The Way to Blessedness

Psalm 1

As largest most comprehensive book in Bible, not surprising that many throughout history have written much on Psalms. Phillip Keller book on Psa. 23, Charles Bridges, entire volume on Psa. 119, outlines of the Psalms, St. Augustine and Charles Spurgeon multi-volume commentaries. Rich and inexhaustible source of instruction and comfort, just as relevant for today’s church as for the church in the wilderness or in exile or in dispersion.

quotes from Calvin and Lange

As we commence study of Psalms may our gracious Lord stir our hearts, train them to follow him and to bear the cross that we truly may be called his disciples.

A. the blessed man v.1-3

negatively (1)

walk => stand => sit

follow the world’s way of doing things, accept it as suitable standard, get comfortable with it and make it our own

way of thinking infiltrates way of feeling – not only mind drawn aside, so also the affections

clear distinction from beginning of (only) two classes – blessed (righteous) and ungodly

righteous must be aware of traps, keep a safe distance: things lead to things

no need to even begin by seeking counsel from ungodly: all true wisdom treasured up in Christ

besides, that’s not the place of promised blessing

positively (2)

on the contrary – basically, in the other direction

heart and mind devoted to God, satisfied in God

delight – connection with God’s word not merely or firstly intellectual

intended to penetrate to the heart

regenerated heart designed / programmed to respond

God intends we will find pleasure, emotional satisfaction in his word

meditation – intellectual activity results from delight

“as he thinks in his heart, so is he” Prov. 23:7

he meditates because he loves / delights – continuous reflection on the Word of God in the course of daily activities (Josh 1:8).

delights in the Word because he delights in the author

duty without delight misses both the point and the blessing

duty is a delight when we delight in God

outward expression (3)

delight in the word drives roots deep in the word

displays stability – planted, rooted in the word

draws nourishment – from the river of the word

produces fruit – outward evidence of inward life according to the word, there for benefit of others

shows life – drought-resistant, impervious to weather (circumstances)

enjoys success – labor of believer in service to God will prosper

perfect example

produced and prospered – Matthew 3:17 “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”; John 17:4 “I glorified you on earth, having ccomplished the work that you gave me to do.”

fulfilled the Law and Prophets – Matt. 5:17 “in all he was and was to do he had come not to set aside or annul the Old Testament but to fulfil it.” Hendriksen

B. the ungodly man v.4-5

negatively (4a)

no delight in God or his word

desire what will immediately gratify

captivated by what can be seen and touched and manipulated

heart and desires that are province of Satan and self, not God and his word

meditate on anything other than God’s Law

possess little true wisdom – primarily what a sin-darkened mind can grasp

think about satisfying desires, not pleasing God

no root below, no fruit above, no spiritual life

positively (4b)

qualities of chaff in contrast to planted tree

easily blown around – unstable and insecure

dead – no spiritual vitality; unable to use nourishment, has no need for nourishment; in fact, leaves it behind in the grain

has no value – cannot profit anyone; farmer is glad to be rid of it

unproductive – cannot accomplish anything of (eternal) substance

reward (5)

condemnation – will not be able to stand their ground

evidence will be crystal clear

judgment will be absolutely just and impartial

will be found guilty on all charges

transportation – banishment to a penal colony

no longer tares among the wheat

will be a pure church, only true believers present

the last place ungodly want to be anyway – think how they treat Christians here on earth

C. God’s oversight (6)

of the righteous (6a)

Lady Justice may be blindfolded, God is not – his knowledge is absolute

his knowing is his guarantee of safe passage

approves it and prospers it

of course he will approve the way of the one who delights in him and his word

he “is knowing” – ongoing, present tense, until arrival home

of the ungodly (6b)

not only ungodly perish, their way does also

leave behind footsteps in the sand, quickly obliterated by wind and wave

in big picture, posterity reserved for the righteous

since following the ungodly leads to destruction, God graciously erases the path

D. the Lord Jesus

Luke 24:44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”

(1) Luke 2:51-52Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart.And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.

(2) John 4:34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.

(3) John 17:4I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

(4) Matt. 3:12His winnowing fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clean out His threshing floor, and gather His wheat into the barn; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

(6) Matt. 7:22-23Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

(1a – blessed) Phil. 2:8-9And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

Way to blessedness couldn’t be clearer – have treasure of written Word, example of living Word to stimulate our emotions and occupy our minds. The goal: love for God fueled by meditation on his Word and lived out 24/7; in other words, the personal and practical holiness we’ve just studied in James. May we depend on God for his 100% as we exert our 100% so that we may please him 100%.


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