Psalm One

The Blessed Person (1)

  1. does not follow the advice of the wicked
  2. does not stand in the pathway with sinners
  3. does not sit in the assembly of scoffers

The blessed person (2)

  1. find pleasure in obeying God’s Word
  2. meditates on God’s Word day and night

The blessed person (3)

  1. is like a tree
  • planted by flowing streams
  • yields it fruit at the proper time
  • whose leaves never fall off
  1. succeeds in everything he attempts

The wicked person (4)

  1. does not experience the same prosperity (“not so”)
  2. is liked wind-driven chaff

The wicked person (5)

  1. cannot withstand judgment
  2. cannot join the assembly of the righteous

The conclusion (6)

  1. God guards the way of the godly
  2. the way of the wicked ends in destruction

The believer must believe God that the way of obedience is truly the way of blessing.  When one believes God, it results in him refusing to: follow the advice of the wicked, stand in the pathway with sinners, nor sit in the assembly of scoffers.  Psalm one resides closely beside the wisdom of Proverbs.  As is true with proverbial wisdom, this wisdom psalm requires one to be a genuine believer to experience the blessing.  The genuine believer who places his trust in God’s description of the blessed person and applies such wisdom in his daily living will ultimately experience the rewards of such living.

Interestingly enough, the blessed person not only trusts that wise living results in blessing but also trusts that ungodly living results in destruction.  Trusting in the reliability of God’s Word is at the root of this passage.  Trusting in the character of God and the reliability of his Word is at the root of being a genuine believer.

God presents a beautiful picture of the blessings of wise living.  How many will choose the path of wisdom?  Obviously, not everyone (vv. 1, 4-6).  The very existence of wicked people, sinners, and scoffers precludes any chance of universal wisdom living.  If the outcome of the way of wickedness is so undesirable, why do so many walk its path?  Apparently because the “here and now” is more important than the destination of the path for the wicked.

Would it be improper to impose any eschatological implications upon the passage?  One would assume the statements, “the wicked cannot withstand judgment” and “the way of the wicked ends in destruction” refer to the end of the wicked’s life here on earth.  Knowing Scripture, the end of life here on earth brings immediate attention to eternity and where the soul of the dead individual will reside.  I do not want to stretch the passage beyond its exegetical bounds, yet in light of the whole canon we are able to connect the theological dots.

This raises a question, “Can a genuine believer follow the advice of the wicked, stand in the pathway with sinners, and sit in the assembly of scoffers?”  Sadly.  Tragically.  Yes.  One needs to look no further than the letters of Paul to Corinth.  This is why one must be cautious about making immediate soteriological connections in the passage.  The passage in its immediate context is teaching that the one who lives wisely will be blessed.  God describes some characteristics of the wise person and his response to the wise person – blessing.  The wisdom psalm concludes with the reality that God “guards the way of the godly, but the way of the wicked ends in destruction.”  The wise person will know which is the more desirable path to walk and will walk in the path of wisdom, which leads to blessing.

How many genuine believers are walking the path of wisdom which leads to blessing?


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