This is the first of a series of articles exploring the collection of Hebrew songs called the Psalms. 

Whatever exists was spoken into existence by God. “Let there be light,” God said. And there came to be light. And God saw the light was good. God spoke directly to the first humans and commanded them to have sex and produce a family and fill the earth. He also instructed them not to eat the fruit of a certain tree under the penalty of death. As long as men and women have been on this earth they have been under God’s authority and law. 

However, since Eden God has allowed humans and angels to disregard his law and go their own way. We are warned, though, that it is only a temporary allowance. 

Appropriately, the opening words of the book of Psalms address the situation: “Happy is the man who does not walk according to the advice of the wicked and does not stand on the path of sinners and does not sit in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of Jehovah, and he reads His law in an undertone day and night.”

Jesus highly regarded God’s word. His opening words of the Sermon on the Mount echoed the first Psalm: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need, since the Kingdom of the heavens belongs to them.”

The opening words of Revelation also declare those to be happy who read the words of the scroll aloud and observe the things written in it. 

The first Psalm speaks of a future judgment. And not merely the judgment of the world in general, but rather, an accounting among God’s people. Verse five states: “That is why the wicked will not remain standing in the judgment; nor will sinners remain standing in the assembly of the righteous.” 

Prior to the judgment wicked sinners and righteous persons are assembled together, shoulder to shoulder, as it were—obviously, assembled for worship. As the apostle wrote, judgment begins first with the house of God. 

Jesus spoke extensively about this coming judgment in a series of parables. He explained that the Devil planted weeds among the wheat that will grow together until the harvest. He also spoke of a faithful slave and an evil slave who would work side-by-side in the master’s house up until the lord of the manor unexpectedly arrives to inspect the household. 

Jesus further explained: “Then two men will be in the field; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. Two women will be grinding at the hand mill; one will be taken along and the other abandoned. Keep on the watch, therefore, because you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.” — Mathew 24:41,42

The first Psalm concludes: “For Jehovah is aware of the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

It is not merely wicked individuals who will perish, but the “way of the wicked.” In other words, the entire world that exists under the influence of the wicked one will be done away with. Then those who did not follow the lifestyle of the wicked or enjoy the company of the scoffers and ridiculers really will be happy.  

Happy is the Man (SoundCloud)

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