The book of Psalms is probably one of the most read and many of its passages are memorized and quoted. Some of the favorite chapters are the 23rd and 91st. However, the first chapter sets the tone for the remainder of this loved book in the Bible. The theme of this chapter is that there are two choices, two ways and two outcomes. Yes, the psalmist puts it in very straight forward language. It is your choice.
The first choice according to Psalm 1 is to choose a relationship with God or the world. The two ways that result from this choice is blessing or wickedness and the final outcome of these choices are protection and eternal destiny with the redeemed or destruction and eternal rejection.
Let us look at the first choice: God or the world. “blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.” This choice is not a multiple choice—are you a friend of God or the wicked, sinners and scoffers, living in their presence rather than God’s?
That first decision will then determine that path of activities that you choose. The next verses start with those who have chosen God, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so with the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away.” The one who choses God meditates on His Word constantly which guides him on a path that is directed by eternal truth leading him to a productive, prosperous and vibrant lifestyle in God. The wicked, however, are literally “blown away” empty handed with nothing of value to show through their activities and lifestyle.
Finally, the outcome of choice. “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” Your commitment to one of the two choices determines both your life here and for all eternity. That is the message of this chapter 1, that is the major theme of Psalms and thankfully that is our choice today.
Pastor Ruth Kaunley