Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. Psalm 1
Psalms 1 and 2 have been described as two pillars at the entrance of the Psalms, and even all of scripture. Their messages create an invitation from God for the journey with very important reminders for life. Psalm 1 is very simple but life encompassing . Even though man’s two paths are sharply contrasted, the main message is about God’s word. God’s word distinguishes the character and conduct of the righteous. It promises to change the lives of those who fully embrace it and is an absolute necessity in our lives.
These two divergent groups in Psalm 1 are instructive and exemplary. The blessing of the righteous and the future of the wicked are not only a theme in this introductory Psalm but all of the Bible. Psalms are Hebrew wisdom literature and poetry that contrast ideas with parallelism instead of rhyming words. The righteous are those who do not walk, stand or sit (three parallel actions) in the path of the unrighteous. The unrighteous are those who leave the path, the wayward or wicked; miss the mark, the rebellious or sinner; or follow the crowd, scoffers (three parallel persons). The three actions are also progressive (walking, standing, sitting) and more permanent, and so are the places of principle (the counsel, the way, the seat). The movement of these ideas gives notion to the journey of life.
The choice to walk with God, the companionship we choose to walk it with are critical decisions. Seasonal hardship may come and go. The journey is about a way, a path, choices, more than a destination. We have to decide to immerse ourselves in God’s word, keep walking in God’s way with God’s people despite circumstances beyond our control. Take a walk and let God speak to you about your journey and where you are at with him and his word. Pray the Lord’s Prayer with your eyes open.
By Donna Burns