Today I began my Psalm journal in Chapter 1 after my post yesterday about journaling through Psalm with the intention of discovering more about the poetry, songs and prayers that takes up a chunk of the middle of the Bible.
Most of the Psalms are attributed to King David as being the writer, but Moses, Heman (not the action figure) Solomon and many others get credit as well. We are not sure who wrote Chapter 1, but he kept it short, sweet and blunt.
Psalm 1 (NIV)
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.
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.
It’s very clear on the author’s quick assessment of wicked and righteous. There isn’t as much imagery as with some of the ones that we know are penned by David, but it’s there enough to give a nice visual. This particular Psalm falls in the category of “Wisdom and Teaching” to show the contrast of blessings and curses; as well as who falls into which outcome.
The word “chaff” is used here, which until recently wasn’t a term I was very familiar with. I was watching “Air Force One” with Harrison Ford. In this movie, Ford plays The President Of The United States who is aboard Air Force One when it is overtaken by terrorists. He gets in touch with his cabinet and requests that the aircraft he is on be hit with a missile in order to thwart the terrorists. It flashes to a shot of the airplane’s computer system as the missile approaches and announces “Chaff deployed.”
I got all curious about that and asked my husband if it was an acronym for something. “Chaff” is Modern armed forces use chaff (in naval applications, for instance, using short-range SRBOC rockets) to distract radar-guided missiles from their targets.
Yes…I am pretty positive that the original B.C. author meant “chaff” as in grain, but I read it with modern terminology…so stick with me a moment.
Let’s consider for a moment that the “wicked” are indeed chaff. How often have we been on a very direct path and something shows up that distracts us and knocks us clear from our target?
My kids are notorious for being told to do a chore or task that is their responsibility, but as they are walking to do what they were told they see a toy lying in their path and for a moment that toy is all they can think about. They didn’t set out to disobey, but when the distraction was in their line of sight they forgot their mission.
I am notorious for the same thing. One moment, I am that tree bearing fruit and the next moment I am distracted by the chaff.
So today while I journaled, I prayed specifically that the chaff areas would be revealed for what they truly are; distractions that take me out of the path of blessings.