PSALM 1—THE CONCEPT OF THE SAINTS CONCERNING THE LAW
I know you will say that Psalm 1 is an excellent Psalm, and all Christians would agree. I know you are all for it, but you are for it according to the human concept. Do you really think that Psalm 1 is so good? Yes, it is good according to your concept, the natural and human concept of the law.
The book of Job comes just before the book of Psalms. What would Job say concerning Psalm 1? In Psalm 1 the writer says, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 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.” At this point Job would immediately interrupt to say that the writer is wrong. He would say, “I am one who day and night delights in the law of the Lord. But I can testify that whatever I have done did not prosper. Whatever I did brought trouble. You are just like one of my three friends. One of them said the same thing, ‘If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. Thou shalt also decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee: and the light shall shine upon thy ways’ (Job 22:23, 28).” The thought and concept of Job’s three friends is the same as the concept in Psalm 1. Job may also refer the writer of Psalm 1 to his book, chapter ten, verses 7 and 8, “Thou knowest that I am not wicked, and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand. Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.” What could the writer of Psalm 1 answer to that? All the talks of Job’s three friends and the writer of Psalm 1 are in the same vein: “If you keep the law, if you are not wicked, if you turn yourself to the Lord, if you do His will, you will prosper.” Job has another friend in the writer of Psalm 1. Job has many friends—you are all Job’s friends. At least one person in the whole universe is against the concept of Psalm 1. Job will say, “Do not say this. Whatever you do will not prosper. Your word does not work for me.”
God is not for the law. Even the law in the book of Moses is not for the law. The law is for Christ. Poor saints! Poor godly saints! Poor us! We just have the human concept! We think that if we keep the law, if we do nothing wrong, if we are good and delight in the law day and night, then whatever we do will prosper. This is a natural, human concept. It is not true to real experience. The more Job endeavored to be right, the more he suffered. Brothers and sisters, we must be clear concerning this.
The godly saints were not accurate in their concept, but in their person they were so close to the Lord and open to Him. As they were expressing their sentiments and impressions, the Spirit of Christ came in to continue their expression, not according to their concept, but according to the concept of God.
In Psalm 1 there are two points: (1) Blessed is the man that keeps the law, and (2) the way of the ungodly shall perish. These are the two features of the human concept of the writer. The conclusion of Psalm 2 is that all they that put their trust in Christ are blessed, and that we should “kiss the Son, lest he be angry.” Have you seen the difference between Psalm 1 and Psalm 2? Psalm 1 declares that whether you will be blessed or perish depends on whether you keep the law. If you keep it, you will be blessed; if you do not keep it, you will perish. The declaration of Psalm 2 is absolutely different. Whether you will be blessed or not, whether you will perish or not, depends upon whether you put your trust in Christ and kiss Him. If you put your trust in Christ, you are blessed. If you kiss Him, it means that you love Him, and you will never perish. The concept of Psalm 1 is the law, but the concept in Psalm 2 is Christ. Have you seen this? God is not for the law, but for Christ.
Then what about Psalm 1? Let us leave it there and go on to Psalm 2. If you are still remaining in Psalm 1 and stand for it, you are still in the human concept, the concept of the law; you have not yet received the divine revelation of Christ. In the eyes of God, whether or not you are blessed, whether or not you will perish, depends not on the law, but absolutely on Christ. If you trust Him and love Him, you are blessed. Forget about the law. The apostle Paul tells us that we were crucified to the law. We are dead to the law (Rom. 7:4; Gal. 2:19). That means that we have nothing to do with the law. I am living with Christ; do not talk to me about the law. It is not a matter of keeping the law or delighting in the law, but of putting my trust in Christ and kissing Him.
To put your trust in Christ is an Old Testament term; the New Testament counterpart is to believe in Christ. To kiss Him is the Old Testament term; the New Testament counterpart is to love Him. Jesus said to Peter, “Lovest thou me more than these?” In the Old Testament language, that means, “Do you kiss me?” It is not a matter today of keeping the law, but absolutely a matter of putting our trust in Christ and kissing Him. We have to believe in Him and love Him. As long as we put our trust in Him and kiss Him, that will be truly wonderful. Psalm 1 is for the law, and Psalm 2 is for Christ; part of the Psalms are of the human concept, and part of the divine concept; part are the expression of the godly saints, and part are the declarations of God.
(Christ and the Church Revealed and Typified in the Psalms, Chapter 1, by Witness Lee)