But is repeating the truth about God a bad thing? Not at all. In fact, is there anything more wonderful than repeated praise? “Praise God! Praise God! Thank you, Jesus!”
And is there anything wrong with repeating what the fate of the wicked is? Not at all!
With these thoughts in mind, I jumped ahead into the first sixty Psalms before writing the first Psalm blog, to see where God might be leading. Although this will be a work in progress until we get to Psalm 150, I can suggest that God uses repetition to not only reinforce bedrock belief, but also to sandwich subtle nuances of learning between the layers. And it turns out that the Cycle illuminates this reality with striking clarity!
Psalms 1 and 2 do us a huge favor, serving as the Alpha and Omega of the Psalms. How is this for an “executive summary” of living unity with God:
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2, ESV).
The rest of this Psalm contrasts the nurturing never-ending love of God for the righteous against the fate of the wicked who will perish.
The “Lord” in Psalm 1 is Yahweh, the God of ancient Israel, and it would be natural to question how this relates to Christians and the Messiah of Israel (Easter is coming – He is risen!)
Almost on cue, Psalm 2 reveals a stunning prophecy of the future, written at least a thousand or more years before Jesus:
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his Anointed…” (2:2).
The “Lord” in Psalm 2 is the God of Israel, but his “Anointed” is the Hebrew word “mashiac.” The translation of this word is Messiah!
Lest you doubt this refers to Jesus, read the brief remainder of Psalm 2 right now and see how God speaks directly to his anointed Messiah-King:
“You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage and the ends of the earth your possession” (2:7b-8).
This cannot relate to the psalmist himself, whether he is David or someone else, because ruling the entire ends of the earth is still a work in progress. It can only refer to Jesus, as we await the consummation of this promise even today.
God then offers a severe warning to the kings and rulers of the earth, who should be listening today as well:
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled. Blessed are all who take refuge in him” (2:12).
In this year A.D. 2017, we are very much aware of rulers and kings who refuse to kiss the Son of God. Christians are entering a new age of persecution all over the world – our brothers and sisters. But we have absolute assurance from the Psalms of long ago as well as the beloved hymn of yesteryear:
“Oh God, our help in ages past; our hope for years to come; our shelter from the stormy blast; and our eternal home!”
Psalms 1 and 2: the Alpha and the Omega of the Cycle of restoration to perfect unity with God.