William S. Plumer’s commentary on the Psalms is a massive volume of practical divinity and an overlooked treasure. Here are five gems from his “Devotional Thoughts” on Psalm 1.
- All preaching and writing, which uniformly fail to draw a vigorous line between the friends and foes of God, cannot much profit men’s souls. A discriminating statement of the truths of God’s word is eminently scriptural. So we learn from the first Psalm and from all the sacred writers. Let the difference between sin and holiness, saints and sinners never be denied, never be forgotten. Eternity alone will show how great it is.
- It is a great thing to have a heart for religion, and for spiritual truth, v. 2. To delight in divine things is as necessary as to see their importance, or to believe their reality. We must love as well as know. If we have spiritual discernment we will have our affections engaged. No man can really perceive beauty without being affected by it.
- He, who would be truly blessed, must become a student of Scripture. There is no substitute for this. God’s word is able to make men wise unto salvation. It is quick and powerful. Nothing so penetrates the heart of man. With a good man it has authority. Even devils know and to some extent feel its power. Matt. 4:11.
- Any religion which sets aside God’s law, is spurious. It is not the religion of the Psalmist, v. 2. It is not the religion of Jesus Christ. Matt. 5:17, 18. It is not the religion of his apostles. Rom. 3:31. Antinomianism is one of the worst forms of error. It makes Christ the minister of sin.
- In all our study of God’s word we must have faith. Heb. 4:2. This grace of the Spirit is of the greatest importance. Without it we always go astray, live in darkness, and are made miserable by the stings inflicted by our own minds. “Nothing greater can be said of faith, than that it is the only thing, which can bid defiance to the accusations of conscience.” This it does by beholding the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. Christ Jesus is the only hope of perishing sinners.