“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers” (Psalm 1:1). We have been much impressed by the fact that the wondrous and precious Psalter opens with the word “Blessed,” and yet a little reflection shows it could scarcely begin with any other. As most of our readers are doubtless aware, “Psalms” means “Praises,” and the key note is here struck at the very outset, for it is only the “Blessed man” who can truly praise God, as it is his praises which are alone acceptable to Him. The word “Blessed” has here, as in so many places in Scripture (like Matt. 5:3-11), a double force:
First and primarily, it signifies that the Divine benediction—in contrast from God’s curse, rests upon this man.
Second and consequently, it denotes that he is a happy man.
“Blessed is the man,” not “blessed are they“—the singular number emphasizes the fact that piety is strictly a personal and individual matter.
It is very striking to observe, that God has opened this book of Psalms by describing to us, the one whose “praises” are alone acceptable to Him. In all that follows to the end of verse 3, the Holy Spirit has given us a portrait (by which we may honestly compare ourselves) of the man on whom the Divine benediction rests—the only man who can worship the Father “in spirit and in truth.” The outstanding features in this portrait of the “blessed” man, may be briefly expressed in three words—
his separation (v. 1)
his occupation (v. 2)
his fertilization (v. 3)
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