Memory Verse: “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times” (Psalm 106:3).
Text: Psalm 1:1-3
This Psalm is a sign-post that points the way to a blessed life. It talks about the making of right choices in life, and the following of the path of understanding. The Christian life is a blessed life, a contrast to what the ungodly thinks. Although the believer lives and interacts with the ungodly on a daily basis, the Lord has revealed to us how we ought to relate with them. This Psalm talks about the godly (Psalm 1:1-3), and also about the godless (Psalm 1:4-6), but today, we will be looking at the life of the righteous how he lives “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” (Philippians 2:15)..
- THE PORTRAIT OF THE GODLY: Psalm 1:1
“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” (Psalm1:1). This psalm opens with an explanation regarding the path to divine blessings. The word ’blessed’ describes the status of a person who believes the Lord and lives according to His word. This section of the psalm shows the picture of the godly compared to that of those who live in opposition to God and His will. The following disposition of the godly are clearly revealed in this psalm:
One, the godly is he who “walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly” (Psalm 1:1). An ungodly fellow is one who lives without God in this world (Ephesians 2:12). To some, he appears morally upright, yet he shows no reverence to God. He walks in the counsel of his ungodly fellows and is indifferent about issues of salvation. Oftentimes, ungodliness begins by listening to wrong people and wrong counsel and many homes and families have been destroyed as a result this (Psalm 5:92 Chronicles 22:2-4). But the godly neither takes counsel from the ungodly nor partake in his evil (Proverbs 4:14, 15).
Two, the godly does not stand “in the way of sinners” (Psalm 1:1). The phrase ‘sinner’ is another category of godlessness. He violates God’s word, uninclined to doing good and loves to do evil. He is determined to firmly remain in his sinful indulgence. While one is a drunkard, the other is dishonest, and another is immoral and unclean. Surprisingly, it is common to see the covetous detesting the drunkard and the drunkard tagging a robber as wicked creatures. Yet the sinner does not realize that sin is sin, irrespective of the nature; and that ultimately, the way of sin is the way of death (Proverbs 1:10-15). But in contrast to the sinner, the godly embraces God, His word and righteousness.
Three, the godly does not sit “in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1). “The scornful” are those who mock the things of God. They openly break God’s commandment, ridicule divine truths and furiously antagonize the scriptures. They detest anything moral and hate everything sacred. They are atheists by profession without the thought of God; religion and morals are far from them. They are engulfed in utter impiety and their conscience are seared against anything divine (1Timothy 4:1-2). Their seats are close to the gates of hell. But for the godly, he does not cherish intimate association with the scornful, avoids sharing in his wicked acts and understands that he who identifies with the scornful will soon conform to his evil ways (Exodus 23:32-33).
REFLECT: Identify the peculiarities of the ungodly, the sinner and the scornful. Pinpoint the divine counsel to the godly from today’s study?
2. THE PLEASURE OF THE GODLY: Psalm 1:2
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:2). These highlights of the Psalmist must capture the attention of every true believer. First, he talked about the delights of the righteous, which is, “the law of the LORD.” To be delighted in this signifies that his will, desire, affection, every motive and principle in his heart and soul find pleasure in knowing the truth of God’s word. Its holy standard is the rule of his life and actions. He feeds on it daily and orders his life by what God communicates to him (James 1:25). If you are a Christian, God’s word and its holy truth must be your delight (Jeremiah 15:16; Romans 7:22). The godly does not use certain portions of the scripture as a magic wands or amulets, but as a guide in his onward journey to the land of glory. Furthermore, he meditates on God’s word “day and night” (Psalm 1:2). The word “meditate” is from Hebrew word ‘hāgâ’
which signifies “to mutter, to talk out.” An orthodox Jew is said to speak out the scriptures as he reads and meditates, a valuable lesson for today’s believers. To meditate also means to focus thought on specific bible passage and reflecting on their meaning. Never speed-read the scriptures, but ponder over and apply your mind to it (Psalm 119:97-99; 1Timothy 4:15). What is your disposition to God’s word?
REFLECT: Explain the words “delight” and “meditate” as used in Psalm 1:2
- THE PORTION OF THE GODLY: Psalm 1:3.
The Psalmist now focuses on the benefits that accrue to the righteous saying, “he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water” (Psalm 1:3). Because he drinks from the living stream of God’s word, he is assured of perennial supplies of divine nourishment in times of storms and is secured (Psalm 92:12-14; Jeremiah 17:7-8). Also, he is able to bring “forth his fruit in his season” (Psalm 1:3). The quality of his spiritual life is made manifest in diverse, changing seasons of life, “His leaf also shall not wither” (Psalm 1:3). No matter what the circumstances may be, he continues to radiate benevolence, charity, endurance and faithfulness. He never withers spiritually, but enjoys constant spiritual stability even in the midst of trials (Jeremiah 17:8). Finally, “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3). The righteous will witness and enjoy widespread, all-round prosperity and success in whatsoever he does (Isaiah 3:10; 2Chronicles 31:20-21).
“The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous” (Psalm 1:3), for He knows those that are His and will, in due time reward the godly if he fails not. Therefore, we must “enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men; avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away” (Proverbs 4:14, 15). In doing so we will enjoy the fulness of His blessings upon us in life and at the end eternal life with God in heaven.
REFLECT: From our study of today, what are the rewards of a godly life?