Stay Out! Stay Alive!

Over the past week I spent some time meditating on Psalm 1. It’s the description of the blessed man who centers his life by meditating on the Scriptures.

The psalm starts, however, not with what we are to pursue, but what we are to reject. When it comes to blessedness, we need to know not only what we must seek after, but what we must avoid. The Psalmist lists three things:

1. The counsel of the ungodly.

This is the philosophy and advice from those who would tell us to lie, cheat, steal, or murder if it is for our personal profit. Those who mock honesty, character and integrity as non-essential in a modern world. The naturalistic thinker that views the world through a godless lens.

2. The way of sinners.

Obviously this does not mean we are to shun or ignore unbelievers. Jesus Himself was criticized for being a “friend of publicans and sinners.” It does mean we are not to participate in their sinful activities. We should not partake of the wicked aspects of their behavior.

3. The seat of the scornful.

Bible students have often noted the downward progression in this verse. It begins with walking, then standing, finally sitting. It beings by listening to and accepting the thinking of the ungodly, progresses to acting like the sinner, and ends with being just like one of the wicked.

This is Satan’s plan of attack: He targets our conscience first, then our conduct, then our character. If he can win the battle for our mind, the rest will follow.

So avoid this road. It’s the double-black diamond slope that leads to danger. Proverbs 14.12 describes “a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” The blessed person rejects this path, and follows closely the path of righteousness. That’s the path our loving Shepherd will lead us in (Psalm 23.3).

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