Psalm the First

Reading: Psalm 1, ESV.

Thoughts in quotes from Charles Spurgeon’s The Treasury of David (

Verse 1: “Blessed” – “we may well regard it (as Ainsworth does) as a joyful acclamation of the gracious man’s felicity” (I.1).

Verse 2: “To him [the righteous] the ways of piety [devotion, worship] are paths of peace and pleasantness. His footsteps are ordered by the Word of God, and not by the cunning and wicked devices of carnal men” (I.1). I am reminded by this of media around us daily, subtly influencing our thinking when not carefully guarded by the filter of the Word.

‘His delight is in the law of the Lord.’ He is not under the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in  it as the rule of life…. He takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and in the night-watches, when sleep forsakes his eyelids, he museth upon the Word of God.” (I.2).

“In David’s day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in a ll our houses! But alas, what ill-treatment is given to this angel from heaven! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures…. Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you–Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God’s Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand–your best companion and hourly guide? If not, this blessing belongeth not to you” (I.2).

“Hence it is not only a love of the law, but that loving delight in the law which no prosperity, nor adversity, nor the world, nor the prince of it, can either take away or destroy; for it victoriously bursts its way through poverty, evil report, the cross, death, and hell, and in the midst of adversities, shines the brightest. —Martin Luther” (I.5).

“Meditation chews the cud, and gets the sweetness and nutritive value of the Word into the heart and life… —Bartholomew Ashwood’s Heavenly Trade, 1688″ (I.6).

“It [meditation] assists the memory to lock up the jewels of divine truth in her sure treasury. It has a digesting power, and turns special truth into spiritual nourishment; and lastly, it helps the renewed heart to grow upward and increase its power to know the things which are freely given to us of God. —Condensed from Nathaniel Ranew, 1670″ (I.7).

Verse 3: “The man who delights in God’s Word, being taught by it, bringeth forth patience in the time of suffering, faith in the day of trial, and holy joy in the hour of prosperity,” “We must not always estimate the fulfillment of a promise by our own eye-sight,” and “It is not outward prosperity which the Christian most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for” (I.2). “Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”: this is not due to our hard work or will or wit but to the working of the Word.

“‘A tree planted by the rivers of water.’–This is an allusion to the Eastern method of cultivation, by which rivulets of water are made to flow between the rows of trees, and thus…, the trees receive a constant supply of moisture” (I.7).

Verse 4: “‘Driveth away,’ or tosseth away; the Chaldee translateth for ‘wind,’ ‘whirlwind.’ —Henry Ainsworth, 1639. This shows the vehement tempest of death, which sweeps away the soul of the ungodly” (I.8). — This wind is more destructive than a strong breeze; it is more like a tornado.

Verse 6: “His [the ungodly man’s] way of pleasure, of pride, of unbelief, of profanity, of persecution, of procrastinating, of self-deception, etc.; all these shall come to an end” (I.9). This too shall pass but God shall not!

Whole Psalm: “Albeit the ungodly make a show in the world of being happy, yet they of all men are most miserable. —Sir Richard Baker, 1640″ (I.4).

Heart Check: “We long to be in the company of those we love” (I.9). Am I as excited about a visit with the Lord and His Word as I am about a visit with a loved one (parent, grandparent, friend) who lives afar? Am I as eager to host the Lord in my heart as I am to entertain or host earthly friends or company in my house?

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