Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV):
1 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;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 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 is a “wisdom psalm.” You may think of this kind of wisdom as “seeing life from God’s point of view” (Bill Gothard). The psalm gives three depictions of those who ignore God’s wisdom:
- They are “ungodly,” that is, they don’t heed the Law of the Lord. Instead they do what they please.
- They are “sinners,” that is, they have missed the mark when it comes to attaining righteousness before God.
- They are “scornful” or they are “mockers” of righteous folks — and perhaps of God Himself.
There are three characteristics of the righteous person as well:
- He/she will not be found doing what others do who: disregard God’s commands, perceive themselves as righteous or good enough to merit God’s approval (if He exists), and ridicule the righteous or thumb their nose at the Lord.
- He/she takes pleasure in the Word of God and makes obedience to it their aim in life.
- They enjoy the thoughts of God so much that they ponder His words continually.
Only one has ever been totally righteous in the manner described by this psalm — our Lord Jesus Christ. All our righteousness, whether bestowed or realized in our values, attitudes and daily conduct comes from Him. Apart from Christ, we also would be ungodly, impudent sinners. But with Him in our lives, directing our heart, mind and will, we receive His perfect righteousness and begin to accrue His holiness. As Count von Zinzendorf declared: “We have a great need for Christ. We have a great Christ for our need.”
Let’s accept the Gift offered to us by God’s Word (2 Corinthians 9:15) and avoid anything that hinders us from opening that Gift. D.L. Moody once remarked: “The Bible will keep you from sin, (but also) Sin will keep you from this book.”