on Psalms 1 :2
But his delight is in the law of the Lord - חפצו chephtso, his will, desire, affection, every motive in his heart, and every moving principle in his soul, are on the side of God and his truth. He takes up the law of the Lord as the rule of his life; he brings all his actions and affections to this holy standard. He looketh into the perfect law of liberty; and is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word; and is therefore blessed in his deed. He not only reads to gain knowledge from the Divine oracles, but he meditates on what he has read, feeds on it; and thus receiving the sincere milk of the word, he grows thereby unto eternal life. This is not an occasional study to him; it is his work day and night. As his heart is in it, the employment must be frequent, and the disposition to it perpetual.
on Psalms 1 :2
But his delight - His pleasure; his happiness. Instead of finding his happiness in the society and the occupations of the wicked, he finds it in the truth of God. The law or truth of God is not distasteful to him, but he so delights in it as to desire to become more and more acquainted with it, and to have its truths impressed more and more on his heart.
In the law of the Lord - The law of Yahweh - the small capitals in the translation indicating here as elsewhere that the original word is Yahweh. The word law in the Scriptures is used in a considerable variety of significations. The Hebrew word תורה tôrâh, properly means instruction, precept; and then, an injunction, command, law, in the usual sense of the word. It was applied particularly to the Pentateuch, or law of Moses (compare the notes at Luke 24:44), as containing the first written and recorded laws of God; and then the word came, in a more general sense, to be applied to all the books of the Old Testament, as being an exposition and application of the law. Here the word undoubtedly refers to the written revelation of the will of God as far as it was then made known. On the same principle, however, the declaration here made would apply to any part of a divine revelation; and hence, the sentiment is, that a truly pious man finds his highest delight in the revealed truths of God. This is often referred to as characteristic of true piety. Compare Psalm 19:10; Psalm 119:97, Psalm 119:99.
And in his law - On his law, or his truth. "He doth meditate." The word used here, הגה hâgâh, means properly to complain, to mutter; then, to speak; then, to utter in a low complaining voice, as is often done by a person in deep meditation; hence, in the usual sense, to meditate on anything; to think of it. So Joshua 1:8 : "Thou shalt meditate therein (the law) day and night." Psalm 77:12 : "I meditate on all thy work." Proverbs 15:28 : "the heart of the righteous meditateth what to answer." The meaning here is, he thinks of it; he endeavors to understand its meaning; he has pleasure in reflecting on it. It is not a subject which he puts away from him, or in respect to which he is indifferent, but he keeps it before his mind, and has satisfaction in doing it.
Day and night - That is, continually - as day and night constitute the whole of time. The meaning is:
(a) he does this habitually, or he intentionally forms the habit of meditating on divine truth, by disciplining his mind in order that he may do it;
(b) he takes time to do it - designedly setting apart suitable portions of each day, that, withdrawn from the cares of life, he may refresh his spirit by contemplating divine truth, or may become better acquainted with God, and with his duty to him, and may bring to bear upon his own soul more directly the truths pertaining to eternal realities;
(c) he does this in the intervals of business, the moments of leisure which he may have during the day - having thus an unfailing subject of reflection to which his mind readily reverts, and in which, amid the cares and toils of life, he finds relaxation and comfort; and
(d) he does it in the wakeful hours of night, when sick and tossed upon his bed, or when, for any other reason, his "eyes are held waking." Psalm 63:5-6 : "my soul shall be upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night-watches." Psalm 119:54 : "Thy statutes have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage." Compare Psalm 119:23, Psalm 119:43; Psalm 143:5. It is probable that the psalmist had the injunction in his mind which is contained in Joshua 1:8.
on Psalms 1 :2
1:2 Day and night - Not seldom and slightly, but diligently, and constantly.