CONTEXT: No one (in my humble opinion) took a more thorough look at the Book of Psalms than C.H. Spurgeon. Here in his Treasury of David we find:
TITLE. This Psalm may be regarded as THE PREFACE PSALM, having in it a notification of the contents of the entire Book. It is the psalmists’ desire to teach us the way to blessedness, and to warn us of the sure destruction of sinners. This, then, is the matter of the first Psalm, which may be looked upon, in some respects, as the text upon which the whole of the Psalms make up a divine sermon.
DIVISION. This Psalm consists of two parts: in the first (from verse 1 to the end of the 3rd) David sets out wherein the felicity and blessedness of a godly man consisteth, what his exercises are, and what blessings he shall receive from the Lord. In the second part (from verse 4 to the end) he contrasts the state and character of the ungodly, reveals the future, and describes, in telling language, his ultimate doom.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS Whole Psalm.
As the book of the Canticles is called the Song of Songs by a Hebraism, it being the most excellent, so this Psalm may not unfitly be entitled, the Psalm of Psalms, for it contains in it the very pith and quintessence of Christianity. What Jerome saith on St. Paul’s epistles, the same may I say of this Psalm; it is short as to the composure, but full of length and strength as to the matter. This Psalm carries blessedness in the frontpiece; it begins where we all hope to end: it may well be called a Christian’s Guide, for it discovers the quicksands where the wicked sink down in perdition, and the firm ground on which the saints tread to glory.—Thomas Watson’s Saints Spiritual Delight, 1660.
This whole Psalm offers itself to be drawn into these two opposite propositions: a godly man is blessed, a wicked man is miserable; which seem to stand as two challenges, made by the prophet: one, that he will maintain a godly man against all comers, to be the only Jason for winning the golden fleece of blessedness; the other, that albeit the ungodly make a show in the world of being happy, yet they of all men are most miserable.—Sir Richard Baker, 1640
I have been induced to embrace the opinion of some among the ancient interpreters (Augustine, Jerome, etc.), who conceive that the first Psalm is intended to be descriptive of the character and reward of the JUST ONE, i.e. the Lord Jesus.—John Fry, B.A., 1842
I get this devotional series every morning (El Camino Bíblico- in Spanish) and it initiated the thought for today’s sermon.
In today’s reading: psalms 1
The blessed and the wicked; David’s trust in God; the prayer for protection; mercy, and preservation
The key to receiving a blessing from God begins here with three negative narratives. The first is: “Blessed is the man who has not walked in the counsel of the wicked” (Psalm 1:1). The “bad guys” may live an acceptable lifestyle that conforms to the basic moral norms of society, but they live and act as if the Creator God did not exist. For that reason, they think that any religion, or none, is equally acceptable. By doing this, they believe they are not accountable to God and see no need to seek a Savior.
The second negative narrative is: “He was not in the way of sinners . ” Sinners talk, act, think, and live to please themselves. They may be honest, upright, and generous in the eyes of the majority of the people. They may still believe that there is a God and live good and moral lives. Consequently, they are deceived and do not see the need to repent of their sins because they do not think they are sinners. The believer’s life is God-centered, but the sinner’s life is self-centered.
The third negative narration is: «Not even in a scornful chair has he sat down» . The mocking person makes known his antagonistic attitude in despising God the Father for being the Creator of all things, and is against all worship of Jesus Christ as God the Son- “our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2 :13). Scoffers almost always stand their ground and speak openly against the Bible, against Jesus Christ, and against the fact that He is the only way to be saved and get to heaven.
The “blessed” person has an attitude that ” . . . his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). If we delight in pleasing Jesus Christ, then we will “meditate” on his Word. As we prayerfully meditate “on His Law of him (Word) of him,” the Holy Spirit speaks to our hearts, revealing the meaning of his Word for our lives. Such people have that desire to be led by “the Spirit of truth” (John 16:13).
One of the blessings that is given to those who meditate on the Word of God comes silently and without being able to be observed: «it will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which bears its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not fall; and whatever he does will prosper” (Psalm 1:3).
Thought for today: Only to the extent that we love God is that we come to enjoy obeying His Word.
THE TRULY BLESSED MAN, NO. 3270
Psalm 1: 1-3
PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1911
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON
ON LORD’S-DAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 13, 1864