Psalm 1

“The counsel of the ungodly,” “the path of sinners,” and “the seat of scorners” in verse 1 refers to the ungodly and unscriptural philosophies, the things of this world.  The world has many different ways to deceive people and has many different wrong paths that can be followed.  Because of this, it is necessary to exercise caution in regard to what we take into our lives.  What we input into our lives will affect our walk with God.  We don’t need to take our advice from the world when all we need can be found in God’s Word.  “Meditation” in this context literally means to ponder, to constantly turn over in the mind and consider in many ways and apply to daily situations.  Meditate is not merely thinking, but it is also the action associated with the thinking.  It is so important that we meditate on God’s Word because it is our Guidebook.  It gives us the answers that we need, not just in our Christian life as a whole, but day to day.  That is why we memorize and interpret scriptures, because we should be literally meditating on the truth of God’s Word.

What are you going to do in life?  Are you simply going to scrape by and do what is asked of you, and when this is over to just go on, leaving God’s Word behind?  Or are you going to keep on searching to know God for who He is.  You can do anything out of duty, including scripture memorization and interpretation.  But that is meaningless on its own.  What are you going to take with you?  What are you going to do out of love for God?  Do you really want to be a disciple?  Then you have to be disciplined—not meaning punishment, but perseverance in seeking to know God.  Discipline is taking the steps necessary to grow in your relationship with God—including reading the Bible and praying.  There is so much joy that we simply pass by in God’s Word, because we would rather seek God out of duty to leaders or out of duty to our parents or simply out of duty itself, rather than seek to know God because we love Him.  That is where we find joy—in loving Him and seeking to know Him because He loved us and now we love Him. 

Look at the promises God makes to those who walk in His way.  “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” (v. 3).  What does the water refer to?  The presence of God’s Word and His living and active presence in our lives.  From it we draw strength and power and all that we need for life and productivity.  The fruit?  Produce—good works.  What is coming out of your life?  What is the result of your works?  Are they life-giving, eternal results?  And finally, God promises a prospering in life—abundant life filled with meaning and dreams and destiny!

Compare verses 3-5 with Genesis 3:18-19. What do you notice about what God says about the earth after Adam’s sin and what He says about the ungodly?  They are but weeds, with a temporary existence and pulled out of God’s presence by the wind of His judgment.  What does “the way of the righteous” refer to?  Obedience, love for the Father, good and eternal works done for God’s glory.  These are the things we should be striving for, the things God has called us to.  These are the means by which we live in the blessing and prosperity of the Lord.  But note that the blessing referred to here is spiritual and eternal prosperity and blessing, not necessarily natural blessings, prosperity or money.  But whereas the latter pass away, the spiritual never will. That is the only thing worth having in life anyway.  “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

—Mark Knoles

Maxim of the Moment

Chase your passion – not your pension. - Denis Waitley