After reading Psalm 1, a lot of things jumped out at me from the text. I wanted to share these things with you. I hope you can take some of my ramblings and find any grain of wisdom in them. Be blessed.
1 Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalm 1 starts out by giving us three verbs to notice. Each word is active and shows action on the part of the wicked person. We see that as he “walks”, “stands” and “sits” something important is taking place. What I think this is hinting at is a progression. Sin starts out as something we find ourselves doing but eventually it becomes something we get stuck in. Therefore, we are standing and sitting without changing, thus moving into the sin as a lifestyle and not just as something occasional.
I see the progression as this: first, we walk (lifestyle and actions) in a way that is guided by the wicked. Second, we stand in that, which shows a rooting in a sinful identity, this is “where we are” and we accept it. You could also see this as the last chance before it becomes permanent. Thirdly, leading to sitting, which means we are very comfortable and being critical, going along with popular culture is the normal. I think all of this shows that a sinful life (caused by wrong actions, etc) essentially handicaps any forward movement on the part of the person. You are stuck in a rut.
The key things we need to be aware of before this becomes our reality are: surroundings or company we keep, the direction of our life (or purpose that motivates our decisions) and the nature of the environment we find ourselves spending most of our time in.
All of this contrasts the righteous man of God. He is one that is finding happiness, purpose, and true joy in thoughtful contemplation of God and His word (laws, etc). He does this regardless of the time or day. In the same way that sinful living cements you in place, right living also encourages deep “rootedness” but in a majorly different way. Now, your roots are going down (showing great connection, deep relationship with God) and you are thriving, growing and rising up in the sweet place of His strength and protection. Just as a strong tree grows and is relied upon by many creatures so you will also become. You will produce fruit when the time comes, dependent on the cycles God has set on your life. You will be “healthy” in that your relationship with God will not be “starved” or “sick”. You will constantly be nourished by the Lord. You will stand, just as a tree does as a symbol of prosperity.
The wicked cannot even stand next to the righteous. They can expect the direct opposites of these promises. The wicked are the ones sifted out, as many times as necessary and blown away by the wind (or any trial or force as God sees fit). Because they lack worth to God and others, their presence among the righteous degrades the company (therefore they get separated and disposed of). The wicked will not “last” nor will they be given a place of honor or a “chance” (because they were given one and chose their ways). God knows their actions, this way of life (or mode of operation) is fruitless and ends in destruction. Instead, the righteous doers are known by God and thus saved by Him. They are His.