A Sojourner's Meditation
Let this Psalm arouse our affections to holiness and godliness--
and let it be a warning to the wicked.
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.BLESS'ED, a. ...enjoying spiritual happiness and the favor of God; enjoying heavenly felicity.
BLESS, v.t. pret. and ppr. blessed or blest. To set apart or consecrate to holy purposes; to make and pronounce holy. (Gen 2) To esteem or account happy.
The Lord is telling us how to be blessed. How to walk in His divine favour, how to be set apart for His use. How to be happy in the Lord. And He starts out by telling us to REJECT. If you want to see a blessed somebody, look at a man that refuses and rejects the advice of ungodly sinners. This man does not accept or like their ways, and he does not sit down relaxing with them. Contrariwise, he says, "Get thee hence, Satan," in response to their evil motions and notions. He is far off from the ways of them that do evil. He does not do the same things they do. He does not walk with them, stand with them, nor sit with them. He does not participate in their follies--hellivision, fornication, deceit, malignity, backbiting, talebearing, evil books, witches, dwarves, hickory dickory dock, fairy godmothers, foolish talk and jesting, etc. His friends and confidants are not sinners, the way of the sinner is a vexation to his soul. All he can do with a sinner is tell him about Jesus and walk on. He does not lollygag around with him seeking his advice and counsel.
The blessed man has heard from the Lord, "This is the way, walk ye in it," (Isa 30:21) and so he does. He believes in the Lord to the level of DOING what He says. This man consciously walks in the way of peace--sinners know nothing about this way (Rom 3:17). Jesus has called this godly man out of darkness and into His marvellous light and from the power of Satan unto God (Acts 26:18). This man fully recognizes this--he walks with His God in conscious rectitude--REC'TITUDE, n. [L. rectus, right, straight.] Uprightness of mind; conformity to truth, or to the rules prescribed for moral conduct by divine law [the word of God, the Bible]. Rectitude of mind is the disposition to act in conformity to any known standard of right, truth or justice; rectitude of conduct is the actual conformity to such standard. Perfect rectitude belongs only to the Supreme Being. The more nearly the rectitude of men approaches to the standard of the divine law, the more exalted and dignified is their character. Want of rectitude is not only sinful, but debasing. There is a sublimity in conscious rectitude - in comparison with the treasures of earth are not worth naming. (excerpt from Webster's 1828 dictionary)
This blessed, righteous man came to Jesus for cleansing *FROM* SIN, NOT IN SIN. He is no longer under the curse of the law just sinning and having no remedy. Jesus has saved him FROM his sins....and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
He does not stand in the way of sinners. He used to, but he doesn't anymore. The blessed man is being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. God says, "Be ye holy, for I am holy," and this man says, "Yes, Lord, I can do it in Jesus' holy name!" not, "I can' t do it!" He believes every word of God and because he's been born again the Spirit of God takes him from glory to glory.
One more thing. This blessed man does not sit in the seat of the scornful. A scornful man is one who holds true religion in contempt. The way of holiness is an abomination to him because he does not want to live holy. Many, many church people are in this category--they scorn holiness. Tell them that the scriptures require them to live right and they'll come at you like a battle axe and call you a heretick or legalistic. They despise righteousness. That's a scorner.
1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
The blessed man delights in the law of the LORD, the word of God. It is his constant companion and it RULES his heart. The word of God, the Bible, is so important to him that his life is HAPPILY regulated by the word--that is what holiness is, a life regulated by the divine precepts. He is not sitting around wishing he could do what sinners do. He is GLAD that he is not doing what they do. He is GLAD that he is learning the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is GLAD that he is no longer under Satan. He is GLAD that he is under King Jesus. He has left Egypt and Pharoah and is headed for Canaan land in the name of Jesus. And as he travels and sojourns down here, he has the favour and blessing of God on his life. He's clean and he is at rest in his God.
