Here we are in the Psalms! Consider the Godly advice we’re given in the initial verse of the very first one. This not only sets the stage for the entire book, but for our lives. If we were to read only this one Psalm, it would provide us guidance and direction and tell us all we need to know about those who hate God, and their eternal destiny.
What is so special about this opening Psalm? Here is Psalm 1:1 with its rich wisdom:
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;
We’re told three things:
- Don’t walk in the counsel of the wicked
- The Hebrew word for walk is hālaḵ (Strong’s #1980). It means to be conversant with or, effectively, to be comfortable in someone’s presence. In this case, it describes being at ease with the advice of a wicked person.
- Don’t stand in the way of sinners
- The Hebrew word for stand is āmāḏ (Strong’s # 5975). It means to dwell or continually be with a person. We’re told not to spend excessive time with those guilty of transgressing God’s Law.
- Don’t sit in the seat of scoffers
- The Hebrew word for sit is yāšāḇ (Strong’s #3427). It means to abide or make cause with, i.e. to agree and support, an arrogant, boastful person.
Aside from any evangelistic efforts we make toward people of this nature, if we avoid those who are wicked, hate God, and are prideful, how much better off all of us would be! People like this are self-exulting, boastful, and inevitably scheming to commit evil acts against the will of God.
Yet, the Lord knows the hearts of such people and will not endure them forever. He tells us in Psalm 1:4:
The wicked are not so [like a well-watered tree],
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Those who choose to live apart from God have an ordained end that will blow away and be forgotten. In fact, the next verse in Psalm 1:5 says about them:
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
They will not stand with the righteous when God judges mankind. Because of who they are, they will not dwell with those who love God. Their fate is tōḇêḏ or abad (Strong’s #6), which is to be utterly destroyed (Psalm 1:6).
In contrast, we who love God and obey Him, will walk, stand, and sit in His presence. We will enjoy His blessings in every way and prosper through Him, just as a tree is watered abundantly and produces much fruit (Psalm 1:3).
Why would anyone choose differently? God loves all of us, even those who decide they don’t want or need Him. Sadly, for such people, He gives them what they desire – eternity apart from Him.
All of us have this decision to make in our lives. Will we delight in God and choose to obey Him (Psalm 1:2)? He knows our very hearts. He sees into our inner being and whether we love or disdain Him. Our lives are an open book to Him. How amazing is our God! I’m so thankful He has given me a reprieve from the death I deserved. Glory to the Lord on high!