Psalm 1 - Abbot's Notes on the Whole Book of Psalms
The First Psalm
That man hath perfect blessedness, who walketh not astray In counsel of ungodly men, nor stands in sinners' way,
Nor sitteth in the scorner's chair: But placeth his delight Upon God's law, and meditates on his law day and night.
He shall be like a tree that grows near planted by a river, Which in his season yields his fruit, and his leaf fadeth never:
And all he doth shall prosper well The wicked are not so; But like they are unto the chaff, which wind drives to and fro.
In judgment therefore shall not stand such as ungodly are; Nor in th' assembly of the just shall wicked men appear.
For why? the way of godly men unto the Lord is known: Whereas the way of wicked men shall quite be overthrown.
Scottish Metrical Version
The Prophet to induce to godliness and dissuade from wickedness, shows in this Psalm, that the first of these does only make men happy and blessed, and the other doth certainly and eternally make men miserable.
Vs 1 That man hath perfect blessedness, who walketh not astray In counsel of ungodly men, nor stands in sinners' way
Would you be a blessed man? Mistake not then, but know upon the word of a Prophet speaking from God, that He, and He only is here, and shall be for ever hereafter, happy and blessed (that is to say, with the favour of God, true peace of conscience, and joys of heaven, the only true happiness). Notwithstanding the opinion of the world is to the contrary, shuts his ear to the sinful persuasions of wicked men, not suffering himself to be seduced to lead their lives: much less willingly and impudently gives himself over to a course of sinning, and least of all with brazen face scorns and opposes the ways of God and them that walk them.
Vs 2 Nor sitteth in the scorner's chair: But placeth his delight Upon God's law, and meditates on his law day and night.
But on the contrary, is ruled by the Word, studying it and walking those ways which it prescribes and commands, with as much pleasure and content of mind, as wicked men take in sin, keeping it in mind and memory to order his ways according to it, that in nothing, nor at no time, sin may mislead him.
Vs 3 He shall be like a tree that grows near planted by a river, Which in his season yields his fruit, and his leaf fadeth never.
And God shall so bless this his holy care and industry, that his soul shall be plentifully fed from heaven, with the never-failing influences of grace and consolation, to the making him fruitful in every good work, comfortable in every condition, and enable him to hold forth a holy profession throughout prosperity and adversity, to the end, (in spite of the world and wicked men) to the glory of God and honour of religion, and his own great advantage too here as well as hereafter, thereby procuring the blessing of God upon all he has and does.
Vs 4 And all he doth shall prosper well The wicked are not so; But like they are unto the chaff, which wind drives to and fro.
Whereas the wicked have no firm footing in any good condition, for in the way they walk, God will never bless them, nor respect them, but as they are nought, so will he set them at nought, and will make it appear he does so, when he executes his displeasure upon them, which shall part them from the prosperity they enjoyed in this life, with a fearful farewell, never expecting to see good day again.
Vs 5 In judgment therefore shall not stand such as ungodly are; Nor in th' assembly of the just shall wicked men appear.
For the conscience of their wicked ways, and the expectation of that just and fearful sentence, Go ye cursed, to be pronounced upon them, shall make them hang their head in deep despair at the great Assize [Judgement], when as the godly shall be able to lift up their heads with joy, nor shall such sinful wretches ever set foot within heavens threshold, or have any fellowship or share there in the happiness of the saints.
Vs 6 For why? the way of godly men unto the Lord is known: Whereas the way of wicked men shall quite be overthrown.
For however wicked men that know not things that differ, think as well and better of themselves and their ways, than of the godly and theirs. Yet God knows the difference, and shall one day make them to know it too, when he comes to judge and reward every one according to his works, then he will make it appear what notice he took of the godly, and how he approved them the world contemned. And the wicked they shall see and find for all their confidence and jollity, where their way will end, and to what a woeful condition it will bring them at last. Even to everlasting destruction.
Editor's Note: The metrical version of the Psalm is given for singing.