Psalm 1, like Psalm 19 and Psalm 119, is thought to have Ezra as its author.
Ezra “was a ready scribe in the law of Moses, which the Lord God of Israel had given” and “Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments” (Ezra 7:6, 10).
That Ezra was learning and obeying and then teaching the law of God it wouldn’t be difficult to credit him with writing these Psalms since they all place great importance on the Word of God.
Ezra was one of the Jews that returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian exile, and is credited as being the one that compiled the Old Testament.
Psalm 1 is not the first Psalm that was written. That’s not why it’s first.
Psalm 1 was written as a preface or introduction to the book of Psalms. It introduces a theme that runs throughout the book of Psalm; two different men, two ways of life, and two final destinations.
There are two similitudes; the tree in verse 3 that represents the righteous man and the chaff in verse 4 that represents the unrighteous. The tree as a living organism that produces fruit is as the Christian that is alive in Christ Jesus. The chaff, which is dead, is as the lost that are dead in trespasses and sin.
We are like the tree or the chaff based on the choices we make. Those choices are offered in the form of a formula for spiritual success in verses 1 and 2.
“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.” The man is blessed who has said no to the ways of the world and does not get his happiness from the things of the world, but has said yes to God’s way. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; (It’s impossible to be truly happy if we’re not people of God’s Word), and in his law doth he meditate day and night (whenever his mind is free from duties of work and home it thinks upon Scripture).”
“And he shall be (he shall become, if he continues to say no to the ways of the world and yes to God’s way) like a tree planted (transplanted from out of the wild, a picture of salvation) . . .”
Humans are composed of intellect, emotion and will. All three of these facets of man’s composition are used in this formula for meeting the criteria for success.
The will is used in choosing to say no to the world and yes to God. The emotions are satisfied as they find their delight in the law of God. The intellect is used as he meditates upon the Word.
So by following this simple formula we exercise the whole man to become what God wants us to become, and are sanctified and made complete and grow up in Christ.
James H. Cagle lives in Ray City, Ga., and is a former Hamilton County resident.