Meditations on the Psalms
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; (Psalm 1:1 ESV)
In the Psalms, God speaks to everyone in the world about His Son, Jesus Christ. God speaks in the first person in Psalm 1. He is describing a man who is righteous before Him.
Man is singular but can refer to Mankind as a singular group of people, all created in the image of God. Most often man refers to one person such as a husband, servant, great person, champion. As described in this verse, the man is sinless and never surrenders to any impulse to rebel against God.
Unlike modern English tenses, which express past, present and future, Biblical Hebrew views action as either completed or not completed. The man described in Psalm 1 does not, nor will ever, rebel against God and His moral code, but has accomplished the exact opposite by upholding God’s absolute will. All of his obedient actions toward God are complete and finished.
Many see themselves in this Psalm because they want to see themselves. If Psalm 1 is about anyone it is about either those who are in complete rebellion against God or a man in complete submission to Him and those who identify with that man. Psalm 1 speaks about one person who has no sin, who hates sin and refuses to participate with anyone or anything that leads to sin.
Paul is adamant in his assessment of the spiritual condition of all people. Everyone is facing the judgment of God and under His condemnation because of their rebellious nature.
What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:
“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” (See Psalm 14:1-3 and Psalm 53:1-3)
“Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive” (See Psalm 5:9).
“The venom of asps is under their lips” (See Psalm 140:3).
“Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness” (See Psalm 10:7).
“Their feet are swift to shed blood (See Proverbs 1:16);
in their paths are ruin and misery, (See Isaiah 59:7-8);
and the way of peace they have not known” (See Luke 1:79).
“There is no fear of God before their eyes” (See Psalm 36:1) (Romans 3:9-18 ESV)
God blesses the man who does not rebel against Him but works tirelessly to seek His will and intimately know Him. This describes only one person who has ever lived. Only Jesus Christ has perfectly done all God wanted without sinning. Every other person who has ever lived has rebelled against God.
Only Jesus Christ is perfect and only He has kept the law of God perfectly. Because of His perfection He is righteous before God and the only One able to bring those who are rebelling to repentance and belief into God’s presence.
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. (Romans 3:21-25 ESV)
If this Psalms shows anything about individuals it shows who each person serves and with whom each person identifies. Even though every person is responsible for their own actions, thoughts and words, they are still controlled by sin and the desire to rebel against God. He will not forsake those who seek Him. He may not remove them from the temptations they face but He will enable them to confront and subdue the temptations with the confidence of knowing to whom they belong. People are blessed by God as they are identified with Jesus Christ, the only sinless One blessed by God.