How blessed are those who reject the advice of the wicked, don’t stand on the way of sinners or sit where scoffers sit!
Psalm 1:1 (CJB)
Psalm 1 sets the stage for the entire collection by explaining that the study of the Word of God is the foundation of a meaningful, prosperous life. The editor who placed this jewel at the beginning of The Psalms did a wise thing, for it points the way to blessing and warns about divine judgment.
The psalm presents two ways—
- The way of blessing and
- The way of judgment—, which was the choice Israel had to make.
Psalm 1 is a wisdom psalm and focuses on God’s Word, God’s blessing on those who obey it and meditate on it, and God’s ultimate judgment on those who rebel. Wisdom psalms also wrestle with the problem of evil in the world and why God permits the prosperity of the wicked who reject His law.
BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.
Psalm 1:1 (AMP)
Do not take ungodly advice, stay away from activities that lead to sin and do not become critical. Instead, enjoy God’s ways, and set your heart on God’s Word.
We are blessed not only for what we do but also, according to this verse, for what we do not do.
What is the Counsel of the Ungodly?
The counsel of the ungodly is any opinion or attitude that goes contrary to the revealed Word of God. Evolution, self-promotion, carnality, sensuality, and a multitude of commonly accepted practices in our society today would fit into this category.
We are blessed by God when we don’t walk in this counsel, and conversely, we are not blessed when we do. This isn’t to say that the blessing of the Lord is proportional to our performance. We are blessed in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 1:3) on the basis of His holiness and not ours.
However, in the same way that electricity doesn’t flow through rubber, God’s blessing will not flow through us when we are walking in the counsel of the ungodly. It’s just because of the laws of nature that copper conducts electricity better than rubber does. Likewise, godly wisdom allows the blessings of the Lord to flow better than the carnal unbelief of this world.
If we want God’s blessing, we too, must meet the conditions. We must be directed by the Word. We move into sin gradually. If you follow the wrong counsel, then you will stand with the wrong companions and finally sit with the wrong crowd. The Lord gives true happiness to all who reject evil and delight in Him.
But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.
Psalm 1:2 (AMP)
Growing In Godliness
Study and think deeply about the Bible regularly. Delight in Scripture; it will teach you who God is and guide you in the decisions of life.
The tree is a familiar image in Scripture, symbolizing both a kingdom and an individual. Like a tree, the godly person is alive, beautiful, fruitful, useful, and enduring. The most important part of a tree is the hidden root system that draws up water and nourishment, and the most important part of the believer’s life is the “spiritual root system” that draws on the hidden resources we have in Christ. This is known as “abiding in Christ”.
“Planted by the rivers of water,” Psalm 1:3
The river is often a picture of God’s provision of spiritual blessing and help for His people.We can’t nourish and support ourselves; we need to be rooted in Christ and drawing upon His spiritual power.
“That brings forth its fruit in its season,” Psalm 1:3
“Fruit” speaks of many different blessings:
- Winning people to Christ, godly character,
- Money given to the Lord’s work,
- Service and good works,
- And praise to the Lord.
It’s a tragedy when a believer ignores the “root system” and begins to wither.
DECLARATION OF FAITH
I move forward in life in happiness and peace.
I follow the ways of the Word and I am blessed in all that I do.
I do not follow the advice nor the pattern of living of those who spurn the guidance of my heavenly Father.
I withdraw myself from the sinful activities that the world accepts.
I refuse to take sides with fools and mockers who scoff at morality.
My delight, gratification, and satisfaction are in the Word of the living God.
In it I meditate – speaking it to myself day and night – engrafting and rooting it deeply into my spirit. By this, my way is made prosperous and I achieve tremendous success.
I am like a tree that is planted beside fresh water springs. I bear the best fruit in my life.
Everything about me exudes life and everything that I set my hand to do prospers.
I declare this declaration of faith in Jesus name!
Bible Exposition Commentary – Be Worshipful
Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary
The Complete Personalized Promise Bible