Lenten Devotional #9

Read Psalm 1

The introduction to the entire Book of Psalms just seems to roll off tongue.

What a beautiful summary of what it looks like to be a child of God! We are not walking,
standing, or sitting in the same way as everyone else. Our lives look very different because they
are very different!
From where is the source of this difference?
From the meditation of the Law of the Lord. The child of God is the person who listens for God.
He longs to hear from God. And when he does hear from God, he treasures it so much that he
sets his heart, mind, and body on that Word.
The result is the promise of the Psalm.

Consistency. Nourishment. Fruitfulness. Life. Prosperity. What beautiful descriptors of
blessedness! That is what I want. When I am ninety years old, I want to be more full of spiritual
life than I am today. I want to wake up every day excited about what God will say and do!
But this Psalm also has a warning. “Not so the wicked….they will be driven away.”
David did not have a theology of hell fully developed in the way that Jesus did, but Jesus
described it as a place of torment where a chasm is fixed between the wicked and the presence
of God. (See Luke 16:19-31) But if life and prosperity are found in the presence of God and by
hearing from God, doesn’t it make sense that Psalm 1 is describing hell?
The blessed man is blown away by the presence of God. The wicked man is blown away from
the presence of God. What a contrast!
The final (and most important) thing you should notice about this first Psalm is its use of
singular and plural subjects. The wicked are plural, but the blessed man is singular. This is a clue
as to what the Psalms, and the entire Bible are all about. They point us to The Blessed Man. He
walked perfectly in the Law of the Lord. In fact, he fulfilled it. He could not be cut off from the

life-giving streams of water. When he was separated from the presence of God (see Psalm 22)
he was not abandoned to Sheol (Psalm 15). Praise God for the Man.

Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right Man on our side,
the Man of God’s own choosing.
You ask who that may be?
Christ Jesus, it is he;
Lord Sabaoth his name,
from age to age the same;
and he must win the battle.

from “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” by Martin Luther