Final in a series of studies in Psalm 1
“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:6).
The limitless power of God and the certainty of judgment are two assurances that come out of this verse.
God’s omnipotence certainly speaks to His power to ascertain the category into which each person falls: either we are a productive tree or we are chaff; that is, we are one He will classify as righteous or one he will classify as wicked.
This realization automatically leads us to conclude there will be a separating of the two categories: that is, there will be a time of judgment when God will make the separation. Otherwise, the entire process is meaningless.
This psalm is intended to be a positive motivation for those who want to be blessed by the Lord. The psalmist makes it clear that, to receive that blessing, we must conduct our lives as the “law of the Lord” prescribes.
Third in a series of studies in Psalm 1
“The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Psalm 1:4-5).
Having just compared the righteous to a productive tree that bears its fruit in season, the psalmist here turns to those who are the direct opposite in both character and condition: he calls them the ungodly or “wicked” according to some translators.
The wicked are compared to chaff, that is, the useless part of the harvest. The chaff is light and is easily blown away by the wind during the harvesting process. Those in this group can be compared to those who lack spiritual vitality.
They will not be able to “hold up their heads” in judgment, thus will not be among those separated to receive the wonderful, long-awaited-for reward.
The goal of every serious Christian is to stand with those whom the Lord declares righteous because of their dedication and faithfulness to God’s dear Son and our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ.
Second in a series of studies in Psalm 1
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper” (Psalm 1:2-3).
Continuing his description of the man who wants to be blessed (verse 1), the psalmist moves from his description of what this person is not to a description of what he is. Key words here are “delight” and “meditates.”
Delighting in something means we take extreme pleasure in it. So, delighting in the law of the lord means it is the center of our lives—and, actually, we know it is God’s law that keeps us out of the way of the wicked and fortifies us against their temptations.
Meditating is giving deep thought to something. Not only do we delight in God’s law but we give serious consideration to what it teaches.
The person who has this kind of attitude and behavior is “like” a tree. A tree that is planted in the appropriate place has plenty of water and nutrients to cause it to be covered with leaves and to produce fruit as it is supposed to. The person living in the way described here will be successful in his quest to find God.
First in a series of studies in Psalm 1
“Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1).
Couched in negative language, the psalmist here describes the behavior of a person who desires to receive spiritual blessings. Such a person will not behave in the ways described under these three headings.
“Walking” has to do with approaching. The person wanting a blessing will never seek the advice of one who lives an ungodly life. “Standing” has to do with stopping or at least pausing. One who wants to be blessed will not even pause to consider taking the same pathway in life as the sinner.
“Sitting” has to do with participating. The one wanting to be blessed will not jump in and “give a try” to the same lifestyle as the unrighteous and certainly not with one who defies God’s ways and even sometimes scoffs at them.
This psalm has to do with life and choices one makes if he truly wants a meaningful relationship with God.
“And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3).
The children of Israel are speaking to Moses and Aaron when they come forth with this rash declaration, brought on by the difficulties with which they were faced in the wilderness.
They had forgotten the misery of Egypt—they had forgotten the violent acts committed against them—they had forgotten the task masters who continued to make their lives more and more miserable.
Rather than thanking God for releasing them from the slavery of Egypt, they complained bitterly because of some problems they encountered on their travels.
Likewise, how easy it is for us to forget the overpowering spiritual blessing God has given us—He has given us freedom from slavery to sin so that we can have hope of eternal life with Him some day. May our hearts always be filled with nothing but the deepest gratitude for this blessing.