The Bible says in 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 is a verse about the importance of separation. Christians should seek out other Christians for fellowship. The people of the world do not have Biblical principles. The people of the world will teach you their ideas if they can. Their ideas might include a partying lifestyle. Their ideas might include taking drugs or drinking alcohol. Their ideas might include stealing or lying. Their ideas will be secular and humanistic. Their ideas will take you away from God and away from faith in Christ because that is the way they live. Be a leader, not a follower. You cannot be a close friend to everyone who comes along. Even Shakespeare knew this. He wrote, “Do not dull thy palm with entertainment of each new-hatched unfledged comrade.”
They are called “ungodly” because God is not part of who they are. They are called “sinners” because they willingly sin and have no shame and no conscience. They are still in their sins because they have not yet repented and turned to Christ. They are called “scornful” because they scorn the Word of God and do not value God’s will or God’s truth. You do not want people with those kinds of spiritual problems influencing you.
Once you start going with the wrong people, notice the progression that such a walk will take. First there is walking, then standing, and then sitting. If you start walking with the wrong people, the next thing that you know, you will be standing where they stand and believing what they believe. Once that happens, you will find yourself sitting where they sit. In other words you will become very comfortable with the ungodly ideas that you have accepted and adopted.
If you are not supposed to follow the people of the world nor their ideas, then what should you be following? Psalms 1:2 says, “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Here is what we need: more Christians who love the Word of God. There are a lot of people who will tell you that they accepted Christ as their Savior, but to have “delight” in the law of the Lord is something different. If you have a delight in the law of the Lord, then you are always seeking to give the Bible the proper place in your life daily through reading it, studying it, and hearing it preached and taught. You are also memorizing portions of scripture and important Bible verses that will build up your faith. If you “meditate day and night,” it shows that you really do love the Word of God and that you understand the importance of thinking about what God has said.
If you do love the Word of God and learn to think about it day and night, what will the results be? Psalms 1:3 tells us the answer to that question: “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.” A fruit tree symbolizes something very important for a Christian: bearing fruit for God. God gave you life in this world for a reason: to know Jesus as Savior and then to serve Him. When you first come to know Jesus, you are a babe in Christ. In order to grow you need the word of God. Have you seen what happens to a young tree that does not get enough water? But a tree planted by “rivers of water” will grow to be strong and healthy and will bear a great deal of fruit. That is what the Word of God will do for your spiritual life. The Word of God will cause you to grow in Christ. It says in First Peter 2:2, “As new born babes desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow thereby.” The Word of God will increase you faith. It says in Romans 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The Word of God will teach you the truth and replace your false ideas with true ideas. It says in Second Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” And as it says here in Psalms chapter one, having the right amount of the Word of God in your life will mean that your life will bear fruit for the glory of Christ.
Notice the phrase in verse 3, “planted by the rivers of water.” Not just one river, but multiple rivers. That illustrates an abundance of life-giving supply. What a wonderful spiritual supply that God has granted to us in His written Word. Wise is the person that avails himself of that life-giving flow. Notice also that it says at the end of verse 3 concerning the person who delights in the Word of God and meditates upon it: “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The Spirit of God, and faith in Jesus, and the knowledge of the Word adds a quality to your life that nothing else can add. You will be at your best. You will succeed at whatever you attempt. Of course, it will be success as God defines it, not as the world defines it. This is fulfillment in life: to make your greatest contribution possible and to maximize your gifts and abilities.
What about those who do not know God and therefore do not benefit from God’s Word in their lives? Psalms 1:4 tells us the answer to that. It says, “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” If you do not feed upon the Word and meditate upon it, your life will be empty and vain. At the end of your life this is what will be said about you: you accomplished nothing. Jesus said in Matthew 12:20, “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”
The Bible says in Psalms 1:5, “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” What is an ungodly person? It is a person who has not made God a part of their life through faith in Christ. A “sinner” in this context is someone who is still under the guilt of their sins. They have not repented of their sins, and therefore, they continue in a direction in life that is a sinful direction. They are living in sinfulness without repenting and turning to the Lord Jesus. Verse 5 is about eternal destiny. The most important question about you is this: are you going to go to heaven or not? Jesus said, “What shall it profit a man should he gain the whole world, but lose his own soul?” The first part of verse 5 says “the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment.” The ungodly may appear to prosper sometimes in this life because God’s blessing shower down upon everyone in this life: on the evil and the good. But the judgment is coming. It will be a terrifying thing to bow before the holy Judge without a Savior. Notice also the last part of verse 5 that looks forward to the judgment and says that sinners will not stand “in the congregation of the righteous.” Aren’t we all sinners? Then why is there this distinction between the “sinners” and the “righteous?” That is because once you come to know Jesus as your Savior, God not longer sees you as a sinner. God says that you are righteous even though you are not. God can say whatever He wants to say, and God wants to call believers “righteous,” and so He does. It says in Romans 4:5-8, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.”
Notice that the eternal state in verse 5 is called “the congregation of the righteous.” It is no wonder that God wants Christians to gather together in the name of Christ in what we call a church service. That is what we will be doing forever in heaven. Does God want you to gather with other believers? Yes, definitely. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” And so Jesus gives an extra promise of His presence when Christians are gathered together in His name.
The Bible says in Psalms 1:6, “For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” What is “the way of the righteous?” Of course, it is the path that a believer has taken in life. It is the straight and narrow way that Jesus talked about. You get on that road by turning to Jesus and trusting in Him to be your Savior. What is “the way of the ungodly?” It is the way that people go who reject Jesus and thus remain under the guilt of their sins. Jesus said in Matthew 7:13-14, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Copyright; 2018 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved