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This Psalm is supposed by some to have been written by Ezra, but upon what authority is not said. It is a short, but beautiful description, of the different features which mark the godly man from the sinner.
This can be fully said of no one among the fallen sons of men, with strictness of truth! and therefore we must of necessity suppose, that it treats of the Lord Jesus Christ. That his people, as his people, have an interest in the blessedness here spoken of is as true, because they are part of himself. But here, as in every other instance, this ariseth only from their union with him, and their interest in him. I detain the Reader to remark, what a gradation is made use of in the description of the blessed man. He doth not walk in the counsel of bad men; much less stand still in their way, and never sits down by choice in their company. Precious Jesus! who but must be immediately directed to contemplate thee in this description, for thou wast holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens!
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Reader, you do not forget who it was that said, I delight to do thy will, O my God; yea, thy law is within my heart; or, as the margin of the Bible more strongly expresses it, in the midst of my bowels, meaning in his very nature, being that Holy Thing the angel described to Mary. See Psalms 40:8 ; Luke 1:35 . Sweet view of Jesus this! And in him sweet also to all his people; for when they are renewed by the Holy Ghost, and quickened in Christ Jesus, God hath put his law in their inward minds, and written it in their hearts: so that they can and do say, Oh! how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Psalms 119:97 .
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.
Had we no other clue to lead to the discovery of the Lord Jesus, as set forth in this Psalm, than what is here said of him, even this would plainly unfold it. For who but Jesus is the tree of life! Who flourisheth but him! Yes, blessed Redeemer, thy people planted in thee, am! made branches in thee, will thrive in thee, and bring forth fruit in thee, for thou hast said, because 'I live ye shall live also.' But though in thee, and by thee, and from thee, thy people live and derive all life, and nourishment, and moisture, and fruitfulness, in due season, yet it is because thou art the self-existing, life-imparting tree, in the midst of the garden of Jehovah; and being the same yesterday, to day, and forever, thou art liable to no fading, nor falling, but art always blooming, both in blossom and fruit, towards thy people.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Here is a sad contrast! All that are not ingrafted in Jesus, the heavenly vine, their blossom shall go up as the dust, and their destruction cometh speedily! Every plant, saith Jesus himself, which my Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Matthew 15:13 , This is a strong figure to shew the emptiness of the ungodly, the chaff; for what is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord. Jeremiah 23:28 .
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
What an awful decision that day of judgment shall be when God shall winnow his floor, and while he gathers the wheat into his garner, burn the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:12 . Reader, do not forget: here, the Lord saith, let both grow together unto the harvest. But there, tares will be bound up in bundles, and burnt. Matthew 13:0 .
For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
The Lord knoweth them that are his, saith an Apostle. And as Jesus is the way, and the truth, and the life; so in Jesus the Lord approveth of all that are in Him; and not only approveth and accepteth them in Jesus, but while the way of seducers waxeth worse and worse, the way of every poor justified believer in the Lord Jesus is known and approved by him, and all such are accepted in the beloved. 2 Timothy 2:19 .
READER, let you and I, while reading this precious Psalm, in the very opening of the book, look at, and study, and meditate upon it, as an introductory subject, concerning the Lord Jesus, to what we shall meet with concerning him and his work, through the whole of the sacred contents of the Psalms, as Jesus is represented in them. Let us, in that part of it which thus beautifully speaks of the perfection of our nature, never lose sight of Christ. And while we thus look up to him in this holiness of character, let it be our delight and our joy to tell God our Father, what a perfection of beauty, glory, and holiness, was in him, who is our divine head. Yes, thou dear Redeemer! I would so read of thee, and of thy holiness, as to have my whole soul rejoicing in the contemplation. For do I not know that thy righteousness is for thy people? thy obedience and delight in the Father's law, becomes the justification of all thy redeemed. And in thy holiness, all thy people are accounted holy before God, because our God and Father hath an eye to thee as our glorious head, and beholds thy saints complete in thee. Hail, then, thou Holy One of God! Thou art the Lord, our righteousness! And thou art made of God to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. And do thou, blessed Lord, grant us faith to know, and to consider ourselves as perfectly secured in thee. Give us to flourish in thee, and from thee, as the tree planted near the river's side? even from the streams of that river of life which cometh forth from the throne of God and the Lamb. Then, when the faithless and unbelieving shall die away as the heath of the desert, which knoweth not when good cometh, our souls may be as the well-watered garden, whose waters fail not, but deriving all from thee, thou wilt be in us a well of water springing up unto everlasting life.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Psalms 1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Sunday after Epiphany