“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” (Psalm 1:1-2).
The book of Psalms is the largest and perhaps the most widely used book of the Bible. Psalms is filled with encouragement for daily living. In the Psalms one finds songs and prayers offered by those who are seeking to serve God. Furthermore, in the Psalms we see a mixture of feelings that are going on in the hearts of God’s servants to which we can relate. These feelings are freely expressed to God whether they are feelings of praise and joy for God’s greatness and actions on the person’s behalf or whether they are emotions expressing discouragement and frustration welling up in the heart of a child of God as the circumstances of life weigh him or her down. As we read these feelings expressed to God, it is encouraging to know that God will listen to us not only when our hearts are full of love for Him, but also when our hearts are struggling with doubt and sadness.
In Psalm 1 we find the description of the “Blessed Man”. God in His infinite wisdom describes to us the man who will find great blessing. In the opening verses above, as God tells us about the “Blessed Man”, first God informs us what this man does not do to find blessing in life. He does not find blessing by seeking after the approval of others. He does not “walk”, “stand”, or “sit” among the ungodly. Notice the steady progression of one becoming more comfortable with those who practice sinful behavior in that first verse of Psalm 1. First the person walks with the ungodly, then he stands among them, and finally he settles among them by sitting with them. As a result of seeking the world’s approval, the psalmist tells us what will be the result of those who follow this path: “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” (Psalm 1:4-5). Those who pursue this path will not find stability in this life because, like chaff that is blown away as wheat is being winnowed, so they will never find true blessing and peace by pleasing the world about them. More importantly, they will have to face God’s disapproval in the Judgment because they have pursued a course completely contrary to God’s Will for them (2 Corinthians 5:10; John 12:48).
This is not to say that a child of God will not have any contact with people in the world, for we must, especially so that we can influence them to come to know Christ (1 Corinthians 5:10; Mark 16:15-16). What it clearly says is the “Blessed Man” doesn’t seek approval from the world. Instead the “Blessed Man” delights in the “law of the Lord” and meditates upon it “day and night”. This man loves God’s Word. He thinks upon it all the time. He heart isn’t distracted by seeking the approval of the world or weighed down by the cares of life because his focus is upon God and His Word. As a result, this man will be richly blessed: “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). The picture God paints for us is this man will be healthy and flourishing. He will be greatly blessed because he made that critical choice to seek God’s approval by setting his heart on God direction found in God’s Word!
Today, I will make that critical choice to not seek the world’s approval, but God’s. I will set my heart and mind on loving and following God and His law so that God may enable me to become “The Blessed Man” who enjoys the full and abundant life for those who are Christ’s (John 10:10)!
“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish” (Psalm 1:6).