Psalm 1 is a wonderful description of how we should live in communion with God. If one lives in the way that this psalm describes they will have a deep relationship with God. They will also better understand God’s will for all believers. It is a psalm of blessing and hope of God’s grace for us and what he does for the one’s that obey his will.
The blessing in the first psalm is, I believe, a blessing of covenantal faithfulness. This is believed because of what verse 2 of it states: “but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (English Standard Version Ps. 1:2). The same promise is made in Deuteronomy 6 and again stated in Joshua 1 in almost the same words as in Psalms, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Josh. 1:8).
It seems that the man who would keep the word of God in front of him and meditate upon it would have the blessing of wisdom to not do the things written in the rest of the psalm. Things such as, listen to the wicked or hang around sinners and scoffers. With the studying and living the word then he would be blessed with the strength like the tree, (v.3), and live righteously.
To delve further into the blessing for the ones who heed the message of this psalm, first one must look at the cause-effect statements. In this Psalm, the cause statement is at the beginning, “Blessed is the man who walks not…” (Ps. 1:1a). This is then followed by three places that the godly man would or should not be at. Then the effect statement of what will happen for the godly man is found in verse three: “He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers” (Ps.1:3).
So, the blessing that is implied here seems to be, if you meditate upon the law you will be prosperous. Is that what it is exactly promising? In the context of which it was written probably because of the blessings and curses that were promised to ancient Israel in Deuteronomy 28. These basically state that if Israel kept the commandments that the LORD told them then he would make them to prosper. But, if they did not keep them then they would be cursed and scattered just like “chaff that the wind drives away” (Ps. 1:4b).
With what I believe is the context laid out, what then does this mean for the Christian of today? Well this is still a powerful set of scriptures to be followed by us now. The reason why this is believed is because God still blesses those who obey his commands. This may not be in the same way in which he blessed Israel, but blessed we still are.
I believe that The Bible Knowledge Commentary on this psalm states how the blessing is still tangible for the Christian now. It says, “The psalm describes the blessed man who leads an untarnished and prosperous life in accord with the Word of the Lord…” (Walvoord & Zuck, 790). The blessing that comes to us now is the blessing of following what the Word of God has laid out for us. To follow and trust that God has control and that he has the power to keep you from falling into sinful ways, this is the true blessing of this psalm for today. The key to this blessing is found in verse six, “for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish” (Ps. 1:6). By being righteous and keeping the Word near to you the LORD knows your way and it is not the way to destruction but to glory with him. That is the true blessing of this psalm.
This psalm as well as many other psalms have a deep underlying message of faith and hope in God and his grace. To be truly blessed one must keep in accord with his Word and commands, this will lead you down the road of righteousness. Following the road of righteousness is the best blessing because then God knows your way and his guidance will be easily seen because you are in constant communion with him.