Not, But, Not, But
by Dr. Dan Sharp, Minister of Worship
Psalm 1 is written in typical Jewish fashion. It is poetry in thought, not in rhyme. The opening verse has an emphasis on the word not. In other words, you will be blessed if you do not do these things…walk, stand, sit in the seat of mockers.
The next two verses give us the contrast in thought by using the word but. If rather you delight in God’s law and let it infiltrate your whole mind, you will be fruitful and productive.
The psalmist then goes back to the first theme, again using the word not, as the negative contrast. “Not so with the wicked.” Whereas following God’s law produces fruit, the wicked are like chaff which blows away.
The final parallel thought then comes and we again see the use of the word but. “The Lord watches over the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
A thought, when you are reading in the Psalms, look for the structure of the psalm. In this case we see the pattern of negative, positive, negative, positive. Thoughts are often expressed in pictures and illustrations rather than technical descriptions.