Meditations in Psalms: Chapter 1

These are some observations that I have made in the text and that I hope will draw you into a deeper understanding of God and His Word.  See Christ and His Gospel in these truths!  Do not read what I write outside of the context of what He has done!

characteristics of a “happy” man (1:1-2)

  • 1:1 – “the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked” is happy.
  • 1:1b – the man who does not “take the path of sinners” is happy.
  • 1:1c – the man who does not “join a group of mockers” is happy.
  • 1:2a – the man who finds his delight “in the LORD’s instruction” is happy.
  • 1:2b – the man who “meditates on it day and night” is happy.

though not a full canonical study of happiness, these two verses tell us a lot as to what true happiness is.  If we are experiencing a lack of joy in our salvation or a time of unhappiness in the LORD, we should re-read Psalm 1:1-2.  These two verses tell us that those who find their delight in the LORD’s instruction and who meditate on it all of the time – these people will be happy.  But those who go along with the wicked in their sin – they will never be happy.

the “happy” man contrasted to “the wicked” (1:3-4)

1:3 – as “a tree is planted beside streams of water,” so is this man planted beside the LORD (1:3a).  This tree:

  1. bears its fruit in season (1:3b)
  2. leaf does not wither (1:3c)

whatever this man “does prospers.”  But the fruit and sustainment does not come from, yes is not present because of what the tree has done!  Its fruit and longevity stem from the “streams of water” by which it lives.

1:4 – “the wicked are not like this,” they are not producing the fruit nor bearing the sustainment found in/with the man planted beside God.  “They are like chaff that the wind blows away,” dry/lacking the streams of water and blown/tossed by the wind rather than being planted.

therefore… (1:5-6)

1:5 – because the wicked are not planted in/beside God, so that they do not posses longevity nor produce fruit (nor are they happy!), they “will not survive the judgement” and they “will not be in the community of the righteous.”  Because the wicked are not planted by God to draw from His stream, they will:

  1. be destroyed at the judgement (1:5a)
  2. be seperated from God’s people (1:5b)

1:6 – Why will these things happen to the wicked?  The Psalmist further clarifies the contrast.  “The LORD watches over the way of the righteous,” but as for the wicked, “the way of the wicked leads to ruin.”  This verse does much to sum the previous 5 verses.  Those who are planted beside God, bearing fruit and possessing sustainment from Him, will be called righteous and the LORD Himself will keep them.  But the ones who are not planted beside God, who rebel against Him and are dry due to being depraved of His water, will be called wicked and will be ruined by God.