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Psalm One

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Psalm 1:1 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.

Blessed is the man. It is appropriate that the Book of Psalms begins with a promise of divine blessing. It is also fitting that the first psalm defines the two ways a person could live (Psalm 1:6) and the two destinies a person would experience. Comparative paths of life is the key theme throughout the entire book.

way of sinners. The word “way” actually refers to a roadway. The first psalm, setting the pattern for the entire book of Psalms, is contrasting the two roads a person may travel—the broad road leading to destruction or the narrow road leading to everlasting life (Matthew 7:13-14).

seat of the scornful. Note the sad progression of the ungodly from “walking” to “standing” to “sitting,” steadily “increas[ing] unto more ungodliness” (2 Timothy 2:16).

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

his delight. To the godly man, God's law is not a burden but a delight, for “the law of the Lord is perfect” (Psalm 19:7), and we may “behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18). Paul said: “I delight in the law of God after the inward man” (Romans 7:22). The law cannot save, of course, but to the sinner saved by God's grace through faith in Christ, he can say sincerely: “Thy law is my delight” (Psalm 119:77).

in his law. The “law” can be taken as the entire revealed Scriptures, and it is vital to know that true blessing on a life is a necessary product of true devotion and obedience to the written Word of God.

meditate day and night. The psalmist seems here to be drawing on the wise counsel of Joshua (Joshua 1:8). Contrast this habitual and profitable meditation on God's Word with the ungodly “imaginings” of unbelievers (Psalm 2:1). The words “meditate” and “imagine” are translations of the same Hebrew word.

Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

shall prosper. Again note Joshua 1:8. Fruit that is produced by a believer well grounded and stable in the Scriptures will “remain.” Note Colossians 2:7; John 15:7, 16.

Psalm 1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Psalm 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

Psalm 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.