Whoever delights in the Lord prospers

Psalm 1:1-3 NIV
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

I’ve often wondered about “whatever he does prospers”. I always thought it to be a general truth like a Proverb and not a hard and fast rule or promise that comes about 100% of the time.

For friends who may be interested in one thing I’ve been doing lately–As part of my concentration on the Old Testament, I’m going through all of the OT verses and passages I have memorized (too many single verses!) and reading them in context again. I also look things up in a commentary if I feel a need. Since I don’t have a lot of newer (which isn’t necessarily better of course) OT commentaries in book form, I often go to e-Sword, where there are plenty of commentary modules of dead people that are out of copyright. One of the ones I especially like is Spurgeon’s Treasury of David which is on the Psalms. (The one in e-Sword doesn’t contain additional quotes that Spurgeon compiled for each verse in addition to his own commentary.)

So after my update on what I’ve been doing, here is an interesting quote from Spurgeon on the last part of Psalm 1:3 :

“And whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Blessed is the man who hath such a promise as this. But we must not always estimate the fulfilment of a promise by our own eye-sight. How often, my brethren, if we judge by feeble sense, may we come to the mournful conclusion of Jacob, “All these things are against me!” For though we know our interest in the promise, yet are we so tried and troubled, that sight sees the very reverse of what that promise foretells. But to the eye of faith this word is sure, and by it we perceive that our works are prospered, even when everything seems to go against us. It is not outward prosperity which the Christian most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for. We often, like Jehoshaphat, make ships to go to Tarshish for gold, but they are broken at Ezion-geber; but even here there is a true prospering, for it is often for the soul’s health that we should be poor, bereaved, and persecuted. Our worst things are often our best things. As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man’s mercies, so there is a blessing concealed in the righteous man’s crosses, losses, and sorrows. The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit.

Even though the word prosper may have changed somewhat in meaning over time, we westerners still think dangerously temporal and materialistic. Too dangerous for our spiritual health.

2 Responses to “Whoever delights in the Lord prospers”

  1. 1 Dave

    I’m a huge fan of the Treasury of David. Even though I have a large library of paid commentaries (I use Logos) I found Spurgeon most useful when preparing for a Psalms Bible study over the summer. It’s gold.

  2. 2 Scripture Zealot

    That’s good to hear a confirmation. Thanks.

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