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 PSALM 1

(A verse-by-verse commentary)

SOME TIME AGO WE STUDIED TOGETHER EVERY VERSE IN THE FIRST PSALM!

I HAVE GATHERED THESE LESSONS ON THIS PAGE SO YOU CAN USE THEM MORE EASILY.

SOME PREACHER OR TEACHER OR BIBLE STUDENT WILL WANT TO DO SOME RESEARCH HERE.

 

 A Preacher in his Study

 

 

PSALM ONE, VERSE ONE:

Today we begin a new Bible Study series.  This one will only last for six columns.  It is a view of precious old Psalm 1.  We shall begin (of course) with verse number one:

"Blessed 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."

Our first interest might be in that word "blessed." Itís the Hebrew Ďesherí and is used 45 times in the Old Testament. Of those times, it is translated "blessed" 27 times and "happy" 18 times. It is from a Hebrew root word that means "to be straight or level!" Then ... in the ancient Jewish mind ... to be straight (right) was to be blessed and happy! (What a thought!) Itís first use in the Hebrew Bible is in Deuteronomy 33:29 where we are told "Happy art thou, O Israel: who is like unto thee, O people saved by the LORD..." Why were they happy? Because they were "saved by the Lord!" (Thatís the reason we all should be happy!) Remember Jesusí words about rejoicing not because the devils are subject to you ... but because your names are written down in Heaven!

Even the verb "walketh" has significance! Remember, we believe in literal word-for-word inspiration! Itís Hebrew "halak" and means "to go or to come or to walk." It obviously implies a trip! We are pilgrims on a journey Peter says! The action of this verb is Qal stem (simple active) perfect action (that means completed action)! He is not talking about habitually walking in ungodliness ... but not even occasionally doing so! (Thatís the sense of this verb.)

"Counsel" means "advice" or "plan!" It comes from a verb which means "to deliberate." Why would a godly man want to heed the advice of the wicked? Especially when we have the Word of God! Psalm 119:124 uses this same word and says: "Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counsellors!"

The "ungodly" are "rasha" (Hebrew). The word has the idea of being wrong. But the "root" idea is to "disturb" or to "violate." It is a vicious word! It is sin in an aggressive form. It is sin that spreads and gets worse and worse! These ungodly ones are not passive meek sinners ... but real reprobates! (Hollywood activist types!) STAY AWAY FROM THEIR COUNSEL! DO NOT TAKE THEIR ADVICE!

"Standeth" is the regular verb "to stand." Itís time sense is that of "perfect" action meaning the movement is completed. Again, this is NOT an ongoing standing with sinners ... but even a one time thing! To claim the blessing of Psalm 1, the Believer MUST be very strict in his manner of life! There is no playing around here!

"Way" is the Hebrew noun "derek." Itís the standard word for path, way or even road! I think it implies a pathway ... habitual action! Sinners often do the same things again and again! Wickedness is habit forming! (And it gets boring in its same form and degree! One has to add more and more sin in quantity and depth to stay thrilled with it! The "pleasures" of sin are real ... but they exact a great price!)

"Sinners" is the Hebrew noun "chata." It carries the meaning "to miss" or "to miss the mark!" This is one of the very unusual cases where a Hebrew noun (for sin) has the same word picture as does a Greek noun (for sin) hamartia! Thus the Old Testament and the New Testament words for sin carry the same basic idea! Sin is missing Godís goal for us all! ("Coming short of the glory of God!) Stay out of the paths of sinners! God has given us a better way in which to walk!

"Sitteth" again is Hebrew for "sit down, dwell, or remain." It also is Qal (simple active voice) perfect (sense of timing). He is not talking about repeated sitting but even occasionally sitting with the scornful! STAY AWAY FROM THEM!

The noun "seat" is also from the same root stem word as the verb "sitteth" that weíve just discussed.

A key word to this verse is "scornful!" What does that mean? The verb means "to make mouths at!" To scoff! To boast, talk arrogantly! If you want help with the traits of a scorner, consult the book of Proverbs! Itís loaded with information! (Proverbs 1:22 and 3:34 and 9:7 and 8! Proverbs 13:1 and 14:6 and 15:12 and 19:25, 29 and 21:11 and 24. Proverbs 22:10 and 24:9. And I still have not listed them all!) Here is the man who mocks sin! He is a smart aleck!

