The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly…
Life offers two roads to travel—the way of the righteous or the way of the wicked.
God provides for, protects, and nourishes the righteous.
The Way of the Godly (1:1-3)…
The godly are abundantly blessed because they do not live according to the sinful philosophies, practices, or associations of fallen men but are deeply rooted in God’s Word.
1:1a. This psalm begins with the emphatic declaration that God’s abundant favor will rest upon the person who lives a truly God-centered life.
In the original language, blessed is repeated. This is the Hebrew method of indicating the plural, intensifying its meaning.
Thus, the phrase should read, “O, how very happy” or “the happinesses!”
In reality, this soul satisfaction is pleasure found in the Lord himself.
This promise of blessing is precisely what Jesus announced in the Beatitudes (Matt. 5:3-12).
True happiness is the experience of all who trust in the Lord (cp. Pss. 16:11; 21:6; 34:8).
The righteous are genuinely satisfied in the Lord (Phil. 4:4). 1:1b,c,d.
This God-blessed life is first described negatively, or what the godly person does not practice.
First, He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, meaning he refuses the secular philosophy and humanistic values of the godless.
He refuses the worldview that places man at the center of the universe and entices him to live by his own standards of morality and pursuits of pleasure.
Second, neither does the righteous person stand in the way of sinners.
This infers that his personal behavior resists the lure of the crowd to participate in their carnal activities and sensual living.
Third, the godly person does not sit in the seat of mockers, meaning he refuses to associate with those who scoff at God.
He avoids close relationships with blasphemers, infidels, and atheists, no matter how prosperous they may be, because “bad company corrupts good character” (1 Cor. 15:33).
1:2. Positively, the delight of the godly is in the law of the LORD.
The person who knows genuine joy reads and relishes God’s Word.
This hunger for the Bible is a clear indication of the new birth as his new nature longs for the truths of God.
This new appetite for God’s truth leads him to meditate upon the Word day and night.
He constantly sets his mind on the truths of the Bible, throughout the day focusing on Scripture because it reveals the glory of God and His supremacy.
(vv. 2-3) These two verses hold simple wisdom: The more we delight in God’s presence, the more fruitful we will be.
On the other hand, the more we allow those who ridicule God and faith to affect our thoughts and attitudes, the more we will be cut off from our source of nourishment.
We must engage and welcome unbelievers if we are to witness to them, but we must not adopt their sinful behavior and scornful sarcasm.
If you want despair, spend time with cynics and critics; if you want God’s joy, spend time with those who love God, His Word, and His people.
We can learn how to follow God by meditating on His Word.
This has become difficult in an age of soundbites and banner headlines.
Meditating means spending time reading, thinking, marking, and reviewing what we have read.
It means asking how we must change and grow so we will live as God wants.
Meditating on and understanding God’s Word are the first steps toward applying it to your everyday life.
If you want to follow God more closely, you must take time to know what He says.
This “law of the LORD” refers to ALL of Scripture.
In it God reveals to us His will, His absolute truths, His love for us, and His divine nature.
The more we know of the whole scope of God’s Word, the more resources we will have to guide us in our daily decisions.
The phrase They prosper in all they do does not mean that God’s people have immunity from failure or difficulties.
Nor does it guarantee health, wealth, or happiness.
What the Bible means by prosperity is this: When we apply God’s wisdom, the fruit (results or by-products) we bear will be good and will receive God’s approval.
Just as a tree soaks up water and bears luscious fruit, we are to soak up God’s Word and produce actions and attitudes that honor Him.
To achieve anything worthwhile, we must have God’s Word in our hearts.
(V. 4) Chaff is the outer shell (or husk) that must be removed to get to valuable kernels of grain.
In the ancient world, chaff was removed by processes called threshing and winnowing.
After plants were cut, they were crushed by a threshing sledge, and then the pieces were thrown into the air.
Chaff is very light and would be carried away by even the slightest wind, while the good grain would fall back to the earth.
Chaff is a symbol of a faithless life that drifts along worthlessly without direction.
Good grain is a symbol of a faithful life that God can use.
Choose His direction, and your life will be fruitful.
(V. 6) What joy to know that God is watching the paths we walk each day.
We may feel like He keeps His eye on us in order to criticize us for what we do wrong along the way, but this is not true.
God sees us with loving eyes, protecting us, caring for us, and keeping us from stumbling on the journey (121:3-5).
Look for signs of His care for you today, and bask in the thought that He is guiding and helping you on your daily journey.
And so let us follow the faithful road.
God’s rewards supersede the benefits of the wicked; and He alone can give you Shalom-peace so that you can lay down and sleep and awake refreshed and sustained.
Selah (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
Wednesday, June 29
The Spirit Filled Believer
Written by Dick Mills
A SCRIPTURAL CUTTING EDGE
“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water”
— Psalm 1:3
The word planted in this verse is the Hebrew word shatal (shaw-thal’). In his concordance, Dr. James Strong uses a succinct and terse expression to define this root word: “to transplant.” Thus this verse is a description of our new status as Christians.
As subjects of the kingdom of God, you and I are “transplanted” trees.
Looking back over the past three days’ lessons, we read:
1) “Now is the ax laid to the root of the trees.” This verse had to do with severing genetic weaknesses from our lives.
2) “If the tree is cut down, there is hope that it will sprout again.” We are promised a reviving and a renewal after our family tree is pruned.
3) “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.” After our pruning, we the righteous will be like transplanted trees drawing directly from the rivers of divine life.
In these verses, the Lord is telling us that as new creatures in Christ, our renewed family tree will be better than ever. It will have plenty of moisture. It will be fruitful, and its foliage will not wither away.
All of us can go through this threefold process. Let’s allow the Lord to:
1) cut away anything in us that is detrimental to our Christian witness,
2) renew and revive our lives, and
3) manifest the fruit of the life of Christ in us as we draw from the water of life.
Our new transplanted life will result in abundant health, happiness, and harvest.
Source: The Spirit-Filled Believer’s Daily Devotional by Dick Mills
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