Psalms - The Man who is Blessed
The Man who is Blessed
Text: Psalm One
Thesis: To note how one may be a man who is blessed by doing good and avoiding evil.
(1) Psalm 1 is thought to be an introduction to the whole book of Psalms.
(a) “The first psalm sets the tone for the entire Psalter because of its concern for God, for godly living, and for the hope of the godly in the realization of the promises of the covenant” (VanGemeran p.52, EBC Vol. 5).
(b) It sets forth the principle for this book but also for the whole Bible (Cotham p.18, Psalms Southwest Lectures).
(2) It presents a comparison between the choice, conduct, and character of the righteous man and that of the wicked man (Taylor 11).
(3) “It is the psalmist’s desire to teach us the way of blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners” (Spurgeon 1).
(4) Let us learn from the man who is blessed by noting:
I. What He Resists:
A. “Blessed” comes from the Hebrew ‘esher, which could also be translated as “happy” (BDB Stong’s # 835).
1. “Their happy estate is not something given automatically by God, but is a direct result of their activity” (Craig p.60, WBC Vol. 19).
2. Hence, we look as how this man acted both positively and negatively (i.e., in what he did not do).
B. He resisted the progression of sin (v. 1).
1. He did not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
a. Sin begins with just a step.
b. “Do not be deceived: Bad company corrupts good morals” (1 Cor. 15.33).
c. He does not take wicked counsel.
2. He did not stand in the paths of sinners.
a. To do so would indicate a further step into sin.
b. One would at this point have a desire to be with these people.
c. He does not have evil friends who are influencing him.
3. He did not sit in the seat of scoffers.
a. One doing this would put himself/herself in their assembly.
b. One would have taken residence with them.
c. He does not put up with blasphemy of God.
II. What He Relishes:
A. “But” indicates a strong contrast.
1. Instead of living as the ungodly, his manner of life is completely different.
2. He turns elsewhere for counsel, friends, and residence.
B. He turns to the preciousness of scripture (v.2).
1. “Delight” comes from the Hebrew chephets, which could also be rendered as “desire, longing” (BDB Stong’s # 2656).
a. “Thy Word have I treasured in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee” (Ps. 119.11).
b. Are they more desirable than gold to you (cf. Ps. 19.10)?
c. “The believer’s delight is not only in knowing, studying, and memorizing the Word of God but especially in doing God’s will, rather than being deceived by the wicked” (VanGemeren 55).
2. “Law” comes from the Hebrew torah, which could also be rendered as “direction, instruction” (BDB Stongs #8451).
a. The Bible is more than just a “rule book.”
b. “Revelation comes from God for the purpose of helping man […]” (VanGemeren 54).
c. God is giving us instruction so that we may go to Heaven and avoid anything that would harm us.
3. “Mediate” is best understood in terms of “thinking of and thinking on” (Liddell Class Notes).
a. “He seeks it delightfully; he seeks it regularly; he seeks it diligently; he seeks it studiously; he seeks it permanently; he seeks it consistently; he seeks it inwardly or with the heart” (Taylor 13).
b. It does not mean that your nose is literally in the Bible 24 hours a day, but it does mean that you life is being lead by it daily.
c. “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” (Jos. 1.8).
III. What He Receives:
A. He is able to enjoy the prosperity of salvation (v. 3).
1. Happiness is likened unto a tree, which was a familiar metaphor for the blessed life of the godly (cf. Jer. 17.7-8) (VanGemeren 56).
a. This tree has been purposely planted by water.
b. “It is a tree that is cultivated and cared for by the talented hand of a man with the proverbial green thumb i.e., one who is proficient in getting things to grow and grow well” (Taylor 13).
2. He brings forth fruit “in season” (cf. John 15.1ff.).
a. This emphasizes the “distinctiveness and the quiet growth of the product […] a living organism […] to produce […] something […] proper to its kind and to its time” (Kidner p.48, Tyndale Vol. 14a).
b. “Just as a tree with a constant water supply naturally flourishes, so too the person who avoids evil and delights in Torah naturally prospers, for such a person is living within the guidelines set down by the Creator” (Craig 61).
3. “The prosperity of the righteous does not necessarily extend to the assurance of great wealth but primarily to God’s blessings on their words and works” (VanGemeren 56).
B. He is able to avoid the peril of sinners (vv. 4-5).
1. Sinners are compared to mere chaff.
a. The metaphor of chaff “reveals the uselessness of the wicked and the ease with which God will deal with them. Even as the winnower casts the chaff to the afternoon breeze, so the Lord will drive away the wicked. No one will remember their place” (VanGemeren 57).
b. Thus sinners are “persons without real substance or worth” (Craig 61).
2. They will not “stand in the judgment.”
a. They will be judged (John 12.48; 2 Cor. 5.10).
b. This means that “they cannot withstand the judgment of God, whether it comes in the present, by means of adversity, or on the Day of the Lord” (VanGemeren 57).
c. “They will receive the condemnation reaped as a result of lives of unrighteousness and ungodliness” (Taylor 15).
3. They will not be among the assembly of the righteous.
a. Nothing defiled can enter into Heaven (cf. Rev. 21.27).
b. One wrote, “Sooner could a fish live on dry ground than a wicked soul in the Paradise of God” (Cotham 21).
C. He will be stand on the pathway of the saved (v. 6).
1. God knows His people.
a. This knowledge is a “deep commitment to, love for, and care of his own” (VanGemeren 58).
b. This also has reference to the Lord’s approval (Taylor 15).
2. This people will not perish (cf. John 3.16b).
(1) Whether eternal reward or punishment, each is “presented as the natural outcome of a way of life which has been chosen” (Craig 61).
(2) Will you choose to be a man who is blessed?