and elegant Psalms written by the writers in the Old Testament because they had a love of God, even while being in the flesh. They were like Nicodemus and the Apostle Paul, all part of the same tree, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which will never attain to the life of God. See our work, “Nicodemus and the Apostle Paul, two extremes of the nature of the Knowledge of the Tree of Good and Evil.”
The Old Testament has many people who have a genuine love for God. We read in John 1:14 that Jesus was the Tabernacle, who dwells with us. We can read in the Old Testament that the Golden Lamp stand, the law, the shew bread, Aaron’s rod that budded, as well as other items were a picture of a physical Tabernacle. Everything within this Tabernacle were all in type Christ. The types were written of in the Old Testament, but the reality of these things didn’t come to pass until Jesus walked the earth in His ministry. His death and resurrection removed the curse which was placed upon every one of us.
The Psalmist in chapter one was limited to the knowing of God by the hearing of the ear, the same way Job was, Job 42:5. It wasn’t until the ministry of God Himself enabled Job to receive the precious words he expressed in that 5th verse, “but now my eye seeth thee”.
It is important to understand that we need to gain Christ first, and with His pouring out of His Spirit upon us, and in us, will we ever be able to keep the law. The Psalmist all had a heart and love for God, but as the Book of Hebrews says:
Hebrews 11: 39, “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise, 40, God, having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect”.
The promise of Christ, as the Seed of the woman we read of in Genesis 3:15, is the only way anyone will ever be perfected, and be able to honestly say, “oh how I love thy law.”