Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord ,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff,
scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalms 1:1-6 NLT
NOTE: For the full Wiersbe commentary for this chapter, click here
Verse one tells us an interesting contrast about ” the joys of those who do not…” compared to those who associate with sinners/wicked/mockers. This tells us about those blessed with wisdom and integrity to live set apart from such dark things. It is a joy that comes from a blessed life. So this verse is primarily about those who are receiving the joy of the Lord, blessings that come from a life that isn’t knee deep in filth.
Verses two and three tell us not just about what is received for themselves, but what they produce. Not only are they blessed, but they reap fruit and prosperity that is a blessing to others. Their delight is not centered in the gifts and blessings God gives, but in God, as those who “delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.”
Those in Need of Blessing
Verses four and five contrast the wicked and condemned, who are neither blessed nor are a blessing to others.
And there is another party to all of this who is made clear in verse 6, and that is the Lord. He is not only the source of the law, He is not only the source from whom all blessings flow (by His watching over the godly), but He is also the source of judgement upon those who rebel. Revelation 6:16 reminds us that it is “the wrath of the Lamb” that is poured out in judgement, and Revelation 19:15 reminds us that “He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.”
This chapter is considered a “Wisdom Psalm”. For more information on Wisdom Psalms, check out this video:
Why is psalm 1 a “Wisdom psalm”?
It focuses on God’s Word. It confirms God’s blessing on those who obey it and mediate on it. It confirms His abiding presence and the results of His fruit/ character/outpouring through those who abide in Him. It confirms God’s judgement on those who rebel.
The Way vs broad way
Wickedness vs faithfulness
It speaks to relationships between these groups:
It speaks to either:
the foolishness of bonds and ties to the foolish and the wicked —
Or the wisdom of turning to God and being separate from the worldly.
Can we see a “conditional” playing out in all of this? Can we see the “if we are this, God is this towards us…” start to play out in this psalm? If we in fact believe that His Word is true, can we see how aligning ourselves incorrectly can hinder the blessings of God according to this passage?
At this point, I must interject, to reference another blog entry, because someone will read this and say “but it isn’t my perfection that I’m relying upon, but upon Christ’s righteousness — to which I say “Amen!” If this is you, click here — otherwise, continue on.
So can we agree that we want to align ourselves with the will of God, to turn and follow in the footsteps of Christ, to walk in The Way, to not hinder the Holy Spirit of God, but to reverently fear and respect God and live godly lives as children of our Father in Heaven even now?
With that settled, this Psalm instructs us to:
1) Be set apart from:
– wicked advice
– ongoing fellowship with sinners or mockers
2) Delight in the law of the Lord & meditate on it (cherish it, consider it, ponder it) day and night
3) Through abidung in and not hindering the power of the Holy Spirit, be a blessing to others
This is a great contrast to the wicked mentioned in verses 4-5.
And there are very different consequences demonstrated in verse 6 for the two different conditions laid out. Depending on the “IF”, there is a very different “THEN” that is born out in the end.
Our Responsibility to the Wicked?
So do we bear any responsibility to the wicked, if we consider ourselves the blessed and the ones bringing blessing?
I will point you to a compelling blog with reading and considering honestly: http://www.biblelineministries.org/articles/basearch.php3?action=full&mainkey=BLOOD+ON+YOUR+HANDS%3F
What practical implications should this have on our lives?
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!” But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “ Lord , who has believed our message?” So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
Romans 10:9-17 NLT