Psalms 1 – 50by Mike Raiter
The book of Psalms is like a glorious mansion, built with words of poetry. It is full of many ″rooms″. There are rooms of praise, thanksgiving, lament, prophecy, and wisdom. The way into this building is through the front doors. Psalms 1 and 2 are the front doors to the book, introducing most of its main themes.
In this first psalm we meet two groups of people who will reappear throughout many of the psalms. The first are the righteous, who love, trust, and obey the Lord. They are blessed by God because they live according to God's direction. They do not walk, stand, or sit like sinners do (Psalm 1:1).
This descending order of actions may be deliberate. Someone begins by walking alongside, then stopping and standing together with, and finally sitting and being a part of the group. This behaviour is what Jesus warned us against when He described His followers as being in the world, but not of the world (John 17:14-15).
God's righteous people delight in God's law (Psalm 1:2). Psalm 1 commends and celebrates meditating on Scripture, which reveals God to us and shows us how to live and please Him. The result is that God's people will be nourished, bear fruit, and prosper (v. 3).
Opposed to the righteous are the second group-the wicked-who rely on themselves and practically despise God's Word and commandments. In contrast to the righteous who are like a fruit-bearing tree (v. 3), the lives of the wicked are like chaff blown away by the wind: dry, fruitless, and withered (v. 4).
The psalm concludes with a final word about these two groups. It reassures the righteous that God cares for them (v. 6). And it warns the wicked, who walk the broad road of disobedience, that their end is destruction (v. 6; see Matthew 7:13).
Psalm 1 is an invitation to take pleasure in reflecting on all of the Word of God. However, most importantly, in the Psalms we will be reminded of the one truly righteous man, the Lord Jesus Christ. Over the next 50 days, He will be our chief meditation and delight.
How appropriate is the picture of walking, standing, and sitting for a life of compromise with the world? What practical lessons can you draw from this picture?
What do you find delightful about God's law (Psalm 1:2)?