Would you notice that the degrees of participation with the sinful are advancing throughout this verse? First is walking! Then comes standing. Finally thereís sitting! Things got worse as one associated with sin!

Also observe that the crowd mentioned also got worse! First the ungodly! Thatís bad enough, but the sinners are worse! (Check the definitions!) And, as one might expect, the last group (scorners) are the worst. They not only sin ... they laugh about it! The groups appear to me to be less and less caring about their wrongdoing as they slide down the scale to hell!

BE CAREFUL WITH WHOM YOU ASSOCIATE! SCRIPTURE WARNS US AGAIN AND AGAIN TO STAY AWAY FROM THAT WHICH IS WICKED!

The Lord gave me these 3 words as I just walked to the mailbox. I see in this verse three things. I see the SLIDE of a follower of Christ. First he walks where he shouldnít! The he stands! Then he sits!

Next I see SIN as it works on its followers! First they are active in sin and know it (word meaning behind ungodly)! Next they are missing Godís mark but are not as sensitive about it (word picture of "sinners"). Lastly they couldnít care less! Sin is a joke. They mock it (scorners)! Sin does progress downward!

Lastly I see SAINTS in their desire to obey the Lord! The "behavior" of the believers is seen! The action of the verbs (donít walk, stand or sit) indicates nothing regular or habitual ... but only occasional (maybe rarely) associating with sin! Then the "blessing" of the believers is seen! God gives them true happiness because of their obedience!

I donít know for sure what "nuggets" you may fine in todayís verse, but I do believe the Holy Spirit will show you something edifying for your spiritual growth!

                                                                              --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

PSALM ONE, VERSE TWO:

I believe that the second verse of Psalm 1 is one of the most powerful verses in the entire Old Testament.  It is "life changing" in scope!  Obey it ... and things will NEVER be the same again in your life!

Psalm 1, verse 2

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

It is a continuing description of the godly man of verse 1. What empowers that Believer to abstain from the counsel of the ungodly or the way of sinners or the seat of the scornful? The answer is right in front of us today! The LAW of the Lord, the WORD of God, the SCRIPTURES of truth ... this is our strength!

What does it mean to "delight" in the Bible? The word in Hebrew ("chephets") means pleasure, longing, desire! This particular word is used 39 times in the Old Testament Scriptures and is translated "pleasure" 16 times and "desire" 12 times and "delight" 3 times and once each for "acceptable, delightsome, pleasant, and willingly!" It sounds like this godly man of Psalm 1 surely does enjoy the Word of God! Strongís concordance says that the root idea behind our word "delight" means "to incline to!" (To bend toward!) I do believe that I have met some precious preachers who are inclined (bent toward) Holy Scripture! In Genesis 34:19 our word is used for the "delight" a young man had for a certain pretty young lady! In Numbers 14:8 it is used for Godís feeling of "delight" He has for His chosen people, Israel (the apple of His eye)! Another example of someone who "delights" in the Word of God is the Psalmist in Psalm 119:35!

Even the word "law" is interesting! It is in Hebrew "torah!" It has come into English as a transliterated noun, the TORAH is the Jewish law! It means a precept or a statute or (obviously) a law! It is technically used of the five books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy. (Called the Pentateuch, pronounced pení - te - tuke ... and meaning five books) BUT hereís the thrilling thing. Its root meaning (from a key verb) means "to flow as water." In a slightly different form it means "to throw, to shoot, to point out (as with a finger), hence to teach!" That the word "law" means to flow is amazing! One of the key Old Testament words for preaching (prophesying) also means "to drop" as the dew or rain or "to flow." God says in Deuteronomy 32:2 these words: "My Doctrine shall DROP AS THE RAIN, My Speech shall distil as the dew!" Preaching is just letting the Holy Spirit speak through you ... with the precious Word of God flowing all over the place! (Glory!) Another way of looking at the Word of God (Law) is that it is to be hurled, thrown, shot in the direction of Godís hungry people who need it desperately! Preacher friend, enter your pulpit Sunday "loaded" with Biblical ammunition ready to feed your folks the Bread (Milk, Meat, Honey) of the Word of God!

