Psalm 1 is considered a wisdom Psalm. It is a lot like passages found in the book of proverbs and compares the wise man, who is happy, godly and delights in the law of the Lord to the foolish man, if you will, who is ungodly and cannot stand in the day of judgment. It serves, probably along with Psalm 2, as an introduction to the entire book of 150 Psalms and lets us know what it takes to be blessed or happy (the Hebrew word means happy) not unlike Jesus teaches in the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11). It is something everyone should consider and take to heart as much as on the day it was written.
Verses 1 and 2 admonish us to walk not in the counsel of the ungodly, a counsel most of the world seems to follow, but to delight in the law of the Lord and, we may infer, to walk in God’s counsel. Notice, we are not to stand in the path of sinners. This means we should not be found where sin abounds, walking along the same way that the rest of the world walks and should not sit in the seat of one who scorns God or ridicules the very existence of God and all that He stands for in our lives.
We are happy if we do not do these things and indeed can truer words be spoken? If we put our hope and trust in God we can truly find happiness, since this is how God has intended it to be for us. Can you imagine how miserable the ones described here must be spiritually. To despise and disregard the teachings of God one must turn a blind eye to all that God has created and harden their heart to all God, their creator, wants for them. Without the blessings and counsel of God, one must live a cold, heartless and miserable existence indeed.
The Psalmist urges us not to be so, but tells us in verse three that spiritually we can be like a tree that has a constant source of sustenance in God’s word and that we will be fruitful and prosper in all that we do. This is not to say, of course, that we will all be rich in material blessings, but we can be rich spiritually and the more we look into God’s law by studying His word and meditating on it, the more prosperous we become in the spiritual sense.
God knows us when we seek His ways of righteousness as Jesus says in Matthew 5:6: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” If we seek after righteousness as we would food for our physical body, we will be filled through the study of God’s word and be satisfied, though we continue to hunger and thirst for more. And we shall be blessed or happy in our pursuit; if we fully hunger and thirst to be as God would have us be and approach Christ’s law with an open and honest heart, we will find our way.
The ungodly are not so, for they are like chaff, the by-product of wheat, that blows in the wind toward any or all man-made doctrines that are not useful for true spiritual food, as is the wheat. Their man-made doctrines will not stand in the congregation of the righteous or when God judges the world. Their ways, along with the wicked themselves, will perish because God does not know them. So, let us learn to be like the tree planted by the waters and not the chaff of the wheat which is blown away by the wind. The former beats much fruit, while the latter is not of any use at all.
And as one reads on through the rest of the Psalms, let the two groups mentioned, the godly and the ungodly, beware. The godly will find much water and it will bear much fruit in their lives, but the ungodly, those who continue to live so even as they read on, will find only condemnation and they will not stand in the face of the words of God that follow and that pass judgment and God’s justice upon them. Be converted and read on Psalm 1 seems to plead with us. And we should all seek to do so.
May God bless and keep you until next time.