Devotional Thoughts on Psalm 1
This week I have often found myself meditating on Psalm 1:1-2. It says, “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.”
Every time that I sit down on my couch at home my cat eventually comes us slowly to the couch. I know that she ultimately desires to jump up on my lap and take a nap. But she approaches me diplomatically, knowing that I do not always want her to be there. She initially jumps up beside me and acts like she is in no rush to make a direct move upon my lap. Slowly, however, she begins to sit next to me with her two front paws on my lap to see if I will object. If I allow this to happen then it will be only a few moments before she crawls up on my lap and falls asleep.
What I have just described my cat doing is a small picture of what the psalmist encourages the faithful not to do when it comes to associating with the wicked, the sinners and the scoffers. We are warned about walking upon a situation that is not godly and being influenced by the ungodly counsel that we may hear. If we do this, we will soon enough, find ourselves stands close to sinners and getting more comfortable with everything. Then eventually we will find ourselves sitting down with the scoffers and beginning to sound just like them.
My cat approaches slowly because she knows that I do not always want her on my lap. This is never the case with the counsel of the ungodly, with the way of sinners and concerning taking a seat with the scoffers. Sin always is welcoming, enticing, accessible, and has an open door policy. Sin always greets you with a smile and presents itself as hospitable. Sin always appears to be receptive to allowing you into fellowship, Sin welcomes you warmly until you don’t conform to it in thought, speech and action. But even the door away from sin opens harder than the ease with which it opened up to you.
In Luke 19 there is a story about a man named Zacchaeus. He was a very rich tax collector. He had great wealth and possessions but he was not content and he was not happy. We know this because when Jesus came passing through Jericho he wanted to get to see and know Jesus. He was to small to see Jesus because of the crowd so he climbed a sycamore tree so that he could see him. Jesus saw the man and called out to him by name saying, ‘Zacchaeus, come down from there. Today I must eat with you.’
The crowd, however, did not like the fact that Jesus would go and eat with a sinner. They scoffed at this. But that day salvation came to Zacchaeus. All of us, like Zacchaeus, have walked with the wicked, stood with the sinners, and sat with scoffers. Apart from the sovereign mercy of God we would remain there. But Jesus came to seek and save the lost. And when He finds the lost He calls to them by name like he did Zacchaeus.
It seems unthinkable that Zacchaeus, who was called out by Jesus by name, would have then ignored Jesus’ command to come down. It would be unimaginable to think that Zacchaeus would come down and go to Jesus and then not let Jesus come and eat at his home.
Psalm 1 reminds us that the man is blessed is the person who turns away from the crowd and spends time with Jesus. The man who delights the most deeply is the person who ignores the scoffing of the sinners and wicked and spends time with the Word of God.
Like Zacchaeus, all Christians have heard God call to them by name. Jesus said that His sheep knows his voice and they will not come to another. Likewise, the psalmist says that the blessed man delights in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.
In the ESV Devotional Psalter we read these words, “Will we listen to the voice of life or to the voices of death? Will we breathe in God’s life-giving instruction, sinking deep roots (v.3), or will we breath in empty instruction of those who ‘will not stand in the day of judgment’ (5)?Will the trials still come in our lives prove us to be deep-rooted trees, incapable of being blown over, or will they show us to be chaff, blown away by the slightest breeze?”1
Every day we have a decision to make. We can either choose the one right path or be led onto one of the others? Will we listen to the one true voice or will God’s Word be drowned out by all the others?