Blessed is the Man (Psalm 1:1)
Mercy triumphs over scorn
"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" (Psalm 1:1) .
Blessed is the man that:
1) Walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly
This verse teaches and tells us that there is a blessing, which comes from adhering and obeying the precepts, and instructions found therein.
It is an instructional verse; it is giving us instructions and teaching us that if we adhere to what it is instructing us to do we will be blessed. If we choose not to adhere to it we will risk losing or forfeiting the blessing it inculcates.
The verse tells us that there is a blessing that comes from avoiding three diverse mindsets and attitudes. All of which are apart of our renewal process in which we are changing the way we think. The first is not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Let us primarily qualify, and define ungodly, so we can escape walking in the counsel it gives.
What does ungodly mean?
According to Strong’s Concordance the word ungodly found in Psalm 1, is the Hebrew word rasha pronounced raw-shaw, it means to be morally wrong, to be an actively bad person, it describes a wicked person and their manevolent world view. The wicked live their lives void of godliness and that attitude places them under alienation from God. Sin is what causes all separation from God.
Who are the ungodly?
Prior to receiving Jesus Christ as my personal savior, I was considered ungodly based on the Word of God and the biblical lifestyle it reveals. All life that rejects Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, knowingly or unknowingly is life, which falls under ungodliness. The term ungodly defines itself. Let’s break it down, the prefix un means not and the suffix is god. It means not to be godly. It is a state of thinking without God being the basis and foundation of thoughts. We as believers are not exempt from an ungodly attitude or mindset which can separate us from the character needed for godliness to be fruitful.
All reasoning according to the world system is void of God. It believes in the creature over the Creator. The ungodly are all those without God, they are whoever deems that the decision to function apart from God is a practical application to follow. The choice to live the way they desire or want to live without godly principles and examples is a choice God allows them to make under free will. The world system is an arrangement or unit that functions together apart from God. We used to receive our world view from it, until we made or make the decision to only live by God's rule of conduct. The implications that have been adopted are ones that guide the stance to operate all world affairs without the will and Word of God. This paradigm and standpoint is considered ungodly or without God. It is not being in right standing with God.
God took a gigantic risk giving us the free will to choose to accept or to reject Him. God is omniscient and He knows the choices we will make even before they are made, but that doesn't take the choice away from us, it is still ours to make. When we understand this we begin to take and make our choices more soberly and seriously. The biggest problems we as humans have is that we are too casual with the choices we make. In this verse, it is evident that choosing the right attitude and making the right choice is important, not just for the blessing, but because it is the right attitude and is the operation of the right to choose and not merely free will. The right to choose involves a decision to choose only what is right and not wrong.
Walking according to the world system's dictates would be following the path of those who have refused Godly counsel. Unbelievers would be considered the ungodly. We are told that we are in the world, but we are not of it. Why? Read (John 17:14-17). We have made a decision to actively and passionately pursue Godly counsels through the Word of God. These counsels are principles which shape and form our value system and our biblically based world view, and how we see the world.
Any person living without receiving and accepting the counsel and guidance of God would be walking away from that counsel instead of walking in it and into it. We no longer accept the standards set by the secular world which leave God out of every equation in life. The world system made the decision to remove prayer from school. How is that working out today? To live without God and to teach children that it is alright to live without Him is not righteousness and is communicating to all youth that living without the values that shape us holistically are profitable, when in essence they are not.
Jesus asked this question in (Matthew 16:26), For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? What can you give in exchange for your soul? Reciprocity is a law of exchange, or tradeoff that man uses in the world system, but it is non-transferrable in the Kingdom of God.
The Word of God shapes our values and ideals through principles. Principles are rules or codes of conduct, they are general and fundamental laws and precepts. Principles are shaping our values, forming a system of values. We don't want the ones the Scriptures warn us against. Shaping new values help us to determine what is important to us and why; what we stand for; what we are willing to die for, and what we are willing to pay the price for, because we have considered and given it thought as to what it will cost us. Even if it means losing opportunities because we refuse to compromise our values.
The question is who or what created these values? Who or what informs our values. The Scriptures are creating and creates our world view and values. We are steered and navigated by the principles found in the Word of God.
To live without God is to deem the counsel found in the Word of no value, which only produces a life void of true worth and value. The second aspect of Psalm 1, nor standeth in the way on sinners. We do not agree with sinner’s stance as believers, which imply that we can barter with God when it comes to our souls.
Furthermore, the stance of a sinner is just to sin. We have accepted the provisions given to us through Jesus’ shed blood as the only means for our salvation and His righteousness as the only way to the Father. The world system however takes a stance, which is separate from God, and we can’t follow that pernicious path or we will forfeit the blessing this verse promises. We live in this world but we are not a product of it. The world doesn’t produce our thought patterns; the Word of God does, it shapes our thinking. All of our thinking should be based on the precepts and principles found in the Word. We can no longer; nor do we accept the standards set by sinners, which leave God out of every equation in life. We as believes have found that every equation can and will be successful with God in it. Praise Jesus!
Living without God is life without purpose; this for me is based primarily upon experience. I know what it is like to live without God because it used to be the way of life that I accepted as normal living once upon a time when I didn’t know or have clarity as to what godly living was, that it is adding God to my equation, (my living) and not living or desiring to live a single day without Him.
The ungodly whether they realize it or not has chosen to live without God. They have been given the power to choose, free will so to speak. Ungodliness is moral decay. There is the issue of sin that is the cause of all immoral and all types of degeneration. Sin that is and has not been covered by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is because the person chooses sin over Jesus. Being a born again believer is life from above not beneath, and is the inclusion of God in all that we are and do. In every detail of our living we choose God who first chose us. Prior to receiving and believing God, we too walked the ungodly road. The summation of this exposition is the admonition, be careful and beware. As Jesus’ put it watch and pray that you enter not into temptation.
