Meditations on the Psalms #11

Day 11

“Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! 2 But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, And on His Law he meditates day and night. 3 He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season, And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, But they are like chaff which the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the wicked will perish.” Psalm 1:1-6 NASB

Psalm 1 is short in its size but full of length & strength as to its matter. There are two portraits in this psalm, represented by the two stanzas. 1-3 and 4-6. If you are going to highlight or underline, V6 presents a key to understanding this Psalm: “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” In this Psalm, the way of the righteous and the way of the ungodly are contrasted. Highlight these words in V1&2: Walk, stand, sit, delight, law, meditate. The first 3 words are the successive steps of a career of evil. However, the blessed man does not do certain things. There is a way he will not walk, a path he will not stand in, and a seat he will not sit in. We can say these speak of thinkingbehaving, and belonging. The righteous man and the ungodly man are different in how they think, how they behave, and to whom they belong

Notice the poetic device here: Each line and successive lines redefine the one before it. Our poetry has rhyming couplets; Hebrew poetry has rhyming or echoed thoughts. This device is also used in V4&5. There are three echoed thoughts concerning the “wicked”. 

Highlight V3: The ‘tree’ is vitality, ‘planted’ is security, ‘streams of water’ is capacity, ‘yields its fruit’ is fertility, ‘season’ is propriety, ‘leaf does not whither’ is perpetuity, ‘all he does is’ is consequence, ‘he prospers’ is prosperity. Notice the contrast between V3&4: The tree withstands the storm the chaff is driven before it. 

This psalm may well be called the Christian’s guide, for it discovers the quicksands where the wicked sink down into destruction and the firm ground on which God’s people tread to eternity. Jesus, in His momentous sermon on the mount said, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. 14 For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matt.7:13-14 NASB.

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