The last key word in our verse is "meditate." It is a Hebrew verb spelled "hagah." Itís used 25 times in the Old Testament and is translated "meditate: 6 times, "mourn" 4 times, "speak" 4 times, "imagine" 2 times, "study" 2 times, "mutter" 2 times, "utter" 2 times, "roaring" 1 time, "talk" 1 time, and once miscellaneously. With such a wide range of translated terms (called a semantic field), what does the word mean? Strongís concordance says "to murmur!" Then it adds "to ponder!" Vineís dictionary says it means "to moan, growl or utter (speak)!" The Brown Driver Briggs Hebrew Lexicon says it is an onomatopoeic word. (It sounds like what it means!) One goes around all day muttering something to himself! Ha-gah! Ha-gah! Ha-gah! (In English thatís mumble! mumble! mumble!) But ... what is that word that rolls forth from oneís mouth (lowly but audible) day and night? WHY, DONíT YOU SEE IT? IT IS SCRIPTURE THAT THE GODLY MAN HAS INTERNALIZED AND HE IS THINKING ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME AND IT FLOWS OUT HIS MOUTH CONSTANTLY! IT IS AS IF HEíS TALKING TO HIMSELF ... BUT ALL THAT COMES OUT IS THE WORD OF GOD! BITS AND PIECES OF BIBLE VERSES ARE UTTERED BY HIM DAY IN AND DAY OUT!!! Therefore the little Hebrew verb to mutter has come to mean concentrating on and meditating in the Bible! (And letting it ooze ... or should I properly say "drop" ... out of your mouth as the day and night go by!)

Lastly are the time indicators for this action. "Day and night" our text says! That "string" of words (day and night) occurs in the Bible 28 times! It is a favorite term of Scripture and means constantly!

Well, there you have it!

I pray herein you have found some "nuggets" of truth from a single verse of Holy Writ! (I know I surely did!)

                                                                        --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

PSALM ONE, VERSE THREE:

Glance with me today at the third verse of Psalm 1.  You will find it is "nugget-filled!"

Psalm 1, verse 3

"And 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."

What a great verse!

The very definition behind the Hebrew noun "tree" is amazing. It means "to fasten" or to be firm! (Likely because the tree has deep roots and holds well even during the storm!) As you know it is not unusual for Scripture to compare Godís people to trees! The word "tree" (singular) alone occurs 201 times in the King James Bible. Add the plural and you get another 157 times! Psalm 92 compares the righteous to a palm tree! Psalm 52 says the godly man is like a green olive tree! Yet in Psalm 37 the wicked is like a green bay tree! Israel is Godís fig tree! Jeremiah preached on the almond tree! Wickedness in the Old Testament was committed under the groves of the trees! Again, Jeremiah (chapter 17) compares Godís man to a tree by the waters! Even Jesus preached about the tree (by their fruits ye shall know them)!

But our tree in Psalm 1 is a "special" tree! It has been carefully "planted." Technically the verb means "transplanted!" The Lord found us in a dry and barren land! He rescued us and took us to the rivers of His blessing and TRANSPLANTED us there! (Glory!) The Hebrew verb is a Qal stem ... meaning that it is simply active voice! God did the work! All I did was go along for the ride! (It is called grace!) Hereís something unusual: our text is the first time this verb is used in the Old Testament! (Usually Psalms is a mighty late place for "first mentions" to be found! God saved this verb for a special place! A special verb for a special tree! Makes me feel a little special today!) The next use of our verb (only 10 times in the whole Old Testament) is found in Psalm 92:13 where we find "those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God!) Flourish is to bud, blossom or break out! (Sounds like real revival!)

(I just noticed that the term "rivers of water" is only used 4 times in the Bible! For the preachers who love to preach topical messages, here are the references: Psalm 1:3, Proverbs 21:1, Isaiah 32:2 and Lamentations 3:48. The Psalms passage shows us RIVERS OF GOODNESS! In Proverbs we have RIVERS OF GUIDANCE! In Isaiah we see RIVERS OF GRACE! And in Lamentations we have RIVERS OF GRIEF! Christian friend, God will plant (transplant) you by some rivers in your Christian life! He just might have you by all 4 of these rivers before you get home to heaven!)

"Bringeth forth" is a key Hebrew verb (nathan ... Yes! Itís the name NATHAN!) which means "to give!" God was so good to me ... transplanting me and all, I want to give Him something in return. (Not as a payment but because I love Him!) What can I give Him? The answer is right here! FRUIT! He loves FRUIT! Give Him FRUIT, MORE FRUIT, MUCH FRUIT (John 15)! And you had better hurry with that fruit business. Youíre going to have to do it in season! You wonít be on this earth forever, you know! (Work for the night is coming!) The word "season" is Hebrew "eth" and means time! Itís even translated time 257 times in the King James Old Testament!

