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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Psalm Chapter 1

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: David, Asaph, Solomon, Heman, Ethan, Moses, and the Sons of Korah
Date Penned: (1440-586 BC)
Overview: Poetry for the Expression of Praise and Worship to God (c 1-150)
Theme: The First Book of Psalms (c 1-41)
Message: Life's Two Roads (v 1-6)

Psalms 1 Commentary

(1:1) Joy Comes From the Lord - The book of Psalms begins with one of the simplest yet most profound truths in all the Bible: Great joy comes from obeying God and refusing to listen to those who discredit or ridicule him. Friends and associates can have a significant influence on us, often in subtle ways. If we insist on friendships with those who mock what God considers important, we will be tempted to adopt more and more of their thinking, and before we know it, we will find ourselves indifferent to God's Word and his call upon us. Those who have this careless attitude toward God are no different from those who outright mock him. Do your friends build up your faith, or do they tear it down? True friends will encourage you to draw closer to God rather than hinder your relationship with him.

(1:1) Obedience and Blessings - God doesn't judge people on the basis of race, sex, or national origin. He judges them on the basis of their faith in him and their response to his revealed will. Those who diligently try to obey God's will are blessed. They are like healthy, fruit-bearing trees planted along a riverbank with strong roots (Jeremiah 17:7-8), and God promises to watch over them. God's wisdom guides their lives. In contrast, those who don't trust and obey God have meaningless lives that blow away like dust. Only two possible paths lie before us-God's way of obedience or the way of rebellion and destruction. Choosing God's path is the way to find spiritual healing, daily guidance, a joyous relationship with him, and eternal life.

(1:2-3) Delighting in the Presence of the Lord - These two verses hold simple wisdom: The more we delight in God's presence, the more fruitful we will be. On the other hand, the more we allow those who ridicule God and faith to affect our thoughts and attitudes, the more we will be cut off from our source of nourishment. We must engage and welcome unbelievers if we are to witness to them, but we must not adopt their sinful behavior and scornful sarcasm. If you want despair, spend time with cynics and critics; if you want God's joy, spend time with those who love God, his Word, and his people.

(1:2) Meditating on God's Word - We can learn how to follow God by meditating on his Word. This has become difficult in an age of sound bites and banner headlines. Meditating means spending time reading, thinking, marking, and reviewing what we have read. It means asking how we must change and grow so we will live as God wants. Meditating on and understanding God's Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life. If you want to follow God more closely, you must take time to know what he says. (1) This "law of the LORD" refers to all of Scripture. In it God reveals to us his will, his absolute truths, his love for us, and his divine nature. The more we know of the whole scope of God's Word, the more resources we will have to guide us in our daily decisions. (2) The phrase whatsoever he doeth shall prosper does not mean that God's people have immunity from failure or difficulties. Nor does it guarantee health, wealth, or happiness. What the Bible means by prosperity is this: When we apply God's wisdom, the fruit (results or by-products) we bear will be good and will receive God's approval. Just as a tree soaks up water and bears luscious fruit, we are to soak up God's Word and produce actions and attitudes that honor him. To achieve anything worthwhile, we must have God's Word in our hearts.

(1:4) The Wheat and Chaff - Chaff is the outer shell (or husk) that must be removed to get to valuable kernels of grain. In the ancient world, chaff was removed by processes called threshing and winnowing. After plants were cut, they were crushed by a threshing sledge, and then the pieces were thrown into the air. Chaff is very light and would be carried away by even the slightest wind, while the good grain would fall back to the earth. Chaff is a symbol of a faithless life that drifts along worthlessly without direction. Good grain is a symbol of a faithful life that God can use. Choose his direction, and your life will be fruitful.

(1:6) The Lord is Guiding You - What joy to know that God is watching the paths we walk each day. We may feel like he keeps his eye on us in order to criticize us for what we do wrong along the way, but this is not true. God sees us with loving eyes, protecting us, caring for us, and keeping us from stumbling on the journey (121:3-5). Look for signs of his care for you today, and bask in the thought that he is guiding and helping you on your daily journey.


David Burnette's Life Application

Being Blessed

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter, making application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we start the Book of Psalms with Chapter 1. In our text today, we see a path for a blessed man. Sin has a deceptive plan of walking, standing, and sitting. At the same time, the blessed man has been planted by Christ by the river and delights himself in the Word of God that produces fruit in the believer's life. In making an application, we see the importance of resisting the world and its influence by focusing on the Bible. How about you? Do you resist the world and focus on the Word of God? Let us learn from our text today and this Psalm to resist the world and focus on the Word of God to be a blessed man.


Psalm 1

Psalm 1

 1Blessed 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.

 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

 3And 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.

 4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

 5Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

 6For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.