Psalm One


Psalm One – ESV

“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.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

The wicked are not so, 
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.”

The first chapter of Psalm reminds us that there are two different ways to be living; the ways of the world and the ways of the Lord. They are contrary to one another and set us on two different paths to two different destinations.

The ways of the world often leads us to more struggle, bondage, and pain. The Lord is wanting to lead us to freedom and life.

Consider some of the words that the author gives us about living like the rest of the world. It says if we live by the “counsel of the wicked” (the way we think/ human logic), “stand in the way of sinners” (make our stand in this world), and ” sit in the seat of scoffers” (become comfortable with the ways of man), then we will lose our passion and purpose. He compares it to like chaff that will perish and blow away.

However, he points to the alternative as an option that leads to a life of more! One where you do not wither, you yield fruit, and are constantly nourished like a rock hard tree planted by streams of water! There is even a promise that comes with this … “In all he does, he prospers.”

That sounds really good! Yet, many of us still struggle. Why? I believe it is because we were taught, raised in, and surrounded by a thought process that does not match up to the ways of the Lord. There is a great deal that falls under the title of logic, wisdom, and “that’s just the way things are” that really don’t match up to God’s ways. So, how do we find the better way when we are so used to life as we know it?

We find the answer in the Psalm itself… “delight in the law of the Lord, and on His law meditate day and night”. The Word of God reveals to us the thoughts, ways, and directions of God! Many of us know the general feel of the Bible. Many of us have our favorite sections and maybe a couple sections we try to avoid. However, to really be able to counter the thoughts of this world that are our “norm”, we must be digging into the Word, reflecting on the Word, following the Word, and being encouraged by the Word.

There is so much more than the Bible telling you to try to be a good person. His Word is a stream that you are able to take root into and find life! You can not keep mixing a little of Jesus and a little of the world to try to get through. The way of the world is perishing, the way of the righteous is known by the Lord!

“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Brennan Manning


About Tom Hypes

Tom Hypes is an ordained Pastor who has served in churches and the camping ministry for over 25 years. He currently leads at The Shepherd's Fellowship and volunteers at Leapin' Outreach (clothing ministry), Marion County Citizen Circle (helping clients with transitions from prison to community), Kirkpatrick Food Pantry, and ministers in the local nursing homes. He has also contributed to Group Magazine, CBA Marketplace, and Youth Worker Magazine. He serves in his ministry in the partnership with his family; wife Jenni, son Ryan, and daughter Emily.