According to Psalm 1 the way of a righteous person is pretty simple: she stays away from temptation and she meditates on God’s word. And because she spends her time abiding in Jesus her life is fruitful, bringing glory to God the Father. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty good to me.
I have been moving quietly through the Psalms for the last 10 days, handwriting each chapter, verse-by-verse, word-by-word. It didn’t take long before the Holy Spirit began to show me some truth that I had not noticed before. He also revealed some areas in my own life and in my heart that need some cleansing.
Psalm 1 is given the subtitle “The Way of the Righteous and the end of the Ungodly”. It is a simple explanation of what those who believe Jesus do and do not do.
What they do not do:
“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;
The righteous, those who live by faith, are blessed — they are happy and joyful — in their relationship with the King. And because of this they do not toy with temptation. If you notice, there is a progression to finding oneself living an unfruitful life: walking, standing, and then sitting. It may seem harmless to take a walk and have a quick chat with an ungodly person about ungodly things, but it unlikely to stop there. Soon we may find ourselves standing, or hanging out in their paths, watching, studying, and mimicking their behavior. Then sitting and getting comfortable “in the seat of the scornful”, or flat out rejecting the things of God. A righteous person does not take a step, she does not stand, nor does she sit where Jesus wouldn’t, instead she delights and meditates on the things of the Lord.
Now, all that said, I’m not tell you to stick your nose up at and turn your back on sinners (that would be more than a touch hypocritical since we are all sinners). Jesus loves sinners. In fact, He hung out with sinners more than He hung out with the religious folks. I don’t think Psalm 1 is instructing us to avoid people who have yet to put their faith in Jesus, but I do believe that this verse is warning us to be careful about how we let those around us influence us. We are to be loving and witnessing to those around us, but we do not need to accept or partake in any sinful behavior we may see them partaking in.
What the righteous do:
But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
In other words, the righteous long to know the Word of God. They desire to read their Bibles because doing so reveal more of who Jesus is. They meditate on scripture, meaning they think deeply about the things God has said. They focus their minds for long periods of time, thinking about His goodness, His grace, and His glory. They spend time praying Gods word and sing His word.
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.
This verse reminds me of John 15, the chapter where Jesus explains to his disciples that abiding in Him will lead to fruit. If we delight in and meditate on God’s word, in due season, our lives will begin to produce sweet fruit that brings glory to God the Father.
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. (John 15:4)
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. (John 15:7-8)
But the ungodly…
The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
The ungodly are just the opposite of the righteous. They do walk, stand and sit with those who do not choose Jesus. They do not delight in Gods words, they have no care or desire to know who He is or be near Him. And in the end..? They will be rewarded with what they have chosen.
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.”
And now that we know…
If you’re like me, you probably have been convicted by these verse. Perhaps the Holy Spirit has revealed some areas of your life that need to be tinkered with by God’s loving and powerful hand. Maybe the people you take advice from (either in real life, on the television, or through social media) aren’t pointing you to Jesus. Repent. Pray 1 John 1:9 and trust that you are forgive and being made clean by His power and provision. I’ve been doing the same thing.
Or maybe you have a lack of interest for God’s word. Picking up your Bible seems like a chore or you simply don’t care. This has certainly been me for the last several months. But we now know this is not the attitude of those the Psalmist calls righteous. So what do we do? We ask for the desire. God will honor our want to want Him more, because it is what He wants and what will bring glory to His Son.
Lord in heaven, I need you. I allow myself to be influence by those that do not call on Your name. I take advice from those who do not point me to You. Forgive me. Any time I am tempted to walk, stand, or sit in places that do not bring You glory convict me immediately and give me the self-control needed to walk away from the tempting situation. I also confess my lack of desire for You and Your word. Please rekindle inside me a passion for the things of You. Remind of the blessing I have, of the happiness and joy that comes in being a close relationship with you. Thank you for Your faithfulness, Your forgiveness, and the Your Son’s cleansing blood. Amen.
This post was written while moving quietly through the Psalms, a slow and simple practice of handwriting the Psalms verse-by-verse and word-by-word. If you are participating in this practice too, would you let me know by leaving a comment below or by sharing in the link-up?
For the time being the Quietly Through Thursday link-up is dedicated to those who are taking the Quietly Through the Psalms journey. You’re welcome to link-up your blog post, Facebook status updates, or Instagram posts that reflect on your time moving Quietly Through the Psalms. By scaling down the theme of the link-up I am hoping it build an intimate and thriving community of women (even if it is a small community) who are drawing near to God in similar ways. Thank you for respecting the intent of this link up.
Only by grace,
- Link-up your blog post, Facebook status updates, or Instagram posts that reflect on your time moving Quietly Through the Psalms.
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