*Psalm 1 was written about 1052 B. C. The author is David. Although the actual setting is not positive, it is likely that it was written in Jerusalem. The topic of the psalm is: The righteous contrasted with the wicked.
Verse 1: "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
No one ever has found blessedness by walking in the counsel of the ungodly, or standing in the way of sinners, or sitting in the seat of the scornful. Have you ever noticed, on a crowded city street, the different kinds of people? Have you seen the expression on the faces of the most miserable? Have you seen the degradation of those on skid row? Would one seek blessedness there? Would one ask counsel from those that hate God? Would one seek a blessing from the scoffers of God and His Word? It just cannot be found.
There are stages in following the wrong way. First you merely see the evil, and walk by, maybe shaking your head in disgust. But then the next time you stop. You stand and observe. And the next thing you know, you are right in there with them, sitting with the scornful, laughing with them, perhaps embarrassed at first; then gradually feeling comfortable in their presence. But if you are seeking blessing, walk away from that crowd. If you are a child of God, you do not belong there.
Verse 2: "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night."
The psalmist does not just counsel us not to stand in the way of sinners. He takes us further. Verse two gives us the positive side. We must pay attention to the "don'ts", but at the same time follow the "do's." It is not enough to avoid the company of evil, or to separate ourselves from bad companions, we must seek good company. We must absorb ourselves with the Word of God. We must delight in it, SEEK God's goodness. God knows our ways. When we seek to do right, we are not alone. God sees us, and knows our hearts. He knows that we are looking in the right direction. If our delight is in God's law, and if we meditate day and night on it, we are on the road to blessedness.
Verse 3(a): "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season."
The righteous are like trees planted by streams of water. A tree growing near water, or one that is being watered is a healthy tree, producing fruit.
A few years back we had the privilege of living in the middle of an apple orchard. It was wonderful to see the progression of the apples, as they grew from flower to ripened fruit. We were renting at the time, and were allowed to take any apples that fell. It was a delight to go out each morning and harvest the abundant windfalls. So whenever I read this verse I think of the time we lived on the apple orchard.
Verse 3 (b): "his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
Any tree is a delight; it does not necessarily have to bear fruit or nuts. It also provides shade for man and a shelter for birds. When I was growing up, we did not have trees in our yard. We lived on the prairies, where trees grew only if you planted and nourished them. If money was scarce, you did without trees, or you did the next best thing, like we children did; you enjoyed the neighbors' trees, or went to the park. We had a park a few blocks from our place, so it was there you would find us, playing in the shade of those wonderful old trees. And it was especially enjoyable in the fall when the leaves had fallen. How delightful to be able to roll around in, and bury ourselves in the piles of crackling leaves. Even now I enjoy walking through crispy autumn leaves.
Christ often likened man to trees. How blessed we can be if we are like a tree, providing shade, or shelter; producing fruit to share with those around us. We must try to shed our leaves and fruit, not hang on to them. Some trees are stingy. They want to hang on to their fruit. A hazelnut tree has to be shaken in order for its nuts to fall. Other trees, like coconut, have to be clubbed in order to harvest the fruit. A big old maple tree's bark is so tough that it has to have a hole drilled in it in order for anyone to enjoy its substance.... maple syrup. May we shake our own boughs; exude our own sap; be generous; be bountiful. May we keep on bearing fruit. It does not matter who gets it. It does not matter who appreciates it. May we say to the world, "Here is my gift. Take it or leave it. My mission is only to produce it."
Verse 4: "The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away."
Have you ever seen dry leaves in a windstorm? Or better yet, have you ever had the privilege to stand and watch a threshing operation? I don't know how threshing is done now a days, but when I was very young I used to visit my uncle's farm. I watched the old threshing machine as it blew the wheat into a hopper, while the chaff was blown up a stack where the wind caught it and blew it into the air. It was scattered into the field, never to be seen again--useless. All it did was get into your nose and throat and choke you. That is the picture of the ungodly. Sin sweeps its victims along a troubled pathway to the grave.
Verse 5: "Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous."
The ungodly will not be able to withstand God's wrath when it comes time for the judgment. Not only will they not be able to stand God's wrath, they will not be able to stand being in the midst of the righteous. I remember a story told about my dad. Dad was the sort of man who preached to everyone he met, young or old, rich or poor, educated or uneducated. There were certain people in the small town in which we lived who, when they heard that J. A. Splane was in town, would literally disappear. One of the men who ran to get out of the way of Dad's preaching later became a Christian. He told this story on himself.
Verse 6: "For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish."
God knows what is going to happen to the righteous. He has it all planned, and much of it will not be revealed until the day that we are called up to meet Christ. It will be like a big surprise party for the righteous.
But all God will say about the ungodly is that they shall perish. It is not what God chooses for anyone. He has made a provision so that no one needs to perish. But there are those who choose this way for themselves.
Lord, make me a tree that is planted
By the water side,
Whose fruit shall be abundant,
And who shall shade provide.
*Historical information gleaned (not copied) from "The Chosen Word" 1915 by The John A. Hertel Co., London, Eng.
I am thankful to the Lord for my Christian parents who brought me up to love the Lord, and who taught me that there are no second-generation Christians, and that each person must accept Christ's gift of salvation--the shedding of His blood on Calvary. I gave my heart to the Lord at the age of eight. .... Now that I am in my retirement years, I am enjoying spending time at my computer, along side my husband of 51 years, writing poetry, story poems, stories about pets and life in general, as well as inspirational and Bible stories. My writings can be found on my website: www.occupytillicome.com
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