True Happiness in God’s Law


1Blessed is the man who does not walk

in the counsel of the wicked,

Nor stand in the way* of sinners,

nor sit in company with scoffers.a

2Rather, the law of the LORD* is his joy;

and on his law he meditates day and night.b

3He is like a treec

planted near streams of water,

that yields its fruit in season;

Its leaves never wither;

whatever he does prospers.


4But not so are the wicked,* not so!

They are like chaff driven by the wind.d

5Therefore the wicked will not arise at the judgment,

nor will sinners in the assembly of the just.

6Because the LORD knows the way of the just,e

but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.

* [Psalm 1] A preface to the whole Book of Psalms, contrasting with striking similes the destiny of the good and the wicked. The Psalm views life as activity, as choosing either the good or the bad. Each “way” brings its inevitable consequences. The wise through their good actions will experience rootedness and life, and the wicked, rootlessness and death.

* [1:1] The way: a common biblical term for manner of living or moral conduct (Ps 32:8; 101:2, 6; Prv 2:20; 1 Kgs 8:36).

* [1:2] The law of the LORD: either the Torah, the first five books of the Bible, or, more probably, divine teaching or instruction.

* [1:4] The wicked: those who by their actions distance themselves from God’s life-giving presence.

a. [1:1] Ps 26:45; 40:5.

b. [1:2] Jos 1:8; Ps 119; Sir 39:1.

c. [1:3] Ps 52:10; 92:1315; Jer 17:8.

d. [1:4] Ps 35:5; 83:1416; Jb 21:18.

e. [1:6] Ps 37:18.

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