Psalm 1 is an important psalm for us to study in Bibb County, because it shows us the future of our county and explains how to get there. Because this psalm is “inspired by God,” it is “profitable for…instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). For us to either discard this psalm as irrelevant to us, or to consider it nothing more than an idyllic poem of lovely imagery, is to do the holy Word of God injustice. We must approach this passage prayerfully, seeking what it is that God would have us to know and do. The Word of God is an action-word, not simply a book of knowledge. We must read texts in terms of our calling to faith and action, and not in terms of our own desires. God commands us; will we listen, or not?
In the next few papers, we will look at this psalm and see what its implications are for us, and what is says about God, man, law, judgment, and time. This first paper will be on God.
We see first in this psalm, God the Lord. The man in Bibb County who walks in the name of Jesus Christ is blessed—but how, and by whom? God blesses obedient man. We see here from the very first verse that God intervenes in our county’s time and history. This is an amazing thing! Jehovah is not distant or afar off, but is near to us, and works within and through those of us whom He has redeemed, who walk according to His Word. God is transcendent over His creation (which includes Centreville, Brierfield, and the other towns and communities here), but He is not irrelevant to it—He is involved with our lives and the history of our county.
In v. 2, we see that God decrees the law: “The law of the LORD.” God is merciful and gracious to us by giving us a way of living. Many people look at law and complain about it because they view law as simply restrictions on what they can do, but in reality, this is an act of grace.
In v. 3–5, we see that God is faithful: He promises in His Word that He will bless obedience and curse disobedience, and here we see it playing out. God says that the righteous man “shall” be like a fruitful tree, and that the ungodly “shall not” endure among the godly.
In the last verse, we see that God owns the future of our county, and of our cities. “The LORD knoweth”: God has an intimate and familiar knowledge of the path of those in Bibb who obey Him. Solomon writes in Proverbs 3:5–6, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” In another place, David writes that “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way” (Ps. 37:23). Proverbs 20:26 says, “A wise king scattereth the wicked, and bringeth the wheel over them.”
The way of the wicked man in Centreville is doomed by God, and the way of the righteous is blessed. God, the true King of our county, will reign here in time and in history. Rushdoony writes, on Hebrews 12:26–27, that verse 26 “declares the words of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit to be one…. History is thus a time of shaking in order to bring down all things whose foundation is not the Rock, Jesus Christ. Clearly, this echoes our Lord’s final words in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 7:24–27). He alone is the unshakable foundation which can withstand the earthquakes and floods of history. Anything without Him as the foundation will perish” (R. J. Rushdoony, Hebrews, James & Jude [Vallecito, CA; Ross House Books, 2001], 132–133).
This shaking in history includes our communities.
We have looked at Psalm 1 and what God says in it about His lordship in time and history, and what this means for Bibb County. In the next paper, we will look at what this passage says about man in Centreville, in Randolph, in West Blocton; and what our duties are as the called and redeemed of God in our communities.
“Say among the heathen that the LORD reigneth: the world also shall be established that it shall not be moved: he shall judge the people righteously” (Ps. 96:10).