Psalm 1

Psalm 1  •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 9
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The godly remnant on the earth
In Psalm 1, however, we have simply the godly remnant on the earth. I say remnant, for the subject of the psalm is spoken of as characterized by individual faithfulness. The ungodly, sinners, and scornful, are around him. The law is his delight. He is a godly Jew, keeping apart from the ungodly, and is blessed, and prospers. Such is the principle of the psalm. But to make it good the earthly judgment must come in. There the ungodly shall not stand, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous-then left free from
1. But they are viewed as in the last days with the judgment at hand.
2. First Peter makes the same distinction, chapter 3:14 and 4:14.
the pressure of those who cared not for God. The psalm gives us the general character of the godly man, and the result under the judicial government of God.
The righteous and the wicked; the judgment of God
Another element is then brought in. Jehovah knows the way of the righteous-the way of the ungodly shall perish. It is a judgment on one side, and a moral approbation before that judgment come on the other, which is connected with the covenant-relationship of Jehovah with Israel. We have seen that Christ was on earth this godly man, and took His place among the faithful remnant, these excellent of the earth-was perfect in that place. So far this psalm takes Him in; but that is not yet directly spoken of. Its subject is the character of the godly, and the result under the government of God, Jehovah, in the midst of His people. It is not yet suffering because of this. That is a circumstance which will come out in its time. It is the character of the godly man in presence of the wicked, and the result measured by the abiding principles of God’s government. Jehovah knows the righteous-others shall positively perish. Psalm 1 is the moral character of the remnant, their position in the midst of the ungodly, and the general government of God, and the connection of Jehovah and the righteous.
Besides this, remark that the psalm places both in presence of a proximate judgment, by which the wicked are driven away like chaff, and the righteous form the congregation; that is, it refers definitely to the remnant in the last days. The principles of this psalm, the character of the persons spoken of in it, and their position, are clear enough, and important as laying one great part of the basis of the whole superstructure of the Psalms-God’s government, and the trials of the remnant which seemed to deny the government here spoken of, which is only to be made good in judgment when the mystery of God shall be finished. We are on the ground of Israel’s place and of God’s government according to the law, but the righteous distinguished from the wicked, and blessing, not the portion of all Israel as a whole, but of the righteous who will form the congregation when judgment is executed. Blessing is on the righteous, but these shall be the people when the ungodly shall be driven away as chaff. It is just the doctrine of the end of Isaiah. (See chapter 48:22, 57:20 and 65-66.) Only in the last passage the judgment reaches the nations also.
A godly remnant of the people, delighting in the law, and the judgment of God, resulting in the congregation of the righteous, according to the true character of Jehovah, the wicked being driven away-such are the first truths presented to us, the moral government of God on the earth made good by judgment in Israel.1 Hence the last days are clearly in view.
(1. More specifically in the Jews. The remnant of the Jews are spared and pass through the tribulation when two-thirds are cut off in the land (Zech. 13). The judgment of the ten tribes is outside the land, and the rebels do not enter into it (Ezek. 20). Israel is the general term of promise as applied to the nation. )