Psalm 1: The Degeneration of the Sinful Man

I just found Charles Spurgeon’s “Treasury of David” stuff online, and if everything is as interesting as this first dive into Psalm 1, I’m excited to continue reading these! Within the exposition that Spurgeon does on this chapter is a really interesting portrait of a sinful man and what must be done to keep from going down this path. Let’s look at just the first 2 verses:

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in this law he meditates day and night.”

What is interesting is how quickly the man can degenerate according to this passage. Note the verbs used in the first verse. First the man simply walks, then he stands (or perhaps a better way to think about it is that he both STOPS and stands) and finally he sits. This illustrates how sin so easily ensnares us, as someone who is not focused on the Lord and His Word can move so quickly from a passer-through to stopping to see what’s going on to finally joining in to the world of sin.

What is also of note is that at each level the company becomes increasingly worse to involve oneself with. Initially it is only the ungodly, which could mean simply those who are lost and have no knowledge of God. From there, the company becomes sinners, or those who deliberately do things against the will of God, with some awareness of the wrong they are doing. Lastly, the company becomes the scornful, or those who openly mock the truth of the Word of God, and some may even go so far as to attempt to explain away the Lord. The further away one gets from God (which can be directly correlated with how much time is spent seeking God), the easier it gets to act not only in ignorance to God but in direct opposition to His commands.

So how does one escape such company? Verse 2 gives a pretty clear answer. One has to delight in the law of the Lord. Notice that it is not just “the Lord,” but rather “the law of the Lord.” As Spurgeon points out, this man is not under the law, but rather in it. This man is someone who not only loves the Lord, but also keeps His commandments (John 14:15) and does so with delight (Colossians 3:23).

A friend passed along a blog post written recently about frustration concerning those who feel they are saved based on one single experience but show no evidence of God’s fruit in their lives. The “blessed man” of Psalm 1 is a Berean; his fruit is shown as he meditates on the law day and night.

Think of the New Age movement’s practice of meditation. What does it entail? You must block out all distractions and immerse yourself in the process. The idea behind Biblical meditation is similar; you must dive deep into the law, and if you are immersed in such law “both day and night,” odds are you have a better shot of keeping His commandments and avoiding the type of company talked about in verse one.

Lord, give us the desire to delight in Your Word, and help us to put aside all distractions to focus on the glory of the things You’ve spoken to us. Help us to not merely be hearers of Your Word, but also to take action and to put it on our minds both day and night. Amen.

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One response to this post.

  1. You just found the Treasury of David online? You know we own that, right?

    Reply

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