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.Psalm 1:1(KJV)
The book of Psalms opens with a wonderful truth - that the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish. Godly living which results in blessings from above, contentment within, and hope for the future, stands in stark contrast to the practice of ungodliness and compromise - which produces the fruit of sorrow and destruction and ends in a man's ruin and death.
The first verse of this opening Psalm gives a precise statement between the two choices every man is given in life. He can choose God's way and take the path of righteousness and peace-with-God, OR he can follow the downward road of the wicked, the sinners, the scoffers, and those that rebel against the Lord. He can choose life or death: "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!"
The man who is identified here is someone who is living in the world but is not enticed by the things of the world. Such a man is not influenced by the mindset of worldly men who live in defiant rebellion against God and hold His anointed Son in contempt. The man in this verse is a godly man - a redeemed man who walks in spirit and truth and does not habitually wander into unwholesome places or involve himself in the worldly exploits of evildoers. Such a man seeks His counsel from the Lord, pays attention to God’s written Word, and keeps his eyes firmly fixed on JESUS.
Such a person is wise in his routines and circumspect in his conversation. Such a one walks in the light of God's truth, hearkens to the godly counsel of the indwelling Holy Spirit, submits to the voice of his Lord, and sits at the feet of Jesus, day by day. Such a man delights in the law of the Lord and takes time to study the Word of truth. His delight is in the law of the Lord, he meditates on the things of God day and night, and rejoices in God his Saviour. Such a person holds lightly the things of this worldly system and dies to his fleshly desires while trusting in the Father of all mercies.
In one short verse, we see how rapidly a godly man or woman can slide into ungodly ways. Instead of continuing to walk in spirit and truth, they begin to follow the advice of the evil men and slowly become ensnared in the world, the flesh, and the devil. Once a believer takes their eyes off Jesus and allows their ears to be tickled by human wisdom, their spiritual fervour is dampened and they are tempted to loiter in the way of the ungodly until they are willing to stand firm in the company of evil men instead of standing firm on the truth of God's Word. The longer a believer remains in the company of ungodly men and women, the more rapidly his conscience begins to be seared and the attitude of scoffing sinners taints the truth of the gospel until the Holy Spirit is quenched and grieved.
What a warning to all God's children on how to live the Christian life and how to avoid falling from grace by being adversely influenced by this fallen world system. We must not walk in the counsel of the wicked or we may find ourselves standing in the path of sinners and even sitting in the seat of scoffers! In a few short verses, we are shown how quickly a believer can leave their first love, lose their heavenly reward, destroy their Christian testimony, and place themselves out of fellowship with their Father in heaven.
May we be careful not to step outside of His will for our lives. May we learn to delight in the law of the Lord and meditate on His Word day and night. May we drink deeply of the living water of life so that we will become like a healthy tree that is firmly planted by streams of water and produces the fruit of righteousness. It is God who plants such a man in the place of His choosing and it is by the waters of God’s unfailing supply that such a man is planted, for it is God that sustains and keeps and God that nourishes and trains. The Lord is the one Who refreshes and renews, guards and guides, helps and heals.
A multiplicity of temporal blessings in the world and eternal blessings in the ages to come are already ours, by faith in Christ, and while our eternal security is assured and God graciously causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous... there are blessings today and rewards to come for the man who chooses not to walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
O the joyous happiness of the man who truly walks in God’s ways and does not compromise with the fallen, world system. May we nail our spiritual colours to the mast of our little boats, walk in a manner that is worthy of the calling wherewith we were called, and may we not be ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to all who believe. Blessed, indeed, is the man that walks in the path of righteousness and does not consider in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
Loving Father, it is my desire that I too walk in Your ways and keep from foolish compromise with the world system. Keep my heart set on the Lord Jesus so that my thoughts are not influenced by the mindset of this current age. May I be like the man planted by Your many rivers of grace and love, joy and peace. May Your mercy and compassion flow through me to those around me, in the place where you have planted me. In Jesus' name, AMEN.