Church sinners would call the blessed man self-righteous. Not so. The blessed man doesn't trust himself, he trusts the Lord. He asks God for HIS judgments concerning right or wrong. He says to the Father, "Not my will, but THINE be done." That is why he is blessed--he walks in the will and counsel of God Himself. He does not lean to his own corrupt understanding. The blessed man knows that in his corrupt flesh dwelleth no good thing. He knows that only God is good and he will fight against and give up anything that conflicts with the word of the Lord. This man trusts the Lord so much that he will obey His word even at great personal expense. He has that type of faith. We are talking about a righteous individual here. Not self-righteous--righteous because he obeys the word. The law of God is CRITICAL to this man and he thinks about it, speaks it, and obeys it continually.
We are talking about a blessed, steady, surefooted somebody. Not doubleminded, not wavering, all his actions and intents are looked upon in light of the word of God. He clings to the word so much that he meditates on it day and night. In return for his diligence, he is rewarded with holy affections. His inward principle of thinking is made holy and his outward actions spring from this holy fountain inside his soul. His does not work to be seen of men like a hypocrite does, but his works come out of a heart whose affections have been purified by the word of God. He gazes upon the word and it changes him. He sets his mind on the word and against all that is against God's word.
The only truly happy man is a holy man. There is no peace to the transgressing wicked man (Is 48:22, 57:21) and his way is hard (Pro 13:15).
1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
A holy man is like a tree planted by many waters. I think of the huge, lush trees in the Amazon. They are planted in a place where there are abundant waters and they thrive. The blessed man grows and thrives in the knowledge of the holy.
Big trees like Redwoods can move up, against gravity, 100 gallons of water a day from their roots to their top boughs. When our roots are in the word of God and we are abiding in the True Vine, Jesus Christ, that divine sap courses all through our veins giving us the nourishment and power that we need to THRIVE in the things of Jesus Christ. This is against all spiritual gravity (like the flesh) that would keep us attached to this world. The Lord Jesus said that if we asked, He would give us a well of water springing up into everlasting life. ASK, BELIEVE, and FOLLOW and you will be like a big old STRONG Amazon or Redwood tree, well nourished, full of fruit, THRIVING, not starving, THRIVING and able to nourish others with your fruit. You will be a VIGOUROUS, FLOURISHING tree.
The blessed man is a fruitful tree. It may take a while to see the fruit, but in due season, his fruit WILL appear. When you plant a seed in the ground, it does not immediately bear fruit. With sunshine, rain, and nutrients from the soil it sprouts up, it grows, and in time, it bears fruit in ITS season. The seed of the word of God gets planted in us, we get saved, receive the light/nutrients/watering of God's word and God's Spirit and in time, we start bringing forth good fruit. Not evil fruit, good fruit. It is an immutable spiritual principle.
Many think a saved person will bear evil fruit. Impossible. Antinomians, get thee hence! Either make the tree good and his fruit good or the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt. A good tree cannot bear evil fruit. If the word of God has been planted in a life, it will take root and eventually bring forth fruit unto the Lord Jesus Christ. The websites (WWW.JESUS-IS-LORD.COM AND OLDLANDMARKS.COM) are examples of this. Before there was any website, King Jesus sowed/planted seeds in my mind and as time went on, eventually fruit came forth. Now my job to tend to them and keep them and dress them in service to the Lord. Others can come by and eat the fruit for nourishment just like I do.
The blessed man's leaf also shall not wither. He won't dry up because he is planted by the rivers of water. Whatever he starts in the name of Jesus SHALL be sustained. King Jesus is the One that gave him strength and power to become a son of God and King Jesus will give him power to live as a righteous son forever. He won't dry up, in fact, he will thrive and grow. Whatsoever he doeth in the name of Jesus SHALL prosper. This blessed man is also a prosperous somebody. I'm not talking houses and lands (though he may have those), I am talking about a prosperous soul and prosperous ministries. He'll keep on growing, not getting stuck in one place or living like he's on a rollercoaster--up today and down in the dumps of the filthy world tomorrow. He's steady, surefooted and true to his King and Master. A loyal subject of King Jesus--and because He is loyal, the King fortifies him against all evil and nourishes him for every good work.
