Psalm 1: Two Men .. Two Ways .. Two Destinies
- Psalms 1:1 (KJV)
- Psalms 1:2 (KJV)
- Psalms 1:3 (KJV)
- Psalms 1:4 (KJV)
- Psalms 1:5 (KJV)
- Psalms 1:6 (KJV)
The theme of the book of Psalms is Christ our desire and every sufficiency. As we have it in Psalm 23:1, The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
Psalm 42:1 begins, As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. Here in the Psalms, those who have such longings find abundant waters for their soul. In purpose ... the Psalms are essential to the devotional life.
By way of introduction, the writers of the Psalms are as follows: David = 80; Moses = 1 (Ps. 90); Asaph = 12; Sons of Korah = 11; Heman = 1; Ethan = 1; Solomon = 2. Many others are called Orphan Psalms as we are not told who wrote them. The Septuagint(the Greek translation of the Hebrew Psalms … often seen abbreviated as LXX) ascribes some of the Psalms to Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Haggai and Zechariah.
The dateof the Psalms runs from Moses to the Post-captivity, 1500 to 400 BC. They are arranged in the Hebrew Bible into 5 sections or books. Book #1 = Ps. 1-41; Book #2 = 42-72; Book #3 = Ps. 73-89 (in this book, the only one written by David is Ps. 86); Book #4 = Ps. 90-106 (these are mostly orphan psalms); Book #5 = Ps. 107-150.
The Hebrew word for Psalms is Praises. The Greek word is Songs of Strings.
Here in Psalm 1, we are introduced to two men … two ways … two destinies.The prophet, Jeremiah, fleshes them out for us as follows,
Cursed is the man who trusts in man
And makes flesh his strength,
Whose heart departs from the LORD.
For he shall be like a shrub in the desert,
And shall not see when good comes,
But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness,
In a salt land which is not inhabited.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
And whose hope is the LORD.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Verses 1-2… The first two verses of Psalm 1 opens with the pronouncement that blessed is the man who is separated unto God… that is, one who does not associate nor condone the words or actions of those who are self centered and anti-God. Proverbs 9:12 also makes this contrast.
If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.
(By the way, Psalm 26 illustrates Psalm 1. Check it out.)
Also here, we are told that the blessedman is a man of the Book. The Word of God is his constant companion and friend in which he meditates day and night. Here are a few other scriptures along this line:
The mouth of the righteous speaks wisdom,
And his tongue talks of justice.
The law of his God is in his heart;
None of his steps shall slide. Psalm 37:30-31
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.(Words of Joshua) Josh. 1:8
Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day. Ps. 119:97
My eyes are awake through the night watches,
That I may meditate on Your word. Ps. 119:148
The raw power and indispensable nature of the Word of God in the mind and heart of the child of God cannot be overestimated nor overstated.
Verse 3… The Lord’s blessing rests at all times on those who are his own … those who have chosen to believe him, love him and walk in his ways. Psalm 5:12 says,
For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.
This axiomatic truth extends throughout all ages and times. Romans 8:28 comes to mind…
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose.
Consider good king Hezekiah’s experience along this line. In 2 Kings 18:5-7 we read,
He trusted in the LORD God of Israel, so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor who were before him. For he held fast to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses. The LORD was with him; he prospered wherever he went. And he rebelled against the king of Assyria and did not serve him.
Verses 4-6… The conclusion of the matter is this. In life there are two men … two ways .. two destinies. The ungodly man’s ascendancy are brief. His days are extremely numbered. He is like a piece of wheatchaffin the wind … seen for a brief moment then gone for eternity. Nor can he survive the judgment day for he has not heeded a thing that God has said. As we have it in 5:5,
The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
If you are reading this and you are looking for God … start here:
And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:11-12
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