Psalm 1 is commonly recognised as the Psalm that introduces to us the rest of the Psalter. It is truly a Psalm that sums up the daily life experiences of every believer. Just like some life experiences are wonderful moments of worship, so many of the Psalms are Psalms of praise and worship. And like some life experiences are painful moments of faith being tested, so many Psalms are Psalms of tears and faith. But Psalm 1 stands as a foundation under all the varying circumstances of life.

Psalm 1 sums up all of life in one short contrast: Blessed are the righteous but the way of the wicked will perish.

Some days are wonderful, others and hard. Some days we feel like crying, other days we feel like laughing. Some days are days of great success, other days are days of great personal attack. Some days are filled with praise, others are filled with despair. Some days we end by singing, others we end by mourning. But every day, this is still true: It is a blessing to be the righteous, and the wicked will perish.

Being righteous in good days and in bad days is always possible, because righteousness comes by not doing things the way the world does (Ps 1:1), but instead finding great joy in doing everything God’s way (Ps 1:2). The blessing of being righteous will always have some obvious implications for this life (Ps 1:3), most obviously the blessing of knowing God is well acquainted with our righteous responses and habits and will vindicate us (Ps 1:6a).

The wicked are not so. They leave nothing of value behind after all their short-lived schemes (Ps 1:4). They will be separated from the righteous, and their end will come (Ps 1:5). In short, the way of the wicked always ends up destroyed (Ps 1:6b).

Keep your focus, Christian. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.