Reflections and a Prayer on Psalm 1
It is generally agreed among the scholars that Psalm 1 is an introduction to the whole book of Psalms. Some think it was never itself sung. So, reading it is a way of orienting ourselves to the whole book that follows. It shows us how the first compilers of this book understood it.
Prayer calls us away. It calls us to focus on the ultimate rather than the immediate. It calls us to attentiveness to God. In a sense, we become more aware of our surroundings, not less aware.
אַשְׁרֵי־הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר לֹא הָלַךְ בַּעֲצַת רְשָׁעִים וּבְדֶרֶךְ חַטָּאִים לֹא עָמָד וּבְמוֹשַׁב לֵצִים לֹא יָשָׁב
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!” (NASB)
And, the very opening word of this Psalm — of the entire book of Psalms — is a word of blessing: אַשְׁרֵי. (more…)