The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked (Psalm 1:5-6)
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. —Psalm 1:5-6
How blessed is the man who delights in and meditates on the law of the Lord (Psalm 1:2). Primary among the blessings that come from meditation on God’s Word is personal growth in knowledge of Him and His ways. He draws us to Himself that we would be declared righteous in Christ Jesus, who has borne the justifiable wrath of God against our sin. Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ (Romans 10:17). Then in turn, faith fuels ever-increasing delight in God’s Word for those who trust in Him. Spurgeon declares this blessed man justified and gracious, joyful and righteous in his ways.
Delighting in God’s law will give us strength to obey Him and resist the lure of the counsel of the wicked, the way of sinners, and the seat of scoffers (Psalm 1:1). Delighting in God’s law will also bring prosperity—not like the world gives, but a life of fruitfulness in season that bears a weight of glory, eternal reward for us and those who by our lives are influenced by the Gospel. Do not judge prosperity by feeble sense but by the promises of God. This prosperity is imperishable, incorruptible, and never depleted—“patience in suffering, faithfulness in trial, and generous in loving deeds” (Spurgeon). There is never a drought for this fruitful tree—it is fed by streams of living water.
The wicked are not like this. They do not find enjoyment in God’s law nor allow themselves to be nourished by it. They are dry and useless like chaff that is tossed about, and carried away by the wind. The Psalmist tells us something of their end:
Therefore, the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
“Fear shall lay hold upon the wicked there; they shall not stand their ground; they shall flee away; they shall not stand in their own defense; for they shall blush and be covered with eternal contempt. Well may the saints long for heaven, for no evil men shall dwell there” (Spurgeon). The faithless, unrepentant sinner will not be in the heavenly congregation. Do not miss this contrast: a standing tree that flourishes in righteousness and the lifeless chaff of wickedness driven away by the wind.
...for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
The Lord is always attentive to the way of the righteous and preserves them. The way of the righteous may be hidden from those in the world, but the Lord knows who are His. "But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are his,' and, 'Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity'" (2 Timothy 2:19).
Not only will the wicked be driven away like chaff, but their way will be destroyed, as well. Hear then God’s call, “As I live,’ declares the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways, for why will you die?’ " (Ezekiel 33:11). “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
Selected text from Charles Spurgeon’s Treasury of David.
How has Psalm 1 changed your thinking about God’s law, His Word?
Has Psalm 1 helped you to understand true ‘prosperity’?
What is God’s definition of prosperity?
What is the world’s definition of prosperity?
Will knowing Psalm 1 change how you live? In what ways?