Reflections On Psalm 1

Reflections On Psalm 1

Just some “thoughts of a business man”…………

1: Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

You know, from God’s point of view, it does matter with whom you “hang out”. Your friends and those who matter to you are an indication of how you look at life. They are an indication of your eternal values and your personal “world view”. If you are truly desirous of God’s manifold blessing, you cannot stay “on the fence”, i.e. claiming to love the Lord yet participating with the worst this world has to offer. God’s blessing requires a commitment as expressed in I Corinthians 6:16 – 7:1, “What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God and they will be my people. Therefore, come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God”.

As a matter of desire, practice or habit, to walk in the counsel of the wicked; to stand in the way of sinners; to sit in the seat of mockers is to contaminate your life. The blessing of God requires a separation from the world even as you live in the world.

2: But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night.

If others watched you live out your life, what would they say was your “delight”? Watching television? Working or your career? Your family? Money and wealth? Material possessions? What would it be?

What does it mean “his delight is in the law of the Lord”? Perhaps a lesson from Moses would help. In Exodus 33:13, Moses says, “If you [the Lord] are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you”. Now that is taking delight in the law of the Lord. You see, Moses did not ask to see more clearly all the things God does. Moses did not want to know about God. He wanted to know His ways. If that is your delight, you must learn “silence” before the Lord. You must learn the Shepherd’s voice. Why is that important? John 10:2-4 gives us insight: “The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice”. If your “delight” is in the Lord, He will make His voice known to you. Jesus said so; just read John 10. The Bible tells me so! Do you believe that? Then be silent, listen, learn, heed, and follow.

3: He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not whither. Whatever he does prospers.

I have looked upon the trees in my yard. Strong deep roots; a straight, solid trunk; limb structure and leaves that are beautiful. I could drive my car into these trees at 20-30 miles per hour and the tree would be immovable. The car would be destroyed! The winds blow through the branches and rustle the leaves, sometimes in very dramatic fashion yet that tree is immovable. Is your life like “a tree planted”? Though circumstances slam into you at what seems like 20-30 mph, do you remain firm in your faith in Almighty God? Is your relationship with the Lord immovable? Are your life’s circumstances of no matter to you? Tough questions. One should not answer “yes” too quickly to these probing questions. For to glibly and cavalierly answer these questions without grasping the present and eternal significance of these questions is to leave yourself open to distress, stress, great anxiety, and worry when the first serious test of your faith comes along.

Are you, or are you not, a tree planted? Firm, growing, strong, immovable? If you are “a tree planted”, then know and grasp God’s promises in this verse: (1) you will yield fruit in season. Your life will show forth the glory and majesty of God. Like fruit on a tree, it will be seen. It will be noticed. A tree has no voice to shout out what it possesses and what it has to offer but rarely are the fruits of the tree missed by those who observe the tree. What fruit does your spouse see? Your children? Your co-workers? Your neighbors? Other friends and family members? (2) your “leaf” will not wither. Does this simply refer to your eternal appearance? Will you always have some youthful look while planted by streams of water? While all that may truly happen within the marvelous grace of God, the “leaf” of the tree refers more to the essence of beauty of the tree. If the leaf does not wither, then all the life-giving flow of water and nutrients are occurring in the life of that leaf. In John 7:38, Jesus says, “If a man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scriptures has said, streams of living water will flow from within him”. What water; what life! No withering going on in that life, in that “leaf”, connected to the living water of Christ; and (3) whatever you do will prosper. Wow! How do I add comment to that promise? What is excluded from this promise? Nothing! Whether it is marriage, raising a family, a career, church involvement, or whatever, a promise to “prosper” has been given. Does this promise speak only to financial prosperity? Hardly. If anything, it speaks primarily to prosperity of relationships that are close, intimate, trusting, and secure, starting first and foremost with the Lord God Almighty and His precious Son, Jesus Christ. Does this prosperity include anything else? It likely includes the prosperity of character traits such as honesty, integrity, compassion, lovingkindness, forgiving attitude, self-control, faith, love, charity, gentleness, joyful attitude, serenity and peace. This is the prosperity that matters for time and eternity. Earthly prosperity may come also, but remember, it is earthly.

;4 and 5: Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

These two verses also contain promises from God that will just as surely come to pass and therefore should be considered with soberness of mind. All the promises of verse 3 discussed above are not available to the wicked. For the wicked there can be no fruit, only withered leaves and certainly no prosperity to the many aspects of life. So just who are “the wicked”? The dictionary would tell you it is one who is evil, immoral, and sinful. How could one so described stand before the Lord? They cannot for as the verse says “the wicked will not stand in the judgment”, a judgment that will be conducted by God Almighty, our Glorious Father. What possibly could the wicked even say before God to justify their wickedness? Nothing, absolutely nothing. I can only picture complete silence and an incredible desire by the wicked to get out of the light of God’s holiness. You see, they love darkness, even when faced with eternal judgment. They cannot sit with or be associated with “the assembly of the righteous”. As Charles Spurgeon said, “Husks and chaff being devoid of substance must fly before the wind”. So tragic it will be for as the verse states, “They are like chaff that blows away”.

But let us stop for just a moment. Are these verses written simply as a comparison of promises for the believer as opposed to the wicked? While this comparison clearly shows the blessing versus the condemnation, there is more here than just that.

If, as a believer, you fully, by faith, grasp these wonderful promises, and as a believer you fully grasp the eternal consequences facing the wicked, are not these verses a call for every believer to seek the lost for Christ? Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”. That was Christ’s purpose in redemption. Do not these verses in Psalm 1 call us as believers to bring that message of redemption to the wicked, the lost? We must not sit by comfortably as Christians with the great promises of Psalm 1:3. We must seek out those in our circle of life who know not Christ as Savior. Like Paul so wonderfully states in Colossians 1:28-29, “We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all His energy, which so powerfully works in me”.

As a believer, do I labor and struggle to see one described as “wicked” become one described as “redeemed”? Do you, beloved? These verses are a call to action. Actually, they are a call to belief! Do you understand and believe God’s promises to both the believer and the wicked? I hope you do because of verse 6.

6: For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

I hope you “get it”! Both pathways of life are secure and set in their eternal outcomes. But by the grace of God and through the shed blood of Christ, the wicked can move from the perishing pathway to the pathway of life. Are we surrendered to God in order that we may be a useful tool in His service?

Let us with Paul proclaim Him, the Lord Jesus Christ.


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