2) Nor standeth in the way of sinners
Exhortation and admonition not to stand in the way of sinners, is the imperative of the second aspect of this verse.
What does it mean to stand in the way of sinners? Well, a sinner’s stance is sin. They are representatives and represent sin. This means that they have chosen sin as their foundational standard for living, whether consciously or unconsciously. Sin is the stand which the devil chose and took in alliance against God.
All sin is an assignment or trespass done against God. Sin is a destructive stand to take in this life. It has caused the fall of an innumerable count of angels and it is the cause of the fall of all man and womankind. Sin changed an angel into a devil and demons. Sin can change the mind of a man to want to be a woman and vice versa. Even when God has clearly demonstrated the difference of body parts, and the whole realm of gender distinction. Sin tells people lies and falsehoods. Sin teaches how to break the commandments of God. If you take a good look around you, and at how the world system functions aloof from God, and where it is heading because of that stance, you will be able to clearly surmise what it means to stand in the way sinners and avoid it by changing your stance..
A sinner’s stand is without the oracles and acceptance of the provisions God made for sinners through the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ. God is in Christ reconciling the world unto Him. This is not something that has absolutely happened, but it is still happening today. Every second of the day a sinner decides that they are revoking their stance of sin, and they repent and turn to God and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. They are ushered away from standing in the way of a sinner or taking a stand of sin. Intercessory prayer is breaking the chains of sin over the ungodly every second of the day. Hallelujah!
A sinner is one separated from God. In order to annul or cancel a sinful stance the power of the Blood, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit must be the operating system in life. The imperative of this aspect is that we do not stand as sinners do, because our stance is in Jesus Christ and upon this rock of His righteousness we stand. Sinners stand for sin, we stand for God and only because of His omnipotence can we stand.
Beware of the Hot Seat Called "Scorn"
3) Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful
If we value mercy, the principle for our life is to be merciful and we know from the beatitudes that the merciful are blessed indeed. Therefore, the merciful will not be content or satisfied to sit in the seat of scorn. If you don't value mercy, the seat of scorn may be a like a e-z and recliner chair, very comfortable to you. Patience, love, and kindness are the principles we walk in but the value is mercy. Why mercy? Because God has shared this attribute with us and we know firsthand what mercy can do. It is mercy we receive that makes us resist the seat of scorn, remembering when tempted the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, if you be without sin, then you cast the first stone. Well I know that I don't qualify to throw any stones at any one, this keeps me mindful about sitting in the seat of scorn. Have mercy Lord upon all who are enticed and seduced to sit there. Reach down Your hand of mercy and help them to their feet.
Principles orchestrate character in us which reflect the depth of God's character and conforms us into that image. If we only do what this scripture counsels us to do because we will receive a blessing, we will miss out on the discipline we need to abolish being scornful. Scorn is not a fruit of the spirit, and we should avoid it at all cost. Consider the cost, so to speak. What will a poor attitude cost you? Scorn is what spiritual poor folk do, it is not what the rich in spirit should ever do. Scorn is manevolent and malignant, it is ill-will; ill-will means your will in this area is sickly and needs the healing touch of God towards recovery and restoration.
We should not sit in a seat of scorn to belittle anyone. The word scorn denotes a negative reaction or response. It is an emotion ruled by contempt. By grace are we saved, and when we value the unmerited favor we have received from God, compassion lets us see that we don’t want to sit in the hot seat called scorn.
The seat of scorn is a very subtle lure. You will be going about your business and this test will invite you to come sit down, put your feet up and get comfortable. Usually seats are designed to provide comfort or take a load off your feet. This seat may become too comfortable to get up from. When you are seated in the seat of scorn, you become disgusted and even angry at others who are or may not be complying with certain principles that you may hold dear to your heart. The word scorn means to be disgusted and angry. If you find yourself feeling these things, guess what? You are sitting in the seat of scorn. If you sit there long enough you may even want to be elevated to another seat called judgment, and instead of judging or examining yourself or judging the things which others do that just do not line up with the Word of God, you may find yourself judging them and invoking scorn. Ouch!
We who know the wiles and craftiness of sin, and the fall it propagated onto all mankind ought to know how to avoid the seat of scorn. Jesus did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world and is still seeking and saving sinners. God gently picked us up, dusted sin off our vestures and continuously leads us beside still and living waters. We are living in a time of mass distractions and sin is the chief of distractions disguised and decorated as a prize. Sin is a deceiver; the only wages it will ever pay is death, just as it did from its origin, (spiritual death.)
The seat of scorn is the escalator and elevator to a judgmental attitude. Can you see the parallel or the similarity between scorn and judgment? The answer to not judging others is praying for them. Have that little talk with God, take those you are scorning and judging with you in the prayer closet and ask God for them to be healed or delivered from all error. Love them through it. Scorn depicts an attitude in which you are disgusted and angry about something someone does, is doing or not doing, what they say and their actions or words which trigger the attitude of disdain. Recognize scorn and free yourself and beware not to sit in the seat of scorn and reap the blessing Psalm 1:1 inculcates. The merciful heart understands the mercy they have received and can only want others to receive the precious gift as well. If you value mercy you will stay out of the hot seat called scorn. May mercy and truth walk with you and be your close companions.
I Chronicles 4: 9-10 NKJV
9 Now Jabez was more honorable than his brothers, and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, “Because I bore him in pain.”
10 And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So God granted him what he requested.
Thank you for showing us where the blessing is, and where it isn’t. Guide us, prune us, purge us, and cleanse us from the appearance of any of these attitudes which are contrary to Your principles and precepts of how to reap through the discipline necessary, the blessings found in this verse. In the name of Jesus.