Psalm 1

1 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;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall 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 ungodly shall perish.

The first thing I want to call attention to is the opening contrast of this Psalm. Two options are presented, following human wisdom or following divine purpose. God made you in His image and has a perfect plan and destination for you.

Human wisdom finds the quick way, the shortcuts, the easy path that will take advantage of others to get to the prize. The person following this first option fears that if everyone makes it to the finish line there may not be enough of a reward to go around, and the prize will be lessened or diluted by sharing it.

Divine purpose knows that the path taken is actually part of the reward. He doesn’t chafe or become resentful of silly rules meant to keep him from his happiness. He delights in them, knowing that they are meant to keep him safe. He knows that when they slow his pace, it is to conserve strength lest he wither in the difficult part coming up. Following the laws of the course develop in him the wisdom he will need so that when he receives his prize he will know what to do with it. He understands that fruit eaten before it is ripe is bitter and now wasted because it is no longer available to eat when it would have been ripe.

This is what becomes of the reward for the ungodly, nothing but spoiled, bitter fruit incapable of sustaining them, especially since they impatiently overexerted themselves to get to it before anyone else. They and their prize turn to dust to be blown away by the wind. The righteous, receive their reward when it is ready for them, and they are ready for it. It refreshes them and strengthens them for even greater challenges that will in turn bring even more amazing rewards. The wicked are left disillusioned and now as bitter and dried up as their spoiled reward tell all their friends how the course cheated them and it was a waste of time to even try.

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