Now quickly to the "leaf." The word is only found 30 times in the Bible (both singular and plural)! Leaves have been used for clothing (Gen 3:7 where the term is first mentioned). Also both in Revelation 22:2 and Ezekiel 47:12 we read that in New Jerusalem "leaves" will have healing properties (like medicine)! Most Bible references that Iíve noted speak of leaves that fade! (Isaiah 1:30, Isaiah 34:4, Isaiah 64:6, and Jeremiah 8:13) But, here, the godly man is like a tree whose leaves do not fade! See Jeremiah 17:8 for a word picture that is parallel to Psalm 1:3. The verb "wither" means "to wilt, fall away, or faint." Itís a Qal imperfect, meaning that the action is incomplete. It just goes on and on not fading!

Now, what is the value of a leaf? On a tree (according to a science book I consulted) the leaves are where photosynthesis occurs! Thatís the process by which the tree takes pure sunlight and water and carbon dioxide and transforms them into oxygen and energy rich sugars! The leaves help feed the trees! They provide for them sugar ... strength! They also (taking in carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen) clean the world around them! Scientists today say that if we could learn to take sunlight and change it into energy as efficiently as a leaf can ... our energy problems would be over! So, there you have it! Leaves for the tree give it strength! They purify things around them too! If a Christian in like manner has leaves that do not wither ... he will be STRONG and he will CLEAN his surroundings! That science book I read called leaves "the treeís umbilical cord to the sun!" (The sun is a type of Christ, you know.) I do hope my "leaves" (spiritually) are in good shape!

One more promise to consider. Whatsoever he does will "prosper!" Itís Hebrew ("tzslach") and means "to push forward, or to break out." Itís a Hiphil imperfect verb, meaning that the action is active voice and "causative." There is a reason for this prosperity! It is the meditating in the precious Word of God! (Imperfect means that he just continues constantly prospering!) Glory! In this very form, our verb is only found 3 times in Scripture. Nehemiah said that the God of Heaven would PROSPER him (and God did)! See Nehemiah 2:20. And Proverbs 28:13 tells us that those who cover their sins will not PROSPER! (That indirectly proves that meditating in the Word of God will keep you from sin!)

I do believe that when all put together ... this may just be one of the most powerful verses in all the Bible! I want to claim these promises and obey these instructions! How about you?

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

PSALM ONE, VERSE FOUR:

Today we shall go to the fourth verse of Psalm 1.  It describes the ungodly man.  See if you can find a "nugget" of truth in its declarations.

Psalm 1, verse 4

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

The word "ungodly" is the same that's used back in verse 1. It's from the Hebrew root "Ra" and means to disturb or to violate (an active, aggressive malignant type of sin)! The wicked of this Psalm are categorically different from the godly! Whatever the good man is ... the bad man is NOT SO! (Yet this is only the first stage of the wicked downward slide of sin!) The groups go: ungodly ... then sinners ... and (finally) the scorners!

These are like the "chaff." Hebrew ("motzs") comes from a root verb meaning "to press." (likely because of the thrashing and winnowing process) The word is only used 8 times in the whole Old Testament. Each times it is translated uniformly as "chaff." In every case the chaff is temporary material and in every case but one ... it is driven away by the wind! See what I mean: Job 21:18, Psalm 35:3, Isaiah 17:13, Isaiah 29:5, Isaiah 41:15, Hosea 13:3 and Zephaniah 2:2! (Plus our text.) Synonyms would include words like "straw," also used in the King James Version.

Here are some definitions for "chaff:"

The fine, dry material, such as husks (seed coverings) and other debris, which is separated from the seed in the process of threshing grain. In the Bible, chaff symbolizes worthless, evil, or wicked persons (or things) that are about to be destroyed. It is a fitting figure of speech to describe complete destruction by judgment. "The ungodly," said the psalmist, "are like the chaff which the wind drives away. (from Nelson's Illustrated Bible Dictionary)

Most generally "chaff" is the rendering of the Heb. mos, the refuse of winnowed grain, consisting of husks and broken straw. In the East it was the custom to burn chaff, in case, with the changing wind, it might be blown again among the grain. Figurative. From its being the lighter and, comparatively speaking, worthless portion of the grain, chaff is used in Scripture as an emblem of that which is of evildoers, who must come to naught. (from New Unger's Bible Dictionary)

Some things I've learned about chaff...

