Psalm 1:1-6 NKJV
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
The first Psalm sets forth two groups of people: the righteous and the wicked. Each group is given its own description here, and its own end.
Those who are counted among the righteous are first righteous by faith. They know that they fall short of God’s righteous requirements, and so they despair of themselves before God and hope to be accepted by Him only through His mercy, for the sake of Christ the promised Savior. Such a person is counted among the righteous.
The one who is righteous by faith then goes on to do righteous things, things that are both right in the eyes of God and, as is often the case, beneficial to himself in some way, resulting in blessings, either temporal or eternal. The first Psalm highlights devotion to God’s Word as being at the heart of a righteous life. The righteous intentionally avoid the bad company, advice, and behavior of the wicked, while sincerely devoting themselves to hearing, learning, and meditating on God’s Word.
As a result, they are “blessed.” It goes well for them. They benefit from such behavior. They are like a well-watered, healthy, thriving tree. As such a believer learns from God’s Word and continually applies it to his life, “whatever he does prospers.” God, through His Word, both preserves him in faith and aids him in leading a life that is holy and righteous.
As for the wicked, they are unconcerned with God’s Word. They ignore it, or they sit in judgment of it instead of submitting to it and letting the Holy Spirit teach them through it. And so, instead of growing and thriving like well-watered trees, instead of receiving God’s blessings, they are like “the chaff that the wind drives away.” Let us pray: O Lord, You have revealed Yourself to us in Your Word and promised to bless us as we use it. Keep us steadfast in Your Word and, according to Your promise, grant us Your blessing, both now and forever, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.