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 1:1-6 ESV)
Humanity generally walk around “dead in trespasses and sins, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1-2 ESV). We are commanded to follow the guidelines that this Psalm sets out for us, but if we are honest with ourselves, we know we do not do so perfectly. We can find ourselves walking in the counsel of the wicked, standing in the way of sinners, and sitting in the seat of scoffers. We do not yield fruit in its season and we deserve to be driven away by the wind. We do not deserve to stand in the judgment nor stand in the congregation of the righteous, but ultimately to perish.
However there is one who delighted in the law of the LORD, and “spoke just as the Father taught him and who always does the things that are pleasing to Him” (John 8:28-29 ESV). In fact this man came to fulfill the law of the LORD.
This man delighted in the law of the LORD, bore fruit in its season, and truly deserves to stand in the judgment and in the congregation of the righteous. The LORD knows his way and sets His approval on him.
Yet for all his perfect obedience, this man was treated as if he was guilty of the things that the wicked, the sinners, and the scoffers have done. He faced the judgment that the wicked deserved for rejecting the law of the LORD. Fortunately, this man’s fate did not end at death, but went beyond it to life everlasting.
The great mystery is that this man lived a perfect obedient life and died a sinner’s death and suffered the Father’s wrath and rose from the dead all for the sake of reconciling enemies back to God. Those who deserved to perish now have an opportunity to escape judgment and stand in the congregation of the righteous if they would place a trusting and joyful faith in this man who redeemed them from their sins.
Obviously I am talking about the man Jesus Christ.
All those who believe in the name of Jesus Christ will pass from death to life, and from judgment to everlasting life. Those who come to know Him in this way will abide in Him and if they abide in Him, they ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.
Saved by the redemptive work of Christ, believers are to delight in the law of the LORD, be like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. We do our best to discern what is pleasing to the LORD, knowing that the LORD knows the way of the righteous.
We walk in the same way in which Christ walked not in our own strength, but by the strength that the Holy Spirit provides. We bear good fruit, or perform good deeds consistent with our confession of faith in Christ, when we walk by the Spirit. If we are trees that bear fruit in its season when planted by streams of water, then that streams of water comes from the heart after the Spirit purifies it of sin (John 7:38-39 ESV).
Some basic application I can find from this Psalm is:
-if you have yet to believe in Christ, understand that the end of that unrepentant path is death and judgment, and so take caution and repent
-do not be proud to think that you are living a righteous life all the time
-take time for self-introspection to know that you are walking by the Spirit and in Him.
-thank Jesus Christ for the redemption He wrought for you.
-recognize that you were once wicked but now are accounted righteous because of Christ.
-now that you are accounted righteous, act like it
-delight in the law of the LORD, forsake sinful ways, and bear good fruit
-know that in the end you will enjoy the approval and favor of the LORD when you continue in the way that He has set for you