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.
Take note how the Psalmist begins the psalm, not with instruction of “dos and don’ts” of action, but rather gives direction as to whom we are to be or not be influenced by. The contrast he wishes to draw is not one of wicked deeds versus righteous acts, but of being influenced from one place versus being influenced from another place; specifically, being shaped in our mind by the ungodly, the sinner, and the scornful versus being shaped by the law of the Lord.
Where a person walks, stands and sits, is demonstrative of what he delights in. Nobody walks in the way of the ungodly, stands in the way of sinners, or sits in the seat of the scornful, out of duty. We walk, stand and sit where we do because we want to – we are attracted by what they offer and so we willingly participate. In fact, it is as we meditate on these things (though we wouldn’t call it that), that we end up loving the world and the things in it. It starts by looking at what the world has to offer; this then leads to thinking about it so much that you want it, and before long you join the ranks of ungodly, walking in their ways, standing with them, and finally sitting resolutely in their seat. This describes the way of the reprobate. It is the terrible downward spiral of sin.
The only hope that anyone has of overcoming the temptations offered by the pleasures of the world is to instead delight in the pleasures of the word. Just as the pleasures of the world are awakened by looking at them long enough, so the pleasures of the word are awakened in the regenerate soul by looking at them long enough – meditating day and night, which in turn leads to delighting in it, which then frees us from the attraction of the ungodly, the sinner, and the scorner.
But it doesn’t end there. As we meditate on the word of God, we find it to be like a river, watering our souls as it were, from deep wells. As your roots touch the water of life, it makes your leaves green even during the drought and makes you fruitful when others are barren. You find your mind renewed and your spirit refreshed, and from that, changes in attitudes and behaviors flow. Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are borne for the pleasure of others and glory of God.
Consider just in this last week – where have you been walking, standing, and sitting? What have you been willingly filling your mind with? From whom have you sought counsel or consolation? What books are you reading? What media are you delighting to set before you eyes? Are you becoming more resolute in your sinful ways? more willing to listen to ungodly counsel?
Be assured, this way of the wicked will perish, but there is a Way – in fact The Way – Jesus Christ, our righteousness – which is known by God; and as such is the only Way that in the end will be saved.
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