Seeing Psalm 1 through the Right Lens

“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.” (Psalm 1, ESV)

The contrast made in this short psalm is quite distinct. Sadly, the world often cannot see the points that are being made. They see an unrighteous man who becomes rich, a scoffer who has no worries, a lazy man who is able to live comfortably off of the generosity of others and they perceive that the psalmist was wrong.

The problem is that they are looking at this psalm through the wrong lens. Instead of looking at it through the lens of present day-to-day life, it must be seen through the lens of final judgment and eternity. In eternity, the righteous man of verses 1-3 will truly prosper. While that prosperity will be seen in many ways in physical life (physical possessions being the least of those ways), it will ultimately be seen in eternity. Equally, while the unrighteous may seem to get everything they want on this Earth, in eternity they will lose it all.

Remember the importance of seeing things through the right lens, for it is the only way we can keep our focus on Christ as we should. The final phrase of the psalm is the most important: “the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

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