The Blessed Man
Psa 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Psa 1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
Psa 1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Psa 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
It seems that most of the people who claim to be Christian today are living lives that are filled with misery and pain. There seems to be very little joy for the child of God when you look at them. This is a very damaging to the witness of the Church in this world. Why is it that so few of those who claim to be God’s children are displaying a life of joy and peace for the world to see? What is it that so degrades the testimony of the church. Aren’t those who are God’s children supposed to have joy, to display a peace and a strength of spirit that is able to carry them through whatever may come to them in this life? Yes, Christians are supposed to live lives that are pictures of contentment and peace, joy and security. We are to live a life of faith which will bring with it the strength that we need when and where we need it and whatever we face. But very few of God’s children are doing this these days. What is the problem?
I believe that the problem and the solution to the problem can be found many times over, in the scriptures. Psalm 1 is a wonderful example of this truth for us. You may not believe in “reading between the lines, but you had better learn too. I remember when I was a boy; I learned the importance of knowing the expressions on the faces of my parents and grand parents. You can know by simply taking note of appearances when you have just about gone too far by their expression. That is reading between the lines. I remember once while at work, I saw a co-worker who had just stirred a wasp nest and they were beginning to swarm all about him. I shouted his name over the heavy machinery and he went to running. He ran to where I was before he ever stopped to look back. I asked him how he knew to run and he said that the look on my face was all he needed to know that he did not need to be where he was. He read between the lines. If we do not read between the lines we miss the greater portion of what we can glean from our study of scripture. Here is one passage that we can dig and dig into and never reach the bottom. Look with me now at Psalm 1.
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
When we see this word “Blessed” we need to understand that it means happy. It pictures for us one that has joy. Not a simple happiness in good circumstances but joy which lasts through the storms and trials. As a child of God we have a promise of peace which passes all understanding, and we know that He has not given us a spirit of fear but of peace. We can have manifold happinesses if we will be faithful. This passage is showing a contrast of two personalities. One who is faithful to God and one who is not. One who has the joy of knowing that God is with him and will see that all things work together for his good, and the one who does not have this comfort. How can we tell them apart? By noting what God tells us here as to their characters.
First we see that the blessed man is one who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly. One of the greatest problems in the church in our day is that of our members seeking the world’s advice on how to live our lives, raise our kids, spend our free time, cast our vote, spend our money, etc. We find that the world will convince us of our need for some things that we really never had a need for in the first place. The world has it’s own way of raising kids and it goes completely contrary to the word of God. The world would have you always cast your vote for the man who is promising to give us the most money or cost us the least money, without any regard for moral issues. The world will tell you that church is not important, you need to take your family out of town, camping, boating, four-wheeling; or maybe go to the races. After all you can go to church anytime. The world has a lot of goodies for men to enjoy. Money can buy many things and many of them that God does not want us to have. Just because we can afford it does not make it ok. By the same token, God does not want us to be foolish with what He has blessed us with. God does not like waste. There is nothing wrong with living within your means. If you are wealthy, you don’t have to live like a pauper, to display a false humility. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the blessings of God on your life financially. Yet the world will always push you to go a bit too far in debt, or a bit overboard with regard to moral convictions. I am often amazed when I consider the what Paul said. “The love of money is the root of all evil.” Boy, that covers a lot of territory. I can’t explain it all, but I know it is true because the Bible says so. And one of the best ways that the devil has to rob a child of God of the joy of salvation is to begin working on the mental side of things and convincing us to live a little too loosely or carelessly.
You know, if you have been taught some basic bible doctrine, that the walk of a Christian is the way that he or she lives. Our daily walk is our daily conduct, it means the choices we make, the thoughts we think, the actions that we commit, the people we associate ourselves with, the habits we indulge in, and so forth. If you notice our first verse it describes for us a progressive degradation that can take place in our lives if we walk in the wrong counsel.
If a child of God begins walking in the counsel of the ungodly, it won’t be long before there is a stop of progress in their Christian walk. They will eventually stop progressing, growing toward God, and they will become inactive. Thus we see the progression downward from walking in the counsel of the ungodly to standing in the way of sinners. There is a ceasing of movement. The next step is one to really consider; sitting in the seat of the scornful. The stopping of movement is not the end of the story. A body of water that is not moving, not stirred by something, not fed and refreshed will stagnate. This means that it becomes polluted, unclean, unfit for use. It must be cleansed before it can be used. When a child of God begins to follow the counsel of the ungodly they will eventually find themselves stopping in their progress of growing toward God and maturing in the family of God. The next step is to stagnate. In other words, to become polluted, unfit for use. There is a need for cleansing before use. God has to deal with us. One of the ugliest and most repulsive people you will ever meet is that Christian who has followed the world’s advice and is now bitter over the loss of joy in their own life. Like a stagnant pond, their whole outlook and their countenance just stink. We must guard against this dangerous situation in our own lives. We have got to stay close to God and on the move for Him.
The way to being blessed is mapped out beautifully in this chapter,
1. walk not in the counsel of the ungodly
2. stand not in the way of sinners
3. sit not in the seat of the scornful
4. delight yourself in the law of the Lord
5. meditate upon the Law of the Lord day and night
Then will come the joyful and blessed life of one who is established, rooted, productive and being a blessing to others.