Meditations and Observations Upon Psalm 1
Written February 8, 2016
In Seminary I took an expository preaching class that went over the basics of developing a sermon and studying the Bible. One of the techniques of studying the Bible was that of observing the text. The idea of this exercise was to not use any commentaries or any other study material to help you dig into the Scriptures but rather you would focus solely on the text and draw out from it all the little nuggets of information that were right there on the surface. This forced you to look hard at what the Scripture was saying and made it impossible to speed read through a passage. It was almost like being forced to eat a large meal using only the smallest of bites. It took a long time to finish but you enjoyed every morsel and tasted every bite thoroughly. Here are my observations and mditations on Psalm 1.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
(Psalm 1 ESV)
“Blessed” – The pathway to having a blessed life is known. Being blessed is not a hidden secret or a prize God hands out arbitrarily, it is something that can be pursued and achieved. This is also not a state that can be described as having things. You cannot determine a person as being blessed by an inventory of things that they own, it is determined by the state of their heart and inventory of their soul.
“is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers” – The pathway to being blessed does not rely upon the absence of opposition in a person’s life. The scoffer, the wicked, and the sinner were all present in the blessed man’s life. It was not their presence or absence that determined whether he was blessed but rather how he interacted with them. This would indicate that being blessed is not a matter of good surroundings or whether God will bless because we know that His nature is such that He will bless His children and wants to. Being blessed rests a great deal on us and what we do.
Where I go and who I interact with matters. I cannot be blessed and have my life saturated with interactions with the ungodly. I do not have to cut off all those that are ungody out of my life to be blessed, I must guard my life against the ungodly controlling, influencing, and directing my life. Sitting, standing, and counseling with the ungodly is about control, where I find wisdom, and who I trust.
“but his delight is in the law of the LORD” – the first description of what the blessed man has is about where he finds delight. Where we find delight is one of the most powerful and controlling aspects of our life. What I delight in will move me, direct me, and detrmine the direction of my life. The greatest thing I can delight in is God and His Word. The things that has the greatest potential delight in life is God and His Word. You cannot be blessed and not delight in God’s Word.
“and on his law he meditates day and night.” – what we delight in is where we will focus and meditate. What we meditate on is what we delight in. Our delights determine whether we are blessed.
“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.” – Trees only produce because of the nutrients they take in. Where we put our roots will determine the fruitfulness of our lives. To have our leaf not whither, God must be our gardener. Even the blessed man only produced fruit in its season.
“In all that he does, he prospers.” – the “all that he does” is directed, dictated, and guided by his delights which is in the Law of the Lord. If we want to have everything we do prosper we ust make sure that all things that we do are of God.
“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.” – If the wicked do not prosper we should reevaluate our undersanding of what is prosperity. The only way we can be prosperous is to be godly. Wicked prosprity is worthless.
“Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” – There is a judgment that is coming. The righteous are supposed to be a congregation that is together.
“for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” – God’s knowledge is both of the rightous and of the wickend. A sure fire way to fail is to be wicked. God reveals the destination of the various pathways of life that we might know how to be blessed.