Psalms 1:1-2 ESV
“Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.”
How would you define “the counsel of the wicked”? First, who are “the wicked”? According to my thesaurus they are the mischievous, the naughty, the mean, the evil, the depraved, and the immoral, i.e. the sinful. And the sinful are those who are full of sin, who make sin their practice, and their habit, who deliberately and habitually and sometimes (or often) premeditatedly sin against the Lord and against other humans without conscience, and without compassion, and without true remorse.
So, if the wicked are giving out counsel, what kind of counsel do you think they are giving out? Now, some wicked people will sometimes give out good counsel because they want to appear righteous, but I don’t think that is what this is talking about. I believe this is talking about wicked counsel which leads people to commit sin without conscience, and without guilt, and to do what is contrary to the Lord and to the teachings of the Scriptures under the New Covenant. But this wicked counsel might appear good.
For there are a lot of wicked people today, some (or many) of them pastors of church congregations (or what is falsely being called “church”). And they are teaching lies which are a blend of truth and lies, and they are giving their adherents the notion that they can make a one-time profession of faith in Jesus Christ, have all their sins forgiven, and be on their way to heaven, but regardless of how they live their lives. So it appears to be good counsel to some people, but it is a lie, and so it is horrible counsel.
For no one who is truly walking with the Lord Jesus in purity of devotion to him, and who has left his life of sin to follow Jesus in obedience, is going to advise people seeking Jesus Christ that how they live doesn’t matter for eternity, or that they can now continue living in sin without guilt, now that all their sins are forgiven. But many are doing exactly that! Yet, even at seven years old, when I first believed in Jesus, I understood that this meant leaving my sins behind me to follow Jesus in obedience, and that is exactly what I wanted to do. I hated my sin and I wanted no part of it!
So, if you truly love Jesus Christ, and he is honestly Lord of your life, then your desire is going to be for him, not to live in sin. And you aren’t going to be one who is going to shun his commands and decide that you don’t have to obey the Lord and that you don’t have to leave your life of sin behind you. For you should hate your sin and you should delight and rejoice in the fact that by faith in Jesus Christ you can now be delivered from your bondage to sin so you can live righteously by the grace of God, and in his power.
Psalms 1:3 ESV
“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.”
When we are following Jesus Christ with our lives in living holy lives pleasing to him, by his grace, and in his strength, and when we are walking in obedience to his commands, in practice, although not necessarily in absolute sinless perfection, our lives will yield the fruit of God’s righteousness and holiness, which will be evident in the things that we do in obedience to our Lord. For they will be the works of God which he prepared in advance that we should walk in them (see Ephesians 2:10; cf. Titus 2:11-14).
Some of that fruit will be seen in the lives of the people who were touched by our obedience to our Lord, and it may not always be visible to us, which is okay. For if we are writing devotions and posting them on the internet and they are going to people across the globe in many different nations, we may never know what impact our obedience is having in other people’s lives. And the Lord uses us in different ways at different stages of our lives, too, so some of that fruit will not show itself until the timing is right for it.
But when this says about those whose delight is in the Lord, that they prosper in all that they do, that is not necessarily prospering by human standards. But that is about being spiritually successful in accomplishing the work that our Lord set out for us to do, and it is to triumph over evil. And we may not even appear successful in the eyes of humans, for we may get lots of opposition and persecution and false accusations with very little obvious and outward signs that we are making a difference in anyone’s life.
Psalms 1:4-6 ESV
“The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will 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 wicked will perish.”
Now, again, the wicked are all those who practice evil, who make sin their practice, and for whom righteousness, godliness, moral purity, and walks of obedience to our Lord are not what they practice. So, many people who are wicked in practice are also those who are professing faith in Jesus Christ, at least here in America, and especially if they are those who are being told that their sins do not matter to God. So, while they are claiming Jesus as their Savior, many are living in sexual immorality and in addiction to sin.
So, this is a warning to all who are living wickedly, making sin their practice, that regardless of what they profess with their lips, they are going to be judged by God by their deeds. And the wicked will not stand in the judgment. For, what did Jesus say? He said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven. So while many are claiming him as Lord and while they are bragging of all the things they did in his name, he is going to say to them, “I never knew you! Depart from me you workers of lawlessness.” (see Matthew 7:21-23).
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Bless the Lord, O My Soul
Based off Psalms 103
By Andrae Crouch
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
He has done great things,
bless His holy name!
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