1. It is at first attached to the real wheat!

2. It was separated from the true wheat by tribulation and hardship!

3. The same wind that blew "in" the mulberry trees ... blew "away" the chaff!

4. Chaff now is being baled and sold for cattle fodder!

5. The sad thing is that chaff (the fine print declares) will not support life by itself!

6. Usually chaff is gathered and burned!

The word "wind" is "ruach" and is translated spirit 232 times in the KJV! (wind 92 times! breath 27 times!) Used a total of 378 times in Old Testament. The same wind that brings in the quails (Num 11:31) also blows out the chaff! In Exodus 10:13 the east wind blew in the locusts. In Exodus 10:10 the west wind blew them away! In Exodus 14:21 before the Red Sea divided (salvation) the east wind blew all night (Holy Ghost conviction)! The Lord rides upon the wings of the wind! (2 Sam 22:11 and Ps 18:10) In John 3:8 Jesus compares the Spirit to the wind! (pneuma) The wind is a type of the Holy Spirit. F. E. Marsh, in his classic book "EMBLEMS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT," says these things:

Wind suggests the ACTIVE operations of the Holy Spirit! He is the BEGETTER of new life! He's the SUSTAINER of that life once it is begun. He's the PURIFIER of the heart! He's the OPPONENT of the flesh! He's the SANCTIFIER of the believer! He is the WORKER in Christian service! He's the LEADER in worship! He's the PRODUCER of fruit (love, joy, etc.)! Active He is indeed!

Dr. F. E. Marsh further lists some traits of the wind that are parallel to those of the Spirit:

*  It is invisible in its essence! You can't see it ... but it's there! (The results are seen!)

*  It is regular in its operations! (Trade Winds, etc.) The Holy Spirit operates by God's rules!

*  It is mysterious in its actions! (tornadoes and wind shears are yet unexplained in full) So can we never completely explain the work of the Spirit! (Jesus says it goes where it wills!)

*  It is powerful in its movements! (Enough said!)

*  It is cleansing in its service! (Wind blows away air pollution!)

*  It can be withering in its work!

*  It is varied in its direction! (The Bible distinguishes between east, west , north and south winds. Each represents something. Someone remind me to write about this sometime!)

The only other time that "string" driveth away is used in Scripture is found in Proverbs 25:23 where it says: "The north wind driveth away rain; so doth an angry countenance a backbiting tongue!" In both cases (Psalm 1:4 and Proverbs 25:23) what's driven away is wicked! God attracts and repels! Bless His dear Name!

Thank God today, dear believing friend, that you have been saved by His Grace! You are no longer ungodly ... but justified in His sight!  

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

PSALM ONE, VERSE FIVE:

In our journey through Psalm 1 we have come to the next-to-the-last verse.

"Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous."  pSALM 1:5

God here seems to be drawing a conclusion. "Therefore" is an adverb meaning "hence." Notice His statement here deals primarily with the wicked.

"Ungodly" is the same word we've had twice before. "Rasha" means active, working, malignant sin! It is not passive and quiet! (Really that's the way all sin is!) Paul says that evil men and seducers will "wax worse and worse." Wax means to become or to vigorously attain! (2 Timothy 3:13)

"Stand, the verb, means to arise, to stand, or even to be established! At Judgment the wicked will be told to "depart!" (They won't stand around!) It is Qal perfect because (active voice) no one will be there with them. They must do any standing they can all alone and under their own pitiful effort! The perfect sense means that it won't take long for the ungodly to be judged! It is not an ongoing affair! (If the Lord can get the church out of here at the rapture in a "moment" how long do you think it will take him to judge the wicked?)

The word "judgment" literally means "a verdict!" What's in view here is not the whole of the trial ... just the result! GUILTY! (What a day that will be! Both for the godly and the ungodly!)

"Sinners" again is the word "chatta." Remember it means "to miss the mark!" They KNOW what they've done wrong! It has been deliberate! (God takes a very serious view of premeditated sin!)

"Congregation" is Hebrew "edah." It means "congregation" (124 times in KJV), or "company" (13 times), or "assembly" (13 times) or "swarm" (1 time) or "multitude" (1 time) or "people" (1 time). It is used a total of 149 times in the Old Testament. It may come from a root verb that means "to testify!" If one is saved, he or she will seek an "assembly" or congregation of believers where fellowship and instruction may be enjoyed! The Lord is not teaching that here. It is just stated as fact!

