That Man Is Blest Who, Fearing God

Full Text

1 That man is blest who, fearing God,
From sin restrains his feet,
Who will not stand with wicked men,
Who shuns the scorners' seat.

2 Yea, blest is he who makes God's law
His portion and delight,
And meditates upon that law
With gladness day and night.

3 That man is nourished like a tree
Set by the rivers' side;
Its leaf is green, its fruit is sure,
And thus his works abide.

4 The wicked like the driven chaff
Are swept from off the land;
They shall not gather with the just,
Nor in the judgment stand.

5 The Lord will guard the righteous well,
Their way to Him is known;
The way of sinners, far from God,
Shall surely be o'erthrown.

The Psalter: with responsive readings, 1912

Text Information

First Line: That man is blest who, fearing God
Title: That Man Is Blest Who, Fearing God
Meter: 8.6.8.6
Source: The Psalter, 1912; alt. 1985; Psalter, 1912, alt.
Language: English

Notes

A sharp contrast between the lot of the righteous and of the wicked.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = v. 1
st. 2 = v. 2
st. 3 = v. 3
st. 4 = vv. 4-5
st. 5 = v. 6

Psalm 1, the first of the "wisdom" psalms, directs all who enter the book of Psalms to the appropriate way to serve and worship God. In the tradition of the teachers of wisdom (also found in 34, 37, 49, 73, 112, and throughout Proverbs), this psalm sharply contrasts the results of righteousness with those of wickedness. Psalm 1 declares the blessedness of the righteous, who shun the counsel and company of the wicked (st. 1) and who meditatively review God's law (st. 2). While the righteous are blessedly secure, fruitful, and prosperous in all they do (st. 3), the wicked are as wind-blown chaff, excluded from the LORD's congregation and unable to stand in the place of judgment (st. 4). The LORD watches over the way chosen by the righteous, but the way of the wicked comes to nothing (st. 6). These two "ways" lead to such contrasting conditions not by chance or some natural law but because God is active in human affairs to protect and bless the one and denounce the other. The versification is from the 1912 Psalter, slightly altered and cast in plural rather than singular pronouns.

Liturgical Use:
Many occasions in Christian worship, especially with the liturgical reading of the law, and before or after sermons devoted to Christian wisdom themes.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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