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Psalm 1: A Reflection

Ruby is a freelance writer from the Philippines. Besides writing, she enjoys gardening and studying the Scripture.

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Psalm 1 is the prologue to the entire book of Psalms. All other Psalms relate to Psalm 1. The Psalm separates good from evil. Those who have faith in Jesus Christ and His Cross work are righteous. They've been saved by the Holy Spirit and Jesus' blood. They don't wear their own righteousness, but Christ's. Unbelievers who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour are wicked. This psalm contrasts believers with unbelievers., the first Psalm is the cornerstone text for the entire collection of Psalms.
Psalms begins, "Blessed is the man." How can I be blessed (happy) in this life? God answers in Psalm 1.
True? God's joy? Absolutely! This bliss is eternal. "Blessed" is plural in Hebrew. It signifies infinite benefits. It means blessings or joy.

How can I be happy? Psalm 1 is a wisdom psalm because it tells us that following God's plan brings joy. The psalmist describes two life pathways. The first route leads to happiness, and the second to pain.

Having the Proper Method

Verses 1-3

"1 Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the Lord,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do" (Psalms 1:1-3, NLT).

Psalm 1 simply captures a very fundamental Old and New Testament message. God taught His Old Testament people that their choices affect their course and their future. This message is still relevant today, to us, God's people.

Further He says, "I summon heaven and earth to record this day against you: I've put life and death, blessing and cursing before you; choose life so you and your progeny may live."
In the New Testament, Jesus tells the masses to live well.
"Wide is the gate and broad is the route that leads to destruction, and many enter it. Narrow is the gate and narrow is the way that leads to life, and few discover it," as He states in Matthew.

Making the Right Decision

First, Psalm 1:1 teaches that adopting a righteous way brings satisfaction. This determination involves others. This passage encourages us to avoid unhealthy partnerships. Your buddies matter.
"Blessed is the guy who doesn't follow ungodly counsel," says the Bible. Refusing counsel from individuals whose moral choices contradict God's commandments is part of choosing the correct path.
The second line adds, "not sinners." Evil advice is one thing. It's different to take that stance. Happy people don't follow the crowd. He doesn't associate with sinners.
Lastly, Jesus refuses to sit with people who ridicule and condemn God: "nor sitteth with scorners." Having contemptuous, critical, and disrespectful pals will make you miserable.
Walking, standing, and sitting depict evil's steep slope. Bad is active. Always falling. The worse comes later. A sequence of bad choices leads to ruin, to eternal damnation.

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Desiring God's Word

In Psalm 1:2, the verse implies that enjoyment comes from devouring God's Word. Meditation helps us enjoy the Bible. Each time I spend time studying God's word, I feel happy and sometimes, I even smile while studying. That's what God's word does, it gives us inner joy--a joy that can't be found anywhere.
Meditation entails "day and night" Scripture attention. This includes understanding the Bible's meaning and application to us, in our personal life. God's Spirit satisfies man's soul with His Word. "Sweeter than honey" (Ps. 119:103) and "more appealing than gold" (Ps. 19:10).
Growl, grunt, or moan are various synonyms for meditation. It means murmuring. Someone you know probably mumbles. We consider this conduct strange. We all converse to ourselves constantly in our brains. Continuous mental chatter. Some folks talk aloud. Meditation is internal dialogue. God benefits us when we meditate on His words.
This lifestyle makes people happy because it meets our mission. "Be prolific" was God's first command to man (Gen. 1:28). Psalm 1 compares the joyful man to a tree planted by rivers of water that bears fruit in season, whose leaf does not wither, and whose deeds succeed (Ps. 1:3).
Deep roots fed by subterranean streams produce fruit. God's Word provides eternal, all-sufficient grace for life. The Word sustains life even in harsh, desolate times.
Blessed is the bountiful existence. David says God's method to happiness is being isolated from the world, saturated with the Word, and effective in fulfilling God's will.

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The Improper Way

Verses 4–6

"4 But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
6 For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction" (Psalms 1:4-6, NLT).

David contrasts the virtuous with the wicked in verse 4: "the ungodly are not so." Spurgeon adds that the Hebrew has a double negative: "Not so the godless, not so." How awful to double-negative the promises! The unholy are like this. [2]
Ungodliness won't succeed! Ungodly lives are considered "chaff" They're useless, worthless, and dead. God's punishment will blow them away. They won't live among God's people in the righteous congregation (Ps. 1:5).
The psalmist ends the verse with two directions—the road of the righteous and the way of the wicked—two decisions—to concentrate on God's Word or to listen to ungodly counsel—and two destinies—the righteous will enjoy God's presence forever, while the ungodly will perish.

Concluding Thoughts

Finally, I can say that the first psalm of Psalms, summarizes the entire Bible. God is making it abundantly apparent to us that He will separate the good from the bad at the time of the Eternal Judgment. If we do not remove ourselves from this evil world and walk like the way faithful and true Christians should, then we may be among those who will receive the final judgment prepared for the wicked. The sheep and the goats will be divided, and there will be much weeping, crying, and gnashing of teeth. Remember: ‘the way of the unrighteous must perish as this psalm puts it.

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© 2022 Ruby Campos

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