"Righteous" means (tzsddiyq) to be right or to be straight. Straight in the sense of not being crooked or bent out of the shape God originally intended! (Not perverted.)

I imagine that through all eternity the wicked (as they burn in hell) will wish they had an opportunity one more time to respond to the good grace of God! Or is that just wishful thinking on my part? They just might remain unrepentant and hate God and curse Him forever!

Meanwhile, in heaven, the righteous (via Calvary) will remain in their congregation around the Lamb of God as the ages roll on and on and on!

By the way, only two verses in the whole Psalm group the wicked together.  (Verses 1 and 5 do this.)  And here is my point:  neither verse mentions God!  It just looks like God WILL NOT be mentioned in either of these two places where iniquity abounds!  (He is practicing what He preached in verse 1, isn't He?  He just won't associate with that pack of sinners!  Rather, He WILL judge them!)

I got my "Bible Nugget" today!  How about you?

                                                            --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

PSALM ONE, VERSE SIX:

Psalm 1 has only six verses.  That last verse is unique!

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

This last verse in our Psalm brings the two "ways" together into one sentence. It forms an amazing conclusion!

But what else would one expect?  We are dealing with the inspired Word of God!

The verb "knoweth" is Hebrew ""yada." It means "to perceive or to distinguish. "It often carries the idea of knowing intimately. (Of course, there is nothing that the Lord doesn't know!) It is a Qal participle. This indicates that the voice is active! God does the knowing all by Himself! No one helps Him to know anything! He is the Self Sustaining Power of the universe! As a participle ... this knowledge of God is ongoing ... eternally! (He will never not know anything! He can never "forget" anything either! Even with our past sins, He does not say that He will forget them! He says that He will remember them no more! There is a difference! (Jeremiah 31:34 and Hebrews 8:12 and Hebrews 10:17)

The noun "way" is the Hebrew word "derek." It means usually a road! It is a way ... but a much traveled way! A path that became a highway! Both the lives of the godly and the ungodly involve repetition. So much repetition that they form paths ... ways ... roads! (There is a highway of holiness! Isaiah 35:8)

Remember that righteous "tzsaddiyq" means straight ... as opposed to crooked! It means doing things God's way!

"Ungodly" repeats the Hebrew noun "rasha," meaning actively aggressively sinful! This is sin that is fermenting and boiling over in wickedness!

"Shall perish" as a verb is Hebrew "abad." The root of this verb means "to go astray or to wander away!" Don't you see it? It is a word picture of BEING LOST! The unusual thing about the verb action here is that it is in the Qal stem, meaning that the ungodly man perishes by his own doing. He is the actor in the scene! (In one sense the sinner sends himself to hell!) The verb also is imperfect ... incomplete action. Their perishing continues until they finally die and slip out into the fires of hell itself (where eternal torment begins)!

Notice that in this verse both the "beginning" of the righteous man ... and the "ending" of the ungodly man are co-joined! EACH epoch determines the eternal destiny of their respective souls!

Also see that of the three personages observed in this last verse ... at the end only ONE is left in a supreme position! And that One is the LORD! Even the righteous are inferior in "knowledge!" And the ungodly are certainly inferior in issue (their end)!

What a verse!  What a Psalm!

Glory to (Who Else?) GOD THE LORD ALMIGHTY!!!

Today's meditation is shorter, but one should still be able to find a "nugget" in there somewhere! 

                                                                      --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

 

PSALM ONE, SUMMARY:

Today we take a last look at Psalm 1.  This should give us an "overview" to help put its six verses in perspective.

1 Blessed 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.  2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.  3 And 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.  4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.  5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.  6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

NOW, SOME GENERAL OBSERVATIONS ON THE WHOLE PSALM:

* Verse 1 is a story of avoidances! (So is the Book of Proverbs! So are much of Paul's writings!)

* Verses 1 and 2 compare two sources of advice: Counsel of the ungodly and Law of the Lord! (Wow!)

* There are 2 directions in this Psalm! The ungodly are spiraling downward and the righteous are leaping upward! (Compare Philippians 2 ... Christ Hymn)  Verse 1 (downward)! Verse 3 (upward)!

