VERSE BY VERSE COMMENTARY
Psa. 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
“blessed” = happy
“walketh” = behave (self), continually, be conversant, exercise (self)
“standeth” = abide, continue, dwell, remain
“sitteth” = dwell, remain, settle, marry
“ungodly” = morally wrong, wicked, an actively bad person
“sinners” = criminal, one accounted guilty
“scornful” = have in derision, mocker, scoffer
The point of this psalm is defining the happy man. This person is avoiding fellowship with sin and sinners. He doesn’t seek advice on how to live his life from someone with bad morals or a bad reputation. He doesn’t have close relationships with those who are guilty of sinful lifestyles. He isn’t comfortable with people who mock or make fun of others.
Walking, standing and sitting depict a progressive position of ease and fellowship with sin/sinners. That type of association is going to end up being reflected in the actions and attitudes of the person involved.
Psa. 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
The happy man finds his delight (pleasure, value, purpose) in the law of the Lord, the word of God. It is so important to him that he meditates (ponders, reflects, thinks seriously about) God’s word day and night (good times and bad times). If our focus is truly on God’s word at all times, it is not likely that we will find ourselves comfortable with sin or in fellowship with sinners.
Psa. 1:3 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.
The happy man is one who is growing and producing the fruit in his life that the Creator intended. Notice that the fruit being produced is “his” fruit and that the timing is in “his” season. God has a specific plan/purpose for each one of us. Notice also that he is compared to a tree that is planted in a place conducive to its growth. If our delight is truly on the word of God, it keeps us in a position of taking in the proper spiritual nutrition that is necessary for healthy spiritual growth. As long as you are rooted in the Word and staying spiritually healthy, you don’t have to worry about withering—falling into sin. The entry in Strong’s for wither was quite interesting:
to wilt; generally, to fall away, fail, faint; figuratively, to be foolish or (morally) wicked; causatively, to despise, disgrace:—disgrace, dishounour, lightly esteem, fade (away, -ing), fall (down, -ling, off), do foolishly, come to nought, x surely, make vile, wither.
“whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” – I don’t think you can all of a sudden switch the context here to physical prosperity from spiritual prosperity. The point being made is that the one who is delighting in the Word of God and meditating on it continually will prosper in all that he does. It will result in growth for him, ministry to others, and glory to God.
Psa. 1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
In contrast, the ungodly are not healthy, or producing fruit, or prosperous spiritually. The chaff is the worthless part of the grain. In bible days the grain was tossed into the air, and the chaff was carried away by the wind while the useful grain fell back to earth.
Psa. 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
The wording is difficult in the KJV, but the idea is that the ungodly will not be upheld or successful when they stand in judgment before God; they will stand condemned. No sinner will be found in the company of those declared righteous for eternity through their faith in God and all that His truth declares.
Psa. 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
“way” = a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action
The wording of this verse indicates that the Lord is aware of and walking with the righteous man, the one trying to live by the law, His word. The life of the ungodly man is walked alone, without interaction with God through His word, and will result in his perishing—being lost, broken, failing and destruction. This contrast also implies that the spirit of the righteous will be safe—not lost, healthy—not broken, succeeding—not failing, and living—not being destroyed.