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; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. 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. The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall 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 ungodly shall perish. (Psalms 1)
The Dangerous Three Step
Psalm 1 is a didactic psalm written to teach an eternal truth. A comparison of one who is seeking the Lord and one who is not is found in the three step digression of sin. The blessed man is one who does not begin with walking in ungodliness and progressing slowly with standing in acceptance of sin finding himself sitting with those who scorn truth. First the walk, then the standing, finally the sitting. A dangerous three step.
The person of character is one who knows the dangers of following the path of digressive temptation. As Barney Fife said, “Nip it” is the best application early on. The person of righteousness has a joy in seeking truth from God’s word. There is an interest in what the Bible says and a joy to think of eternal truths throughout the day. We have so many things that fill our minds in a day’s activity; what better way to spend working than seeing how God fits in life. Prayer can never be taken out of school as disciples of Christ meditate on the goodness of God from class to class. The housewife busy with the matters of home fills the family with the aroma of righteousness.
Psalm 1 outlines the danger of taking the wrong step but fortifies the warning with showing the way of righteousness brings stability like a tree planted by the waters. The beautiful life blossoms from taking the one step on the road to God’s word. Happiness dwells here. Peace is found on this path. Contentment is the mile marker guiding this road. Delighting on the law of the Lord will save me from the dangerous three step.
Psalmody is the rewarding work of the night, the grateful relaxation of the busy day, the good beginning and the fortifying conclusion of all work. It is the ministry of angels, the strength of the heavenly host, the spiritual sacrifice. (Ambrose c. 333-397; Commentary on Psalm 1)