What is a “Psalm 1 Man”? A Psalm 1 Man is a man of the Word. He is a man of his word, but more importantly, a man of His Word. A man of God’s Word.
“His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2).
What do you find delightful? I’ve got my list. Watching the U.S. women’s soccer team win the World Cup was delightful. Being with my wife is delightful. I enjoy a hot meal and cold ice cream. I find much satisfaction in a productive day at the office.
A Psalm 1 man finds delight in “the law of the Lord.” I’ve heard it explained that “the law” means “instruction” or “teaching.” So it’s more than a reference to the Law of Moses and the 10 commandments, much more.
The Psalm 1 man loves to sit at the feet of Jesus and listen. He’s teachable. He’s humble. He’s not a know-it-all. Rather, he knows how little he knows and how much he has to learn, at any age and at every age. He comes to God with an open heart and says, “Teach me, Lord, because I need to be taught. I need your instruction. Please come and teach me today so I can learn how to love you and live for you.”
The Psalm 1 man comes to Jesus and listens. How does he do this? “On his law he meditates day and night.” The Psalm 1 man is a Bible reader. He reads the Word regularly, yes daily. He reads it and he studies it and he meditates on it. He chews on it, thinking about it and digesting it and mulling it over. The Word of God becomes part of him. And you can see this because little by little, over the years, this man, by the power of the Spirit who indwells him, lives out the Word.
Today, verse 2 is my favorite verse in Psalm 1. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Oh, how I want to be this kind of man. I want to find great delight in the Word because I meditate on the Word every day.
Spurgeon on Psalm 1:2
Charles Spurgeon writes that this verse describes the character of the blessed man. It tells us “what his exercises are.” I like his usage of the word “exercise.” My 21st century understanding of the word “exercise” is limited to physical activity — jumping jacks and push-ups and wind sprints. But even Dictionary.com points out the broader meaning that Spurgeon is using – “bodily or mental exertion” (first definition). And definition #6 also sheds light: “a religious observance.” So the psalmist is telling us what types of spiritual activities he participates in regularly. He exerts himself by delighting in and meditating on the Word. And this is an exertion – it is hard work and your mind will sweat and doing this will make you tired. It is not easy. It’s exercise!
“He is not under the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in it as his rule of life; he delights, moreover, to meditate in it, to read it by day, and think upon it by night. 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. In the day of his prosperity he sings psalms out of the Word of God, and in the night of his affliction he comforts himself with promises out of the same book. “The law of the Lord” is the daily bread of the true believer. And yet, 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 all our houses! But, alas, what ill-treatment is given to this angel from heaven! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures. How few among us can lay claim to the benediction of the text! 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.”
Source: The Treasury of David (Kindle Locations 123-132). Chios Classics. Kindle Edition.
MY PRAYER in response to Psalm 1:2
Dear God, this is the kind of man I want to be. Oh God, may I find delight in your Word. And may I meditate on your Word day and night. Give me strength to pursue this delight with intense exertion – delight in the teachings of Yahweh. Give me strength to meditate on your instruction day and night – to immerse myself in your Word and thereby to get lost in the wonder of your truth. Oh God, only by your grace will this happen. May it be so today.