Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:1–2
In memorializing his grandfather’s work, Peter Croft wrote, “It is my deepest desire for the person who picks up their Bible, whatever version they use, to not only understand but experience the scriptures as living documents, just as relevant, dangerous, and exciting now as they were those thousands of years ago.” Peter’s grandfather was J.B. Phillips, a youth minister who undertook a new paraphrase of the Bible in English during World War II in order to make it come alive to students at his church.
Like Phillips’ students, we face barriers to reading and experiencing Scripture, and not necessarily because of our Bible translation. We may lack time, discipline, or the right tools for understanding. But Psalm 1 tells us that “Blessed is the one . . . whose delight is in the law of the Lord” (vv. 1–2). Meditating on Scripture daily allows us to “prosper” in all seasons, no matter what hardship we’re facing.
How do you view your Bible? It’s still relevant with insight for living today, still dangerous in its call to believe and follow Jesus, still exciting in the intimate knowledge of God and humanity that it imparts. It’s like a stream of water (v. 3) that provides the sustenance we need daily. Today, let’s lean in—make time, get the right tools, and ask God to help us experience Scripture as a living document.
What barriers do you face when reading the Bible? How can you make space to listen to God’s voice?
God, help me experience Scripture as a living document today.
In Psalm 1, the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked are described in stark contrast. The psalmist identifies the way of evil with the progression of walking, standing, and sitting (v. 1). Some scholars believe this pictures an increasing intimacy with those who do wrong. As the association progresses, so does the level of iniquity: wicked, sinners, and mockers. The mocker not only engages in wrongdoing but also scorns the innocent.
In contrast, the righteous delight in the law of God and are called “blessed.” They’re consumed by love for the wisdom of God; it occupies their thoughts throughout the day, bringing to mind the command to Joshua to “meditate on it day and night” (Joshua 1:8). In metaphorical language, the psalmist then describes what it means to be blessed. The blessed are like a tree that grows strong and produces good, healthy fruit: “whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:3).