September 18 2022
Today, Sunday September 18
Delighting in God’s Word
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
God's covenant with Israel made it clear that He would bless their obedience and judge their disobedience (Lev. 26; Deut. 28). This is the story line through the entire Old Testament. God’s Word also makes it very clear that this same principle is true for everyone. This is for both Jew and Gentile. It is a timeless truth that applies to us today! When we hear and know what God’s Word is teaching us, we must receive it and obey it. When we obey it, we are blessed but when we reject it and then disobey it, we will not receive God’s blessings!
For the most part, God’s blessings are conditional! The person described here in Psalm 1:1-2 is one who is being encouraged to meet these conditions and therefore enjoy the blessings of God. If we want God's blessing, we, too, must meet the conditions.
The first thing we notice, if we want to blessed, is that we must be directed by the Word of God (v. 1). Israel was a unique people; they were among the other nations, but they were often warned not to be contaminated by them (Num. 23:9; Ex. 19:5-6; Deut. 32:8-10; 33:28). Psalm 106 is a history psalm that describes what happened when Israel learned the ways of the pagan nations around them. It was not good! If they were to receive and enjoy God’s blessings, they were to separate themselves from the ways of the ungodly people surrounding them.
It is the same with God's people today: we are in the world but not of the world. Jesus prayed about this for us in John 17:11-17. We must beware of friendship with the world (James 4:4) that leads to being spotted by the world (James 1:27) and even loving the world (1 John 2:15-17). The result will be conforming to the world (Rom. 12:1-2) and, if we don't repent, being condemned with the world (1 Cor. 11:32).
Lot looked toward Sodom, pitched his tent toward Sodom, and soon moved into Sodom (Gen. 13:10-12; 14:12). Though he was a saved man (2 Peter 2:7-8), Lot lost all that he had when the Lord destroyed the cities of the plain (Gen. 18-19; 1 Cor. 3:11-23). We move into sin and disobedience gradually (see Prov. 4:14-15 and 7:6). If you follow the wrong counsel, then you will stand with the wrong companions and finally sit with the wrong crowd. When Jesus was arrested, Peter didn't follow Christ's counsel and flee from the garden (Matt. 26:31; John 16:32; 18:8), but followed “afar off” and entered the high priest's courtyard. There he stood with the enemy (John 18:15-18) and ultimately sat with them (Luke 22:55). The result was denying Christ three times.
In verse 1, the "ungodly" are people who willfully and persistently practice evil; "sinners" are those who miss the mark of God's standards but who don't care; the "scornful" make light of God's laws and ridicule that which is sacred (see Prov. 1:22; 3:24; 21:24). When laughing at holy things and disobeying holy laws become entertainment, then people have reached a low level indeed.
Secondly, if we want to receive and enjoy God’s blessings, we must be delighted with the Word of God (v. 2). We move from the negative in verse 1 to the positive in verse 2. Delighting in the Word and meditating on the Word must go together (Psalm 119:15-16, 23-24, 47-48, 77-78), for whatever we enjoy, we think about and pursue. "Meditate" in the Hebrew means "to mutter, to read in an undertone." Orthodox Jews speak as they read the Scriptures, meditate and pray. God's Word is in their mouth (Josh. 1:8).
If we speak to the Lord about the Word, the Word will speak to us about the Lord. This is what is meant by "abiding in the Word" (1 John 2:14, 24). As God's people, we should prefer God's Word to food (119:103; Job 23:12; Jer. 15:17; Matt. 4:4; 1 Peter 2:2), to sleep (119:55, 62, 147-148, 164), to wealth (119:14, 72, 127, 162), and even to friends (119:23, 51, 95, 119). The way we treat the Bible is the way we treat Jesus Christ, for the Bible is His Word to us.
Today, may the Lord help us to receive God’s Word by reading it, memorizing it, meditating on it, and then by His grace and with His help, obey it in every area of our lives!