Psalm 1: The way of the godly

The way of the godly

The way of the godly

— He separates Himself from ungodly counsel, sinners and mockers

The first thing the godly considers is the outcome of the ungodly, and when he realises their fate and where the way of the ungodly leads, he fears because the end of the ungodly is destruction, damnation and hell. The godly knows this and therefore separates himself from the wicked counsel of the ungodly. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t know what is evil and ungodly; it means he doesn’t follow the advice of the ungodly. He doesn’t stand in the way of sinners. He doesn’t become too acquainted with sinners. Bad company ruins good morals. Birds of a feather flock together. Iron sharpens iron. The godly don’t flock with the ungodly. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know unbelievers personally or become friends with them. But we should be careful not to be influenced by their talk and jokes and sinful behaviour. The mark of a converted man is that he separates from evil company. He does not sit in the seat of the scornful. Sin has progressive levels. First, it allures and tempts you, then it makes a “nest on your head”, and then you dive into that lifestyle. The godly have turned from the world’s ways, the world’s counsel, the pleasures of sin, and the mocking of Christ and God and righteousness. He has seen the destructive effects of wickedness and ungodliness; he has felt it in his own life and therefore turned from it and is ever turning from it towards God. Biblical repentance is the trademark of the godly. Conviction of sin, contrition over sin, confession of sin, and conversion towards God, from the world to God, characterises his life.

❖ He meditates on the Word day and night. He not only reads or scans it

Verse 2 tells us in the text that the blessed man, the godly man or woman, meditates over the law and word of God. Interestingly, the Bible doesn’t say here that a man is blessed when he only reads the word of God. Just reading the Bible won’t make you blessed. But without reading it, you won’t be blessed either. The Pharisees of Jesus’ day knew the Torah. They memorised the Torah. But they were not blessed because they didn’t obey the word! The Bible tells us in Psalm 1 that a man will only be blessed when he turns from ungodliness towards the Word and meditates on it. But we must start with reading. We can’t meditate on the word of God if we don’t read and know it, can we? So we must read it, first and foremost. For the last 20 years of my life, I have read through the Bible once a year. And I think it is a good practice. Many Christians read through the Bible once a year, and some read through it twice or even three times a year. But reading it can often become a mechanical practice, a legalism. We think just because we read the Bible regularly, we will be helped. But in this psalm, it is clear that the blessed man not only reads or listens to the Bible being read but meditates on the word. If the Bible is the most important book in the world and if the way of blessing and the way of cursing and the way of eternal life and eternal damnation is clearly and truthfully taught in this book, then we owe it to ourselves, not only to read but to meditate and ponder and study this Book. That is why we have Bible studies at churches. And I want to encourage you today not only to be a reader of the Bible, and that you must be, but to be a pondered and meditator and a Bible student for life. Nothing is more critical for you to know and understand the contents of the Holy Scriptures. Because without knowledge of the way of salvation and blessing, you cannot be blessed! 

❖ He finds joy and delight in the Word (Psalm 19)

But it doesn’t end there! The psalm tells us that God blesses a man who delights in the word and meditates on it day and night. In other words, the words of God are his constant and daily companion. He doesn’t only come to the Bible and quickly read a few chapters and then go on with his daily activities and work duties and forget what he has read. We are not saying that all Christians must study the Bible five or ten hours a day. What this Psalm is telling us is that we must feed and be nourished by the word of God. Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4). Blessed is the man who receives his strength from the Bible. Blessed is the man who delights in the word of God as if he has found a great treasure! 

Let’s be honest today

Do you find pleasure in reading and thinking about God’s word? 

Or is reading the Bible a tedious exercise that you quickly want to get over and tick off your “to-do list” for the day? 

Let’s be honest! Off course, there are more exciting parts of Scripture than others, but in general, are you excited about the contents of Scripture?

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