Two Contrasting Choices
“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” (Psalm 1:1)
The Psalmist starts this Psalm by contrasting TWO ways of living.
In addressing the first lifestyle, he mentions in verse 1 three activities that MOST of the world practices: “walks (lives a habitual style of life) in the counsel (advice or plans) of the ungodly (those who are morally wrong from God’s standpoint)”, “stands (remains or lives) in the paths (habitual practices) of sinners”, “sits (in judgement of others) in the seat of the scornful (looking down on others and mocking them)”.
How many talk shows would cease to exist if we would choose to reject the counsel of the ungodly?
How many FaceBook statuses would we routinely ignore or hide if we chose to reject the counsel of the ungodly?
Satan LOVES to USE his people (that’s right, he virtually OWNS all lost people…. playing their souls) to broadcast his own ways through the advice HE gives through the “counsel of the ungodly”.
We MUST stop listening to this counsel.
How many of us who call Jesus our Lord still “stand in the path of sinners”?
While some of us go into places where people sin wantonly in hopes of leading some to Jesus, many of us still frequent places designed to help people sin because we still feel at home in those places.
These “stand in the path of sinners.” It is a dangerous thing to do.
We MUST stop remaining here.
Our home is now the Kingdom of God.
“Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our HOME with him.’” (John 14:23)
And many, MANY Christians “sit in the seat of the scornful.” We are ALL tempted to do this.
These spend their lives looking down on others…constantly looking for something to mock them about. These somehow find a way to ignore their own faults.
(Really, in their insecurity they – like self-conscious teenagers – mock others in hopes that no one will see their own faults.)
We MUST stop sitting in the “seat of the scornful.”
We must remember that all those faults come from those they mock either being currently lost…or from having been lost at one time.
It is God’s job to address that…sometimes through us when HE deputizes us to do so in grace-filled ways. However, MOCKING is NEVER God’s choice of approaches.
These three activities of walking, standing and sitting all share one thing in common: focus – focus on ungodly, sinful and scornful people and things.
The second way of living that the Psalmist mentions is VERY different:
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)
The Psalmist says that this man is “blessed” – which literally means “happy”.
This man has not focused himself on ungodly, sinful and scornful things. Instead…and in GREAT contrast, he “meditates” (ponders) God and His law and “his delight is in the law of the LORD” (he values and finds pleasure in the ways of God.)
When this Psalm was written, the only way a person could focus on God’s law was to read it, be taught it, hear it…from the outside in.
We Christians have access to this same thing through owning and READING our Bibles, and receiving it from that outside in….in that way and through listening to other humans read and explain it do it (just as I am doing right now).
However, as Christians who are indwelt by the very Holy Spirit of God, we have something else that is far superior to what the Psalmist had.
The Apostle Paul wrote this about us in Romans 2:15: “who show the work of THE LAW WRITTEN IN THEIR HEARTS, their conscience also bearing witness…”
How did this happen?
“You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, WRITTEN NOT WITH INK BUT BY THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)
How about we spend some time today….perhaps several times today….and every day pondering the things the Holy Spirit of God wants to highlight to us that HE chooses because HE (God the Holy Spirit) knows what we will encounter today and what we need today?
What results can a person who lives like this expect to see?
“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” (Psalm 1:3)
Sounds kinda nice, doesn’t it?
What can that first man, in contrast, expect to witness in his own life?
“The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.” (Psalm 1:4)
Let’s choose today…and EVERY day…which person we will be.
Let’s choose to harvest and not waste the gift we have been given to be empowered by God to BE His children, to live His Kingdom and to experience HIS blessings.
Let's FOCUS on God's law....from outside...and from DEEP within us.
Pastor Mike McInerney
Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.
© July 29, 2018
(For use with permission)