Do Not Walk in the Counsel of the Wicked – Psalm 1:1-3
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk
in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the way of sinners,
nor sit in company with scoffers.
2 Rather, the Law of the Lord is his joy;
and on His Law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted near streams of water,
that yields its fruit in season;
Its leaves never wither;
whatever he does prospers.
Do you wish to be blessed? Blessings come from being obedient to the Word of God. There is no out-giving God in generosity. When we humbly obey His Word, He promises to open the floodgates of Heaven into our lives. Prayerfully read through this passage slowly and methodically … practice implementing the Lord’s Words into your life:
“Blessed is the man…
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked;
nor stand in the way of sinners,
nor sit in the company with scoffers.
Rather, the Word of God is his joy;
on His (the Lord’s) Word he meditates day and night…” (v 1-2).
The Word of God does not mince words. It tells us exactly what to do and when to do it. It is the complete guide book on how to best navigate through this life and unto the next.
About Psalm 1
Psalm 1, a preface to the entire Book of Psalms, contrasts the final destiny of the “good” and the “wicked.” The psalmist views life as a continuous activity of choices — choosing either the way of the good (the way of God and good moral conduct) or the way of the bad (the way of the world and with the godless). Each “way” will inevitably bring with it its own consequences. The wise, through their good actions, will experience rootedness and balance, a life full of peace, harmony and joy. The wicked on the other hand, those who, by their own choices and actions, distance themselves from God’s life-giving presence, will experience rootlessness, lawlessness and destruction … and ultimately death (spiritual death; loss of salvation, i.e. loss of an eternal life with God in paradise).
Psalm 1 serves as a kind of gateway to the rest of the Psalms. In its simplicity, it lays out the paths available to every human person. We can choose either the way of goodness and life, by seeking the Lord and living according to His will, or we can go our own way, the way of the flesh and of evil, living according to our own will and desires. This way leads only to suffering, slavery and death for sin only enslaves a soul. It is the same notion Moses set before the Israelites in the desert: “I have set before you [the choice of] life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live” (Deut. 30:19).
The Psalms as a whole reflect in poetry and song both the blessedness of walking the path of Truth and the sad consequences of preferring the darkness of sin. Israel’s experience (as verbalized in the Psalms) parallels the joys and sufferings we currently face in our own lives due in large part to our own choices. Thus, we can identify with the people of ancient Israel as we struggle to choose rightly, and to love and serve God alone.
As you prayerfully mediate on this powerful Psalm today, think about your daily choices and prayerfully reflect upon how much God loves you (Jn 3:16).