Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. – Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV
The Book of Psalms is a tremendous book both in wisdom, prayer, thought and application regarding walking in an upright, pious and of course wise and spiritual way. In this passage, from the opening of the book of Psalms, David also exhorts the reader in the wisdom of walking in a godly way. This wisdom should not be quickly passed over, for it directly affects or standing in the blessing of God.
Our world is one filled with many competing concepts, ideas, morals and values. We can quickly find ourselves on paths of personal corruption and spiritual decay if we are not careful and vigilant in our walk. So, let’s dissect what David says here and see if we can distill it into our own daily lives.
- There is a blessing to be found. When David says “Blessed is the man,” he tells us there is a blessing to be found in a certain walk of life. Jesus Himself elaborates on this idea in the Sermon on the Mount in the opening section of which we have entitled the beatitudes. “Blessed are the pure in heart… the meek… the peacemakers and so on.” (Matthew 5:3-11). In this amazing sermon, Jesus said: “blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6). The point here is blessed is the man who walks after righteousness, for he will receive the blessings of God. No matter what we face in life, if we walk in the ways of God we will be filled, if we walk in the ways of ungodliness we willfully walk away from the blessings of God.
- We need to truly shun the ways of the world. If you notice the Psalmists emphasizes these three times to make his point, “counsel of the ungodly,” “path of sinners,” and the “seat of the scornful.” The counsel, way, and place of the ungodly bring no lasting richness to the life of the child of God. We need to be careful that the things of the world and the concepts therein don’t lure us into to thinking their blessing outside of God. It is a dangerous path of which we have been warned by word and example.
- There is a delight in the word or law of God. I think it is all too easy to focus on the negatives. This might be true in most things in life but surely it is true in matters of Christian faith. All too often we talk about what we are to sustain from and or not do. For many the laws and teachings of the Lord have become a burdensome list of “thou shall nots.” It is immensely true that God warns us, and commands us to withstand from those things which are going to endanger our hearts, minds, and souls, but there is a delight to be found in the Lord. We need to look for that delight and seek it, for I believe when we find it we will know what is to be blessed in God.
Life is difficult, but you don’t need me to tell you that, you know it. What David says here is not to add more burden upon our backs but to free ourselves of misguided expectations. If you want the blessings of God, seek the ways of God. Let us not be misled, for the ways of the world do not produce the blessing of God!