Becoming A Psalm 1 Man

Bible Book: Psalms  1 : 1-3
Subject: Manhood; Father's Day; Father; Men

In April of 1968, the duet Simon and Garfunkle released their hit song “Mrs. Robinson”. The third verse of that song begins with the line:

“Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

A nation turns its lonely eyes to you”[i]

Long gone are the days when figures like Joe DiMaggio and John Wayne were larger-than-life heroes, revered by men and boys alike. Today, our male icons are philanderers like Tiger Woods, capitalist pigs like Donald Trump, thugs like Kanye West, and dirty, old men like Hugh Hefner. What makes for a “real man” has become diluted and distorted until it might be a punk like Kid Rock, or a pretty-boy like Ryan Seacrest.

For those men who belong to Jesus Christ, the pattern and standard for our lives must never be determined by a fallen world and a sin-sick culture. When we want to know what kind of men we should be, we do not turn on the TV, we turn in our Bibles. It is in the Word of God we find the will of God for our lives.

Psalm 1:1 says, “Blessed is the man…” The word “blessed” is a plural word. The phrase is literally, “Oh the blessings,” or you could say, “the happiness”. Contrary to the lies of Satan, living for God does not mean that you resign yourself to a bland, boring, and bleak life. In fact, David said to the Lord in Psalm 16:11, “…in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

I suggest to you that the only way you will ever know what true happiness is, and experience real blessings, is to seek to become a “Psalm 1” man. As we examine this passage of Scripture, we find a picture of the kind of men we should be, and by God’s grace, the kind of men we can be. I want to ask three questions with regard to this Psalm 1 man. Notice them with me. First of all, consider:


The description of the Psalm 1 man begins with a negative statement. The Bible tells us what he does not do. Verse 1 says that the blessed, happy man, “…walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”

Dallas Willard says of this verse, “He is first characterized in terms of what he does not do, which is perhaps the most immediately obvious thing about him.”[ii]

The first thing we see about a Psalm 1 man is the things he excludes from his life. Notice what these things are. First of all, he lives his life without:

A. The advice of society

Verse 1 says that a blessed man, a Psalm 1 man, will not walk through life following the counsel of the ungodly - those who do not know and serve God. A Psalm 1 man does not take his cues from the culture. His path is not determined by what is popular in the world.

As a preacher of a past generation put it, “He is not guided by this world’s maxims…by the rule of those who leave God out of their reckoning.”[iii] The logic and philosophy of this world does not consider the reality of God. The thinking of this world is primarily selfish, and humanistic. A Psalm 1 man, however, does not live by the advice of society. He excludes the fallen philosophies of this world from his life.

Notice also that he excludes from his life:

B. The activity of sinners

Verse 1 says that a blessed man does not “…stand in the way of sinners…” The idea is that he does not live in the same way as men who practice sin. It is not that he has no association with sinners. It is that he has no participation with sinners. He may live and work around sinners, but he will not live and work like sinners. He will live differently than those who live in sin. Contrary to what some in the church are contending today, you’ll never be the light of the world by coloring your life with the same darkness as those who live in sin.

The Psalm 1 man excludes from his life the advice of society, the activity of sinners, and also:

C. The attitude of scorners

Verse 1 adds that a blessed man does not sit, “…in the seat of the scornful.” Note that word “scornful”. The ESV translates that word as “scoffers”. Very simply put, a scorner is a person who mocks and scoffs at the things of God. A scorner thinks nothing is sacred, and they fear no judgment or consequences for their actions. II Timothy 3:2 is a pretty good picture of a scorner. It says, “For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.”

The scorner thinks Jesus is a joke, church is for children, the Bible is bull, and salvation is for sissies who need a crutch. But the Psalm 1 man shutters at this kind of attitude. He despises irreverence and sacrilege. He cringes when God’s name is used in vain. You see; the Psalm 1 man does not gorge at this world’s buffet. He’s not a sucker for the candy-coated poison of this age. There are some things he excludes from his life.

Notice the second question we should ask about this blessed man’s life. Consider not only what is excluded from this man’s life, but notice also:


If you look around at all the entertainments and amusements of our world, you might be inclined to think that we are a bored people, and that our lives are so boring that we need all these recreations and diversions. The truth, however, is not that we are too bored. It is that we are too easily amused. We are like children fascinated by toys and trinkets, games and gizmos. Our problem is that we are too excited about things that really aren’t all that exciting. We are fans of the foolish, and enthusiasts of the empty. It is not so with the Psalm 1 man. He may enjoy certain things in this life, but there is one thing that really excites his heart and mind.

Verse 2 says of him, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” That phrase “law of the Lord” referred to the Scriptures that were available at that time. For us, it refers to the Bible, the Word of God.

Notice some things about His excitement over the Word of God. First of all, look at:

A. His passion for the Word

Verse 2 says that this man’s “delight” is in the Word of His God. That word “delight” is translated a number of ways in the Bible. It is translated as “desire”. The Psalm 1 man has a hunger and a desire for the Word of God. The word is also translated as “pleasure”. Think of that! This man actually derives pleasure from reading and studying the Bible.

The man described here is passionate about the Book! He gets excited thinking about and talking about His Bible! I wonder; what are you truly passionate about? What gets you excited? When is the last time you and your buddies talked about Philippians instead of football?

