Psalm 1|Walk this Way

DAVID GOFF | APRIL 29, 2020

 

 

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.

 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.

 

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

 

Psalm 1

 

When was the last time you gave any thought to the idea of peer pressure or “hanging out with” the wrong crowd, as your mom used to say? For me, I probably haven’t considered that since being a sophomore in High School. Looking back, I now see the importance of who we allow to influence us, even as adults.

 

When we put ourselves under the influence of the wrong crowd, we can do considerable damage to our spiritual walk:

·      We begin to embrace sinful behaviors

·      We damage our reputation

·      We lose focus on eternal things

 

In Psalm 1, we will see that there is another way. Rather than walking under the influence of the wrong crowd, we can live under the control of God’s instruction and word, which leads to blessing.

 

The influence of the word will prosper you.

“He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season…” (3)

 

In today’s Psalm, the first three verses describe the walk of a blessed man. So, what exactly is the key to becoming a blessed man?

 

First, we see that the blessed man is careful about the company he keeps. He refuses to be the companion of fools. He sees the danger of letting their influence seep into his life and avoids it at all costs. Yet, carefully walking isn’t his only concern.

 

We also see the blessed man walks in the instruction and word of God. It is his lifeblood, his affection, and it brings him great joy! The Psalmist reveals in verse 2, “… his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (2). I pray that in the power of God’s Spirit, we too would be captivated by God’s instruction and word in a similar way.

 

The Psalmist, in verse 3, uses the illustration of a thriving tree to give us a picture of the blessed man:

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 (3).

 

As this illustration describes, when we are in Christ, his instruction and word nourish our soul. Our lives will bring forth fruit. And, no matter the external conditions or storms we go through, we know God’s purposes will prosper.

 

You might be wondering, what about those who decide to pursue a friendship with the world?

 

The influence of the world will destroy you.

“The ungodly … are like the chaff which the wind drives away” (4)

 

Unlike the blessed man, the ungodly man seeks companionship with the world. In verse 1, we see his sinful pursuit progress through three stages:

 

·      Walking in the counsel of the ungodly - describes taking the advice, philosophy, worldview from the ungodly.

·      Standing in the path of sinners - describes a growing companionship with sinners.

·      Sitting in the seat of the scornful - shows participation in the world’s hatred of the things of God.

 

As the ungodly increasingly grab onto the world, they reject (or let go of) the sure and steady anchor of life in Christ. The Psalmist describes their life, “…like the chaff which the wind drives away” (4). In other words, they have no life steading, peace-giving connection to Christ, and are instead blown to and fro.

 

In our own lives, when we pursue things other than a growing relationship with God, we too are like the chaff. We may find ourselves doing things we never thought we would do. We may see our reputation suffer in ways we never thought possible. Rather than feeling the blessedness of God, we are insecure. We feel as though our lives are being blown about by the storms of life.

 

As we put ourselves under the sinful influence of the world, we will find that it doesn’t lead to lasting joy; but, instead to insecurity and pain. W.S. Plumer, in his commentary on Psalms, says it this way, “He who persistently walks, and stands, and sits with the ungodly, shall lie down with them in hopeless sorrow.” For those who continue down this path without turning to (or back to) Christ, all they will know is insecurity in this life. And ultimately will not stand in the judgment and will perish.

 

In our lives, we will continually face the influence of the world. When we walk with the world, we risk embracing sinful behaviors, damaging our reputation, and losing our focus on eternal things. However, when we embrace God’s instruction and word, we can thrive and prosper in Christ.

 

 

David Goff is the Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church, Washington MI