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Old 20th July 2008, 04:27 PM
Climacus Areopagite Climacus Areopagite is offline
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Default A Commentary on Psalm 1

Psalm 1 (A Wisdom Psalm)

{1:1}Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the impious, and has not remained in the way of sinners, and has not sat in the chair of pestilence.

~ Verse one expresses how the blessed man avoids the way of the impious man who is on the road to perdition. “Followed”. . . “remained”. . . “sat” is figurative for the regression of a man into deeper states of evil. Finally he sits in “the chair of pestilence” a metaphor for habitual mortal sin, a true disease of the soul, which leads to everlasting death in Hell if he should have been unfortunate to die without having repented.

{1:2}But his will is with the law of the Lord, and he will meditate on his law, day and night.

~ The blessed man keeps the positive(you shall do this), and negative(you shall not do this) precepts of God (the moral law), close to his mind and heart, so that he may act in accord with the will of God and live a blessed life, as he applies the precepts in good times (day) and in difficult times (night).

{1:3} And he will be like a tree that has been planted beside running waters, which will provide its fruit in its time, and its leaf will not fall away, and all things whatsoever that he does will prosper.

~ The psalmist was a Hebrew who lived in a semi-arid climate, and so he would have recognized that in order for a tree to flourish it would need a plentiful source of water.

+ In the spiritual sense the flourishing tree is the just man who is in the state of sanctifying grace. The indwelling of Holy Spirit has an effect on the soul, making his acts fruitful toward his fellow men and pleasing before God. He is also capable of performing the highest of virtues namely, love, faith, and hope. Notice, the leaves of the tree do not fall (evergreen) meaning the tree never dies, a symbol of salvation. After he dies, sanctifying grace makes a man worthy to live forever with God in Heaven (perhaps by way of Purgatory). Sanctifying grace is salvation. Finally, his acts on earth are prosperous, in other words meritorious.

{1:4} Not so the impious, not so. For they are like the dust that the wind casts along the face of the earth.

~ But the impious are compared to dust swirling in the wind. Again this is a fitting image of a Hebrew observing his semi-barren surroundings.

+ The impious man is not in the state of sanctifying grace, he has no foundation and so his acts are unstable and tend to be sinful. Even his good acts are unsubstantial, not completely pleasing to God, and not fully effective toward men, since he is not in full cooperation with God’s grace.

{1:5}Therefore the impious will not prevail again in judgment, nor sinners in the council of the just.

~ This verse implies the general judgment to take place after the general resurrection of the just and the impious. During their lives on earth, the impious or sinners may have passed judgment, may have been materially powerful, or may have made life difficult for the just. Yet on judgment day the just (the saints) will pass judgment over the impious (the damned). The just will even pass judgment over the fallen angels (the devils).

{1:6} For the Lord knows the way of the just. And the path of the impious will pass away.

~ God is intimate with His just ones since they cooperate with His work of grace and they live the Way (Christ). The “path of the impious” will end in a personal way when they die without having repented and are cast into the first Hell, and in a general way when they along with the fallen angels, are cast into the new Hell after the general Resurrection and judgment (Revelation 20:13-15). Once they are in Hell, God will restrict their acts, and so their path of sin officially ends.

Last edited by Climacus Areopagite : 20th July 2008 at 04:30 PM.
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