Notice not only this man’s passion for the word, but notice also further:

B. His practice with the Word

Verse 2 says not only that this man delights in the Word of God, but also that on that Word, “…he meditates…” The word “meditate” there literally means “to mutter”, or to repeat something to yourself. The idea is that this man keeps talking over and thinking over the Word of God.

You can’t read your Bible like you read the sports page. You may forget the line on the Braves game, but you can’t afford to forget what God says. Meditation involves the mind, and your practice ought to be keep the Word of God in the forefront of your mind as much as possible.

Note not only his passion for the Word, and his practice with the Word, but note also:

C. His persistence in the Word

Verse 2 says that this man meditates on the Word of God, “…day and night…” He continues in his meditation and consideration of the Word throughout his day. As Spurgeon says, “He takes a text and carries it with him all day long…”[iv] The truth is; your quiet time should not be your only time in the Word of God. There is a persistence with the Word that stays with it day and night.

A man once complained to R.A. Torrey that he was getting nothing out of the Bible. Torrey said, “Read it.” The man said, “I do.” Torrey said, “Read it some more.”

He went on to challenge the man to read the book of II Peter twelve times a day for a month. The man was skeptical, but agreed to the challenge. The man later confessed, “Soon I was talking II Peter to everyone I met. It seemed as though the stars of heaven were singing the story of II Peter.” That man became a Psalm 1 man; a man who gets excited about the Word of God.

Note one more question about this blessed man. Consider not only what is excluded from this man’s life, and what is exciting to this man’s life, but think with me lastly about:


As you read on in this Psalm, it becomes clear that the man being described is no “average Joe” – no “plain Pete”. He may have been at one time, but now that he has excluded some things from his life, and has become excited over the Word of God, his life has become special, unusual, exceptional. What is it about the Psalm 1 man that is different? What is it about his life that makes him enviable; the kind of man we want to be, by God’s help?

Notice first of all, there is something exceptional about:

A. His stability

The Psalm says in verse 3, “And he shall be like a tree planted…” Notice that he is planted. Not flopped or dropped, not slipping or sliding, but planted. His life is not marked by flakiness or flightiness. He is not trying to find his place or his way in life. He has been planted. His life has stability because God has placed him where he is, and he is securely planted in the will of God.

Most people live more like logs carried by the river of life, rather than trees planted beside it. The current of life rolls them, turns them, tosses them, and shifts them. They never seem to get still and settled. They are never able to take root, and plant themselves into something steady.

This man in Psalm 1, however, is exceptional because of his stability. Notice also, what makes him unique is:

B. His supply

Again, verse 3 says, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water…” He is not just planted, but he is planted in a place where he will never go without the things he needs. Spurgeon points out that he is planted, not just by a river, but by multiple “rivers of water”. That means that if one river fails, he will always have another. He goes on to say, “The rivers of pardon and the rivers of grace, the rivers of promise and the rivers of communion with Christ, are never failing sources of supply.”[v]

What makes the Psalm 1 man such an exceptional is that his life is never empty. He is never dissatisfied. He has a constant supply. The Lord is his Shepherd; he shall not want.

What makes this man so exceptional? It is not only his stability, and his supply, but notice also:

C. His success

Notice verse 3 again. “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Contrary to what some of the religious vultures on TV are teaching, the success of a godly man is not defined by a Rolex and Rolls Royce. The Psalm 1 man succeeds in the things he pursues – the things of God. His success is spiritual success. He will have spiritual fertility. That is, the fruit of the Spirit will grow in his life. He will have spiritual vitality. His “leaf” will not wither in the cold. He will have a healthy Christian life.

He will have spiritual prosperity. His walk with the Lord will not be marked by failures, losses, and setbacks.

Stephen Pile is the founder of a dubious group in England known as the “Not Terribly Good Club”. In 1979, Pile wrote a book on behalf of the club called, “The Book of Heroic Failures.” Unfortunately, too many Christians in our day could belong to the “Not Terribly Good Club”. There lives are average or below, and they never live up to all God has for them.

There is nothing average or common about the man in Psalm His life is an exceptional example of what a godly life can be.


The old, British, Bible preacher, Graham Scroggie, said of Psalm 1, “…It begins where we all hope to end…”[vi] That is, by being blessed and happy.

Everybody wants to be happy. Every man wants to be a blessed man. The problem is that far too few want to be a godly man.

Merely wanting to be happy and blessed will not make it so. Only those who are willing to be the kind of man described in Psalm 1 will ever know the kind of life described in Psalm 1.

The good news is that the Psalm 1 man is no superhero. He is not a myth or a legend.

God did not put this hear to taunt us with something we can never be. You can be this kind of man!

By God’s grace, you can exclude from your life the things that will destroy. You can excite your life with Word that will develop it. You can experience the kind of life that is exceptional and unique.

If you are ready and willing, God can help you become a Psalm 1 man.

[i] Mrs. Robinson, wikipedia article, accessed 2/2/10, wikipedia,

[ii] Willard, Dallas, Renovation of the Heart, (NavPress, Kindle Edition, 2002), location 2801-5

[iii] Spence, H.D.M. and Exell, Joseph S., The Pulpit Commentary, Vol. 8 The Psalms, (William B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, MI, 1984), p. 3

[iv] Spurgeon, Charles H., The Treasury of David: Vol.1, (Hendrickson Publishing, Peabody, MA), p. 2

[v] Ibid

[vi] Scroggie, W. Graham, Psalms: Volume 1, (Pickering & Inglis, London, 1948), p. 50