Psalm 1 contrasts the righteous man with the wicked. It is a great song for teaching others and reminding us of God’s blessings on the righteous and judgment on the wicked.
The song begins with a singular exclamation: blessed. The word here means happy, joyful, at peace; it signifies the blessings of God poured out. The next phrase shows us who is blessed: the righteous man. This individual is described negatively and positively.
There is a progression here further and further into sin.
Walk Counsel Ungodly
Stand Way Sinners
Sit Seat Scornful
We tend to slowly progress into sin. It begins with following advice from those who are not Christians. It progresses to hanging out with people as they sin. It ends with accepting the judgments of those who openly mock God and His Word. The righteous man flees all of these things.
The righteous man is describe in a positive light in only one way; he delights in God’s Law. He finds his joy in seeing Jesus in every passage of Scripture. He meditates continually on what he reads. This meditation is a “chewing the cud.” He reads the Word and then “barfs” it back up to think on it again and again.
These actions are brought about by God who plants the man in a place where he will be continually blessed. He will never lack a conduit of God’s blessings because his life is filled with the Living Water, Jesus Christ (John 4.) He will bear fruit when it is needed, and instead of losing strength, he will continually grow stronger and stronger (Isaiah 40:31.)
In Hebrew the word for “not so” stands alone like the word “blessed.” The author here is showing a stark contrast between the righteous and the wicked. He is using the strongest words he can to show that the wicked is as far away from blessed as you can be.
The wicked described
The entirety of the wicked man’s life is worthless, literally having no lasting value. Because of this all his works will literally be blown away. As such they have no hope when they stand before the judgment seat of Christ. They will be cast aside and not enjoy the blessings God pours out on His people.
The author concludes his song by showing us that this is not the righteous man’s doing. Yahweh has brought this about because of His foreknowledge and planning in the righteous man’s life (Romans 8.) Every path has been laid out for the righteous man to prosper by God’s grace. The wicked man’s life is like the wake behind a boat. It gives all the appearances of being something of substance, but it disappears in an instant.
Where are you in this song? Will you turn to Jesus to be clothed in His righteousness and be planted in Him?