1:4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
The Psalmist switches up here. In one short phrase he basically says, "forget about everything I just said when you think about an ungodly man". He is not blessed. In fact, CURSED in the man that walketh in the counsel of the ungodly. The ungodly is the exact opposite of the blessed man. He walketh in the counsel of the ungodly, he standeth in the way of sinners, he sitteth in the seat of the scornful. His delight is NOT in the law of the Lord and he does not meditate in it day and night. He is not planted by the rivers of water. In fact, he is in the Sahara desert just as dried up as can be. He does not prosper in anything of the Lord Jesus regardless of how rich and fine he may look. The righteous is like some good, useful wheat, the wicked ungodly are like the chaff--useless and driven away from the presence of the Lord. MANY church people are in this category.
God is a farmer and He is looking for fruit, good fruit. That which beareth thorns and briers is REJECTED, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. (Heb 6:8). Either make the tree good and fruit good or the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt for the tree is known by his fruit (Matt 12:33). We don't want or keep poison ivy in our gardens and God is not bringing the wicked into His heaven, no matter how many "sinner's prayers" they say.Luke 13:6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
13:7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?
13:8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
13:9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
God does not accept you just because YOU say He does. You must be born again by the blood of Jesus and DO the will of the Father...the Father seeketh such to worship Him. Otherwise, you shall be an outcast regardless of your vain profession--Matthew7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that DOETH the will of my Father which is in heaven.
7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Jesus is going to cut down all workers of iniquity, just like you cut down some grass. It does not matter if you are a church wicked or a street wicked, you will both have the same end.
1:5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Given all this, the Psalmist makes solemn declarations of fact: (1) There will be a judgment and (2) ungodly sinners shall NOT stand in it. In fact, they are going to fall and be utterly cast down into hell and the lake of fire to take their place with THE DEVIL and his angels. Sinners have vexed the righteous on this earth but one great day they shall be vexed with an everlasting vexation. Sinners are not going to be in the congregation of the righteous still troubling our souls. They will go to their long home of hell and the lake of fire. This includes all hypocrites that profess Christ and are playing. The hypocrites may artfully conceal their hypocrisy here, but the Lord knoweth the thoughts afar off and HE shall separate between cattle and cattle, sheep and goats, wheat and tares. The judgment shall be a day of discovery whether you be righteous or whether you be wicked.
1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
A key word here is "knoweth". The Lord knoweth the righteous and their ways, for they are His ways...but He does not know the ways of the ungodly and He shall banish them from His presence. It does not matter how many church services a hypocrite attends, they are still going to the lake of fire because they are not saved and Jesus does not know them and their ways. They are playing. There were ten virgins--five serious and five playing. Hear what the Master saith to those who play--Matthew 25:10 ...the bridegroom came; and they that were ready
25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
Many people say, "I know the Lord" but the question is, "Does He know you?"Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
13:25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I KNOW YOU NOT whence ye are:
13:26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
13:27 But he shall say, I tell you, I KNOW YOU NOT whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
King Jesus KNOWS the way of the righteous, but He does not know the ways of the hypocrite and profligate sinners.PROF'LIGATE, a. [L. profligatus, profligo, to rout, to ruin; pro and fligo, to drive or dash. The word then signifies dashed, broken or ruined in morals. See Flog and Afflict.] Abandoned to vice; lost to principle,virtue or decency; extremely vicious; shameless in wickedness; as a profligate man or wretch.
Many church people enjoy watching profligates on hellivision and in the movie theatres.Romans 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.
The Lord knows and accepts the ways of the righteous for they have set their hearts to walk in HIS WAYS. But the wicked have set their heart to walk in THEIR OWN WAYS. God does not know their way and He HATES every false way. Sin is SO TERRIBLE that the only price God would accept for its payment is HIS OWN BLOOD--20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of GOD, which he hath purchased WITH HIS OWN BLOOD.
The Lord SHALL utterly banish every evil way out of His sight and all who choose evil shall indeed perish.
Written Wednesday, August 7, 2002, after prayer ~4:10 am.