Friday, August 29, 2014
Psalms 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."
This Psalm has no title as many of them have. This very first Psalm has been generally considered as the preface, or the introduction to the whole book. It sets the stage so to speak, the tempo and the theme perhaps for the complete body of work that follows.
The Book of Psalms opens with the same invocation, that we find Jesus using in Matthew 5:3-11, as He begins the Sermon on the Mount. Both Jesus and David use the same benediction ... "Blessed" ... at the beginning of their remarks instead of at the end of them.
The original word translated into English as "blessed" is a very expressive word. Here, speaking of the intended man in this Psalm, the word blessed is a joyful acclamation and could be read as ... happy, even enviable ... is the man who is following after God.
Why is he blessed? This man, (or woman) "walks not" or does not follow after, or seek the counsel of the ungodly. Instead he takes the wise counsel of God's Word. Notice the blessing is not just for the man spoken of ... but the way it is written, the blessing is for all men who are not led by the ungodly.
The wisest counsel to be found is in the Word of God. I give you three examples ...
Proverbs 1:10 ... "My son, if sinners entice thee, consent not."
Proverbs 1:15 ... "My son, walk not in the way with them; keep thy foot from their path."
Proverbs 4:14-15 ... "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it ..."
What's the advise given to the reader ... do not consent to ungodly counsel, and do not walk in the same paths that the ungodly walk in.
Let the Word of God light your path. Psalms 119:105 states ... "Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."
Proverbs 4:19 gives this warning ... "The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble." Evil loves darkness. Just like cock roaches, the workers of evil come out when it gets dark.
What's the best deterrent against crime when the sun sets and it gets dark out ... turn on the lights. Light always dispels darkness ... physically and spiritually.
Now I will admit that walking by faith alone can sometimes be like walking in a dark cave, with only enough light to see the next step. Could it be ... God wants you to walk one step at a time and trust Him that the light will be there as you pick up your foot for the next step. Many times He will only allow you to see that next step, not the whole journey.
Really ... do we want to know everything that is ahead of us? Sometimes, no, most of the time we must take it totally by faith.
One of the signs of the blessed man is that his outward walk has changed. Because he no longer listens to ungodly counsel, he likewise does not "stand in the way of sinners" ... meaning the type of company he keeps. He does not have the "herd" mentality to stand with the ungodly just because it's the popular path.
When men begin to live in sin, they go from good, to bad, to worse. This fate can even befall the Godly ... if they don't guard their heart. This warning is from Proverbs 4:23 ... "Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." (Amplified Bible)
At first they may just listen to the counsel of the ungodly, but slowly if they begin to walk in their counsel ... they forget God. This pathway may seem more practical, but in time it will become habitual and then they will also find themselves "standing in the way of sinners."
When men violate the first two, and if left alone, they will go one step further and will sit in the seat of the scornful.
What does it mean to sit in the seat of the scornful? As used here ... the translation would be to take a comfortable position and "scoff at, mock and have contemptuous ridicule" for the Godly man.
The seat of the scornful could even be a seat of the powerful, a place admired by the world ... but it is very near to the gate of hell ... so let the "blessed man" flee from it, for it shall soon be empty and destruction shall swallow up the man (or woman) who sits in it.
This Psalm speaks of the "blessed man" and what he is like. But it also calls attention to the reality that the ungodly are not so blessed.
Verse 4 reads ... "The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away."
Verses 5 & 6 are not as kindly towards the ungodly.
Psalms 1 ... to be continued.
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