Psalm 1- An exposition

By K.Oni


1. Blessed. The book of the psalms opens with a benediction which is a state of being blessed and the word translated is plural meaning blessedness. The rest of the psalm distinguishes between the blessed man and the man who is not blessed at all because he is not in a state of being blessed. As a Christian one should be abundantly joyful because we are in a blessed state and that always because God has justified us in Christ Jesus. There is therefore no more condemnation for those who are blessed in Christ Jesus but there is still condemnation for those who are not in a state of being blessed in Christ as the psalmist reveals in vs. 4 & 5. Note, that this should cause you to rejoice and perhaps to enjoy your blessedness it is wise for you to consider what it is that you have been blessed with and a searching through scripture should reveal this to you and cause you great excitement because now the LORD watches over you and he does it like a joyful mother looking after her precious son or like a bridegroom caring for his bride.

The blessed man is described both positively and negatively. The blessed man is a man of such character who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, that is that the blessed man does not take advice from the wicked, he despises their company and does not give a thought to any of their suggestions. Also the blessed man does not stand in the ways of sinner. This implies that a man of God should not accompany himself with those who do evil, to stand along side them as if supporting their activities. Although it does not mean that one should not be with sinners for then that would mean for you to go out of the world but for the blessed man not to stand in their ways or conform to their ways.  The blessed man does not sit in the seat of mockers, that is that his ears are to sensible for the things which are holy and despises those things which are profane. When mockers begin to mock God, he stands up and departs, taking no delight in their folly and becomes greatly offended when they use God’s name in vain. The blessed man Loves God and must naturally hate the things that God hates and we see in vs. 2 that the blessed man’s delight is in the law of the LORD. This is his positive character. This was the longing of all those men in Psalm 119, to delight in the law of the LORD and to keep them, especially in vs. 97 which reads ‘Oh how I love your Law, I meditate on it all day long’. Oh how this spirit is so much needed in our churches today, to love the Law of our precious Saviour, Jesus Christ. The messiah himself said that ‘If you love me, you will obey what I command’. And even more so those who love the Lord delights in his command and we see this active fruit in the blessed man, yea he delights in his law and that is that all of his faculties are excited. For when he reads of the two great commandments his heart is so excited that he longs to do them, yea it becomes his passion for he delights in it. Consider those things in which you delight to do, how easy is it for you to do them, are they to you a burden but many see the Law of Christ a burden but it is so with them because they have not yet loved the Lord in order to delight in his divine and pleasurable ordinances.  And we in the age of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit are under the law of Christ which brings freedom and our delight should far exceed the law which is here in view for we have a greater revelation and on his law he meditates day and night. Note here the consistency of the blessed man, it is not enough to spend ten minutes on the law of God but day and night. It does not mean that one spends the whole day in a monastery but rather the law of God is very practical and it is to be obeyed. Day and night the blessed man loves the Lord his God with all his heart and delights in obeying his commandments and thus his meditation is day and night because all he does is according to the law of his precious saviour.

In vs.3 we see the result of the blessed man who delights in the law of the LORD, for he is like a tree planted by streams of water. Note, that he is like a tree, yea, an healthy tree not a wild tree but one which is planted by streams of water. And here water we can say to be the rivers of grace which plants the sinner in the garden of Christ and is upheld by the righteousness of Christ and the Father loves to tend to it and prune it. We see that this tree yields its fruit in season. our blessed Lord in his discourse to his disciples solemnly told them that ‘neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me’, and somewhere else our Lord comments ‘others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop- thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown'. The blessed man will always yield its fruit in season and regardless which season it is whether it be the season of persecution, the season of trials, the season of being rich, the season of depression, the season of signs and wonder, which ever season it may be the blessed will always yield its fruit and that the fruits of righteousness. And also the blessed man’s leaf does not wither, that is that his righteousness will never fade for his righteousness is in Christ  Jesus, he will never loose his beauty nor would a single leaf drop to the ground. Whatever he does prospers. Here let us consider the only righteous man in all of history, the man Christ Jesus. We see that in his life, everything he did and still continues to do today prospers. He gains victory in all things even in his death. So it is with every blessed man in Christ Jesus because God works everything for our good and happily we should take to the plough especially to that of the kingdom for we are guaranteed success because God works for our good even in our deaths or apparent failure it is eventually to our success.

Vs. 4 solemnly tell us that the wicked man has no part in the blessings of the blessed man for naturally the wicked man hates God and he will not be planted by streams of water but rather the wicked will be uprooted for destruction. No one speaks more plainly of this than our Lord Jesus Christ himself when in Revelation he says concerning the wicked that ‘the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars- their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulphur’. it is a terrifying thing to be numbered with the wicked and I plead with all to take part in the gospel of God and believe in Him who died for their wickedness and was raised from the dead. The blessings of the blessed man is not so with the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. The character of the wicked is that they are like chaff so when cereal crops are harvested the chaff is removed and deposited with the straw in the field. So the wicked are spoken of to be worthless and irrelevant yea irrelevant to the things of God and of his new creation and they will be destroyed with the old creation, yea, with an everlasting stay in hell. The righteous man should be moved by this as God was moved in so far that he loved the wicked man and therefore sent His anointed one to die for them so that whoever believes will not come into judgment but pass into life everlasting. Our preaching of the gospel should therefore be earnest and our praying should be unceasing and our serving should be magnified and our love unconditional. If the wicked man does not come to believe in the gospel, the wicked will not stand in the judgement vs. 5. They will be there to be judged and their own conscience will render them guilty and justice will be their portion. Justice is necessary because God is Holy and because there will be no wicked nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. On that glorious day when the Lord shall come to gather the elect and make a seating for every saint in his kingdom whom he purchased by his blood, joyfully there will be no room for sinners, those yet to be marked by the blood of the lamb and justice shall be served coldly and gladly for the Lord shall rid his kingdom of his enemies.

And a reason for the cleansing of sinners from the assembly of the righteous is giving in vs. 6 for the LORD watches over the way of the righteous. God is constantly looking on the way of his saints, though they may walk through the shadow of death yet his eyes is upon them, a happy smile behind a frowning providence. The LORD delights to watch over them for he is the good shepherded who gave his life for the sheep. He numbers the hair on their heads and although the devil attacks them yet their eternal life is secured and they have authority over all principality and powers. The ways of the righteous shall prosper because God is for them but the way of the ungodly will perish. The end for the ungodly man is certain as is the end of the blessed man. The end for the ungodly man in ultimately the wrath of God in the dungeons of hell while for the blessed man the presence of God forever where there is pleasures forever more. A wise man would no longer delay what type of man he ought to be but the sinfulness of man deceives him. So I plead for you to tarry no longer but to now put your faith in the darling of heaven, the lamb who was slain for thee. Blessed is the man who put his trust in God.

K.Oni

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