* The tree is not active ... but passive. Waiting by the rivers of waters, it accepts whatever circumstances ... whatever water, whatever winds, whatever sunshine, whatever dangers, etc., that come from the Hand of the Lord!

* Life BURSTS into fruit! His leaf will not wither ... Jeremiah says (17:8).  Also Jeremiah calls his  leaf "GREEN!") Jeremiah's "green" is the same word as "FRESH" oil of Psalm 92:10!  Glory to God!

* The Lord speaks of HIS COUNSEL 8 times in Scripture! Once Hosea speaks of those who sought counsel of idols! (4:12)

* Whatsoever he does shall PROSPER! (verse 3) The word picture is nearly like that of a crown (blessing) upon the head of the godly!!!

* Some trees "poison" the immediate area around them to protect themselves from undergrowth ... and other dangers!  (This would automatically protect them from some kinds of fire!  The underbrush could not burn!)

* Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (tzslach) Hiphil verb ... causative! Something causes that prosperity!

* When comparing verses 1 and 3 ... there are similarities. A threesome lines up perfectly! Except that verse 3 (the godly) has a 4th part which is lacking in the 3rd (wicked) verse! (Glory to God!) Wickedness just can't keep up with righteousness!

* Is not "evolution" itself a doctrine of scorn? How about "abortion?" Or "homosexuality?" How about "liberalism" itself?  (Scorners aplenty in this old world!)

* Both strings of comparison carry the words ... NOT, BUT, and LIKE! (Study this. It is amazing!) This Psalm is alive. It is organic! 

* The same WIND that scatters the chaff ... strengthens the tree! (Wow!)

* Verse 1 is about what a man does! Verse 3 is about what a man is! (Check it and see it for yourself. It is true!)

* The ungodly are seemingly unaware of their orderly disintegration! (Maybe Romans 1 should be preached again and again!)

* First we see the natural development of the lawless! What could it all mean? Next we see life as God designed it to be! Righteous men with heavenly blessings bear fruit! Then the godly are withdrawn to reveal the issue of the lawless ... destruction! (WOW!)

* Judgment day must be WINDY! (chaff)

* The "righteous" are drawn into a "congregation" or a "troop!"  It is a picture of the CHURCH!

* Verses 1, 3 and 5 are verses of development! (But there is no third stage in verse 5!) Verse 1 is beginning development. Verse 3 is intermediate development. Verse 5 is final development! (What's missing?  The "scorners" are GONE by verses 5 and 6!)

* Also verses 2, 4 and 6 have symmetry. Verse 2 = godly, godly! Verse 4 = ungodly, ungodly! Verse 6 = godly, ungodly! (The godly are judged first! The ungodly follow!) Wow!

* Everywhere the wicked are named in succession ... the Name of Jehovah is absent! (verses 1 and 5)  God just will not associate with the wicked!  (Here is God Himself practicing "separation!")

* Everything in the Psalm has at least a double mention ... except the "scorners!" This is not an accidental omission!

* In fact, the "ungodly" are mentioned 4 times! The "sinners" are mentioned 2 times! And the wicked "scorner" is mentioned but 1 time! (The more wicked they become ... the fewer of them there are!) Think about that!!!

* The "mockers" are gone! (Proverbs 14:9! Matthew 20:19! Mark 10:34!)

* The devil's scornful lies will vanish!

* It does not say (verse 6) that the ungodly perish! (They DO, but it's not specifically mentioned here.) It says the WAY of the ungodly shall perish!

* Their very "WAY" is gone!

* Verses 1 and 6 both (And they are the ONLY ones that do!) mention each group! Verse 1 tells of their beginnings! Verse 6 speaks of their endings!

* The only One left standing at the end of verse 6 is the LORD! The righteous are sitting at His feet learning! (or bowing at His feet worshipping)! The ungodly are being sentenced to perish!

* Psalm 92:5 --- "Lord, Thy thoughts are VERY DEEP!"

* The tree is "alive!" The chaff is "dead!"

* The tree sustains "life!" The chaff cannot do so!

* The Psalm indirectly (but not inadvertently) highlights 3 things. There is a WAY! Our Psalms begins and ends with the "ways" of the godly or the ungodly!  Then there is the TRUTH (Law of the Lord)! Lastly there is LIFE (Leaf shall not wither! Bear fruit in season!)!   Glory!

What a beautiful passage of Scripture!

Hand me a "nugget" basket, please!

                                                                          --- Dr. Mike Bagwell

 

 

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