The Two Ways

Psalm 1

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 1

Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the *Hebrew Bible.


Jesus said, "Go in through the narrow gate. The wide gate and the wide road go to death. Many people go that way. The narrow gate and the narrow road go to life that never finishes. Only a few people find it". (Matthew 7: 13 - 14)

Psalm 1

v1   The man is very happy that does not:
 ·  walk as godless people suggest
 ·  stand in the way near sinners
 ·  sit with them that scorn (God)

v2   He likes what the LORD teaches.
  He repeats it day and night.

v3   "He will become like a tree planted by rivers of water".  (Jeremiah 17:8)
  "It will give its fruit in its season. Its leaves will not fall"  (Ezekiel 47:12)
  "Everything that he does will be very good".  (Joshua 1:8)

v4   But the godless are like chaff.
  The wind blows them away.

v5   So godless people will not stand in the judgment.
  Sinners will not stay with righteous people.

v6   The LORD knows the way of righteous people.
  The way of the godless leads to death.

Word list

godless ~ the same as "godless people", see list after Psalm 41

judgment ~ verse 5 in ‘What Psalm 1 means’ explains it

The Story of Psalm 1

We do not know who wrote Psalm 1. It was probably a special start to the Book of Psalms. It tells us about two groups of people:

  ·   verses 1 - 3: friends of God, he calls them righteous

  ·   verses 4 - 6: enemies of God, we call them godless

Look after Psalm 5 to learn what the word "righteous" means. (We say it "ry-chus".)

In Psalm 1, life is like a way or a road. The man that walks on the way with God becomes happy. The end is heaven. The enemy of God walks on a different road. He will never be really happy. The end is not heaven, but a very bad place that we call hell.

What Psalm 1 means

Verse 1: This tells us how to become really happy. We will:

  ·   not do what the godless say

  ·   not go where sinners are

  ·   not scorn what God teaches

Verse 2: This tells us more about the really happy man. The word "repeats" here means "talks to himself but not very loud". He remembers words from the Bible.

Verse 3: These are some of the words that he might say from the Bible, from the Books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Joshua. They tell us that he:

  ·   drinks the water that God offers

  ·   brings fruit to God

  ·   is strong in times of trouble

  ·   will do well in the eyes of God

The water that God gives us is new life. The fruit is the good things that we do. This is because we have the new life of God in us. Read John 4:10-14 and Galatians 5:22-23 if you have a New Testament. If you do not have a New Testament, look below, after 'Something to do' and 'Forgiveness'.

Verse 4: The godless do not keep God's rules. They become bad people. God will blow them away like chaff one day.

Verse 5: The judgment is when God says who is righteous and who is not. "Not stand in the judgment" means "God will say that they are not righteous". After we die there will be a judgment for all of us.

Verse 6: "The LORD knows" means that God is always near to his people.

Something to do

 1.   Learn Psalm 1:3 by heart. Think about it when you cannot sleep. ("By heart" means that you can say the words without looking at them.)

 2.   Make sure that you are on the way to heaven. Tell God that you are sorry that you broke his rules. God calls this 'sin'. Ask God to forgive you (forgive means give away: God gives your sin to Jesus, who carries it away). Ask God to make you into a new person. Ask God to give you the water that Jesus is offering to you. Ask God for help to keep his rules. Ask for the fruit of the Holy Spirit to grow in you.


Above it says, "Ask God to forgive you". What does this mean? The word "forgive" means more than "excuse". Its proper meaning in English is "give away". When God forgives us, he gives our sins away. Our sins are all the bad things that we do. God gives away our sins to Jesus. When he died, Jesus took all our sins away. This means that God can forgive us when we ask him. When he has forgiven us God calls us righteous. I explain this word at the end of Psalm 5.

John 4:10-14

This is part of the story of Jesus. He was with a woman from Samaria. They were sitting by a well.

v10  Jesus said to the woman, "Do you know about the gift of God? Do you know who says to you, Give me a drink? If you do, you will ask him for living water. He will give it to you".

v11  She says to him, "Sir, you do not have a bucket and the well is deep. Where will you get the living water from?

v12  Are you greater than our father Jacob that gave us this well? He drank from it himself. His sons and his animals drank from it". (Note: this was 2 000 years before.)

v13  Jesus answered and said to her, "Everyone that drinks of this water will want another drink later.

v14  But drink the water that I will give you. You will never want another drink. It is for everyone. The water that I give will be a well inside them. It will lead to life without end".

Remember that the water Jesus gives us is not water from a well. It is a picture of the new life that he gives to us.

Galatians 5:22-23

This is from a letter that Paul wrote to the Christians in Galatia.

v22, v23  For the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us is that:

  - we have love, joy and *peace

  - we become patient, kind and good

  - we keep our promises to God and to people

  - we are gentle and not greedy

Word list

peace ~ when we are friends with God and with other people; or when we have no trouble in our minds.

joy ~ when you feel really happy deep inside you

gentle ~ when you are careful and kind

greedy ~ when you take more than you need

The Holy Spirit is another name for God

The Bible has two parts. One is the Old Testament. It tells us what happened to the Jews before Jesus came to the earth. The Book of Psalms is in the Old Testament. The other part is the New Testament. It tells us about Jesus and the Church. John and Galatians are in the New Testament.


© 2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

January 2001

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