Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 1st, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 1

Kretzmann's Popular Commentary of the BibleKretzmann's Commentary

Verses 1-6

The Difference Between the Righteous and the Ungodly.

All men are sinners: all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23. No man is able to stand before God, by virtue of his own righteousness, Isaiah 64:6; Daniel 9:7. But all believers have the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, appropriated to them by faith, Php_3:9 . And so all true believers are righteous in the eyes of God, while all unbelievers are unrighteous and ungodly in His sight.

v. 1. Blessed is the man, literally, "blessednesses, or happinesses, of the man," that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, making the plans of the wicked his concern, making it his business to follow out their godless undertakings, nor standeth in the way of sinners, making it a point to linger in the company of those whom he should shun, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful, those who scorn the belief in God in the sense of mocking and sneering at true religion. Note the climax in the verse: first comes the meditating of evil, then a wilful performance of that which is sinful, then the suppressing of a good conscience and the mockery of everything sacred; and, on the other hand, first the seeking of the society of the godless, then a somewhat uncertain standing at the outside of their circle, then a deliberate participation in their mockery.

v. 2. But his delight is in the Law of the Lord, in the meditation and study of the Law, of the Word of Jehovah, he finds full inner satisfaction and happiness; and in His Law doth he meditate day and night, reflecting upon its injunctions, applying its instructions always and in all circumstances. Just how the blessings of Jehovah come upon such a person is now described.

v. 3. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, where his roots reach deep down to the hidden reservoirs of moisture, where he has a never-ending supply of vitality and power, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season, as the result of a faith grounded deep in the power of Jehovah, which never disappoints the hopes of the great Gardener above, Luke 13:7; his leaf also shall not wither, not be affected by the drought of hostility or adversity; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper, with a prosperity at least in the sight of God, no matter how little the world thinks of his success. Not an outward good fortune in amassing the riches of this earth counts in the sight of Jehovah, but the possession of a trusting faith abounding in real good works.

v. 4. The ungodly are not so, either in conduct or happiness, and therefore both their condition and their destiny in the sight of God differ widely and radically from that of the believers; but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away, they have been weighed and found wanting, and therefore utter destruction comes upon them in consequence of their emptiness and vanity, just as the chaff on the open threshing-floors of the Orient is scattered to the four winds, while the heavier grain remains.

v. 5. Therefore the ungodly, the wicked unbelievers, shall not stand in the Judgment, will not be acquitted before the tribunal of God, will not be able to stand up and hold their own in the last great investigation, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous, they will not be placed with the blessed of the Father at the right hand of the Judge, Matthew 3:12; Psalms 35:5; Zephaniah 2:1-2.

v. 6. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, He knows them and is known of them, He is united with them by the closest band of union, in the most intimate fellowship, John 10:14-15, and therefore their path through life is sure to lead to God, certain to reach the goal of everlasting bliss in Him; but the way of the ungodly shall perish, it leads into the abyss of everlasting destruction and damnation. Thus is the foolishness of the wicked punished and the hope of the believers rewarded.

Bibliographical Information
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Psalms 1". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kpc/psalms-1.html. 1921-23.
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