What this means is that meditation is more than just studying Scripture, it’s more than just thinking about doctrine; it is “writing the Word of God on the tablet of you heart” (Prov 3:3, 7:3; Jer 17:1, 31:33; Heb 10:16). It is “letting the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” (Col 3:16). And what’s particularly interesting about that reference from Colossians 3:16 is what comes next; how do we allow the Word of Christ to dwell richly within us, how do we meditate on God’s Word, how to we muse on the Torah? By singing psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs. Again, this kind of image-forming meditation on the Torah is a function of our hearts, our imaginations, and that requires not just doctrinal statements, not just the Mosaic Torah, it requires forms of imagination—it requires songs, the Davidic Torah.
The way that you live will be controlled ultimately by your image of the good life—what it means to really flourish and prosper, And, in particular, your image of what it means to flourish in relation to God’s rule is what controls your life.
This is what we have been seeing from Psalm 1 over the past couple of weeks. The psalms have been given to us to help us know how we should live in the midst of world in which it appears that wickedness is actually flourishing, a world in which we are bombarded by the kind of counsel that says, “Free yourself from God’s rule—that’s true flourishing.”
But as Psalm 1 demonstrates, and truly blessed person will not walk in that that kind of counsel, he will not allow his image of prosperity to be shaped by a wicked imagination.
Rather, “his delight”—what will shape and form his path—“is the Law,” the Torah, of the Lord.” This word Torah, of course, often refers to the Mosaic Law, the first 5 books of the Old Testament, those “rules”—that’s what the word Torah means—those “rules” by which God’s people are supposed to live their lives.
But isn’t it interesting that just like there are 5 books in the Mosaic Torah, so there are 5 books in the Davidic Torah, the Book of Psalms? Do you suppose that’s deliberate? It certainly is. The editors of the Book of Psalms organized the collection into five books almost certainly to display a parallel with the Five Books of Moses.
Everyone recognizes the importance and life-regulating significance of the Books of Moses, but do we recognize the Books of Psalms as just as important and life-regulating? Or, to put it another way, we all recognize the critical importance of God’s commandments and God’s doctrine to govern our lives, but songs? That’s just extra; that’s just something enjoyable.
No, the editors of the Psalms, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, arranged these songs in Five Books in parallel with the Five Books of Moses as a way to say, “These Five Books of songs are the Torah of God with just as important, life-regulating significance as the Five Books of Moses.” And a righteous person will delight himself in this Torah. In fact, the Torah of Moses is absolutely important to give a righteous person the instruction he needs to live a prosperous life under the rule of God, but the Torah of David is equally important because it shapes and forms the righteous, blessed life in ways that the Torah of Moses actually cannot do alone.