The Happy Path

Psalm 1  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
Psalm 1 gives us in brief the conditions under which the saints of God in all ages can tread that happy path of communion a n d usefulness which is the true aim of all whose hearts are right.
Primarily applicable to the Lord Jesus Himself, we all know this Psalm to be; but, praise be to His name for the grace, He has bidden us follow in the same path. Now that part which deals with the subject we have under consideration (vv. 1-3) falls naturally and simply into three divisions.
The third section, which is also the third verse, presents to us a perfect picture, that is God's picture, of this happy man. He is said to be, first, "like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season." Could we have a more telling figure of a healthy Christian? Second, it is said of him that "his leaf also shall not wither." If we turn to "Song of Songs" we shall get God's own interpretation of these figures.
In chapter 2, verse 3, the bride, there speaking of her beloved, says, "I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste." We know these words were spoken of the Lord Jesus Himself. And how true it was and is, that He ever bore fruit, and that His leaf was always green. No poor, wearied, hungry one ever sought shelter and refreshment beneath His shade without finding it abundantly. Precious Lord! what springs, indeed, are in Thee!
Beloved reader, if you are a true Christian, does not your heart yearn to do what He did, and to be to His wearied and tempted saints what He is to them? Does not He expect it of our hands? "Comfort ye My people, saith your God." And this Psalm says, happy is the man that does this. Surely it is so. But there is a third thing in this verse that is true of this "blessed" man. "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
What a complete picture of a healthy Christian! Fruit to refresh the hungry, shade to rest the weary, and success in service.
But we must look back at the two first sections to find out the conditions that must be fulfilled in order that we may be thus a help and a blessing; for conditions there are, and attention to them is of the very highest importance.
Verse 1 says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." This happy, useful man is then a separate man. This most important truth is enforced right through Scripture from Genesis to Revelation.
Wherever we turn, in all ages and under all circumstances, God's chosen vessels have been separate men or women. The histories of Joseph, Daniel, Paul, Timothy, all teach the same lesson; and, beloved friends, you and I will never be numbered among these happy ones (for happy they were in spite of the sufferings such a path entailed) unless we be clean vessels, "meet for the master's use."
But there is a second condition, for the first one is but a negative condition, after all. It is not sufficient merely to be clear from what is harmful. We need to be built up by what is positively good. So the second condition is, "His delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night." And then the consequence of these two conditions being fulfilled is what we have above seen in the third verse.
Now, in recapitulating, do we not see how morally perfect this little picture is? You have presented to you a man who diligently avoids evil of all sorts, as diligently finds his delight in the good, and who as a natural consequence is what every earnest, truehearted believer desires to be.
Beloved friends, nothing could be simpler. Of details, we do not get much here. But, broadly, to have before us as our earnest aim the keeping ourselves unspotted from the world, and the constant daily delighting in the precious Word of God, will inevitably result in that happy path of usefulness that brings joy to our own hearts and gives glory to God.