Some Considerations from Psalm 1
By Al Stoner
1 BLESSED is the man
That walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor standeth in the way of sinners,
Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
And in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
That bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
His leaf also shall not wither;
And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so:
But are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous:
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
- “Blessed is the man.”
- These words are descriptive more than they are prescriptive. They are identifying certain personalities that are here in this world more than they are telling men the way that they should be.
- The words testify to God’s eternal purpose in Christ Jesus for it shall ultimately be demonstrated that all men belong to one of the two categories of men described here in Psalm 1. There are no exceptions to this.
- From our perspective, time is a factor in manifesting who these persons are. Wheat and tares, good fish and bad fish, wood, hay, and stubble, gold, silver, and precious stones are now in the process of being manifested before both men and angels.
- The presence of good and evil, righteousness and wickedness, godliness and ungodliness has been evident in every age. The enmity, the conflict, the antagonism between good and evil have surfaced and left their distinctive mark in and upon every generation.
- “And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). Throughout the vast expanse of the creation, that God had made, one could search high and low, closely and distantly, and one would be constrained to say, “It is very good.”
- Thus, it is clear that evil works must be attributed to the Devil, or to men who have been seduced by him, and taken sides with him. “He that committeth sin is of the Devil; for the Devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil” (I Jn. 3:8).
- Satan (Lucifer, Apollyon, Abaddon), the great perpetrator of evil, and wickedness in the world, has walked about, in every generation, seeking whom he may devour, and with the intent to bring such captivated ones down to share in his condemnation.
- As we have said before, evil and wickedness proceed from evil and wicked personalities who have set themselves in opposition to the LORD, and to His Christ. Evil and wickedness are deliberate expressions of the will of such wicked personalities. They shall suffer the righteous judgment of God.
- And though evil and wickedness have originated with him, yet if men, who were created in the image of God, become involved with the “the works of the Devil”, they shall bear the responsibility for them, and ultimately, if they do not recover themselves, they shall be cast into “everlasting fire prepared for the Devil and his angels”.
- The fact that there are, and have been, righteous men and women in every generation must be attributed to the work of God, even the work of God in salvation by the Lord Jesus Christ. Such ones are evidence of, and a testimony to, the effectual working of God’s eternal purpose in Christ Jesus.
- From this perspective, it is a point of marvel that there are indeed righteous personalities here in the world, where Satan is prince. And yet such marveling draws our attention upward to God, who was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself. Their continuing presence here is a testimony to God's faithfulness.
- From another perspective, in the parable of the tares of the field, the point of marvel was that there were actually tares in the field. “Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?” (Mt. 13:27). The world is a wheat field where an enemy has sown tares amidst the wheat.
- The word “man” is generic, and not gender-specific. Both the man and the woman are comprehended in this expression, “Blessed is the man.” “Male and female created He them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created” (Gen. 5:2). “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28). “For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God” (I Cor. 11:2).
- “But his delight is in the Law of the LORD; and in His Law doth He meditate day and night.”
- Again, these words are more descriptive than prescriptive. They are evidence of God’s working in men’s hearts more than they are exhortation to engage in these things.
- This ought to be evident as the matter of delight is something that men cannot be exhorted to do. Delight in God’s Word and Law is evidence of an affinity that is already possessed, and that has been worked in the individual, because God has showed some precious things to the person. These are things pertaining to God’s favor and purpose and men’s involvement in that purpose.
Meditate. The inward rehearsing of God’s thoughts is a source of refreshing and strengthening. It is health to the navel, and marrow to the bones. Only God’s thoughts are like this, and have this blessed capacity. This is a testimony to the blessedness of God’s Person, and of the purpose of God in Christ Jesus.
Meditate day and night. This speaks of the place of returning for rest after seasons of labor. Like the point of a compass always coming back to “due north”, when it is occasionally jostled to the right hand or to the left. “Fair weather cometh from the north.” “This is my rest forever. Here will I dwell.”
- The Law of the LORD is the revelation of the mind of the LORD. The godly in every generation have taken great delight in the God’s thoughts. “How precious are Thy thoughts unto me! How great is the sum of them!” Thoughts of reconciliation to God and recovery from sin. Thoughts of the sin issue being completely resolved through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Thoughts of God blessedly undoing our undoneness in Adam, and because of sin. Thoughts of Paradise regained, and of dwelling in the house of the LORD forever. Thoughts of laboring together with God in His purpose forever, etc.
- “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
- In the kingdom of God fruitbearing proceeds from union with the Lord Jesus Christ. Even as He said, "I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing" (Jn. 15:5).
In His Season. While yet in this world fruit, for the people of God, is associated with seasons, in contrast with that world, and “the tree of life, which" bears "twelve manner of fruits, and" yields "her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree" are "for the healing of the nations” (Rev. 22:2).
- In this world, we go in and out and find pasture, and we labor in season and out of season. But there they go no more out, and they serve God day and night in His temple. However, we "find pasture" even in times when we are seemingly "out", and "out of season" because of the working of our merciful and faithful High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. He is a High Priest "in things pertaining to God." Thus wherever the primary concern of the men is in the realm of "things pertaining to God", this High Priest has been set at the right hand of God to bring such ones to glory.
- Here in this world, seeming “off-seasons” for fruit bearing are times of great testing for the people of God.
Ephraim and Mannaseh. “And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction” (Gen. 41:51-52). These words were written, no doubt, for the encouragement and consolation of believing men and women in every generation.
- The restoration of years which the locusts have eaten (cf. Joel 2:25). Occasionally, the people of God will experience setbacks in their sojourn to the world to come. Wherever such setbacks are lamented and grieved over, there are promises of recovery to such grieving ones. The God who works all things together for good to them that love Him is able to make all grace abound unto all who trust in Him, and His salvation.