Why do the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous apparently suffer? The book of Psalms provides a perspective. The first two psalms provide an essence of the entire book
- Psalm 1 – The Righteous vs. the Wicked
- Psalm 2 – Satan vs. Christ
- Attain a big picture perspective on dimensions of human struggle
- Gain encouragement from the eventual victory of Christ
- Perceive the instruments of Satan in the world.
Introduction - The Psalms
Psalm 1 and 2 provide an essence of the entire book – representing:
- the righteous (saved) and wicked (unsaved) – Psalm 1
- The battle of the world rulers (leaders in all fields) against Christ – Psalm 2
The book represents:
- The struggle between these categories of people
- The war against God
- The eventual victory of Christ
It can be seen from two perspectives
- The author’s perspective
- The inspired perspective – i.e. from the eyes of Christ when he was a man.
Psalm 1 – The Righteous (Saved)
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Psalm 1 – The Wicked (unsaved)
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalm 2 – Satan and his People
1 Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed, saying,
3 “Let us break their chains
and throw off their shackles.”
4 The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
5 He rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
6 “I have installed my king
on Zion, my holy mountain.”
7 I will proclaim the Lord’s decree:
Psalm 2 – Christ and His People
He said to me, “You are my son;
today I have become your father.
8 Ask me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You will break them with a rod of iron;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
10 Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear
and celebrate his rule with trembling.
12 Kiss his son, or he will be angry
and your way will lead to your destruction,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 2 – Satan vs. Christ
- Brainstorm sit, walk, stand in Ps 1:1.
- Study and contrast characteristics between the wicked and the righteous.
- What are the shackles thrown away by leaders of the world in Ps. 2?
- In what ways does this rebellion occur? What warnings are given.
- The “wicked”: those who do not owe their allegiance to Christ
- World leaders: governmental authorities and leaders in all fields. They are used by Satan to fulfil His purposes
- Not being “shackled” to Christ implies being “shackled” by Satan.
- While the wicked appear to prosper, true prosperity belongs to the righteous.
- Christ will eventually be the world ruler, crushing all who oppose Him.
Dr. Jack Scott