Thursday, January 6, 2022

Delighting in God’s Word (Psalm 1)

"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" (Psalm 1:1–2a).

The theme of Psalm 1 serves as a preface to all the psalms, stating that all who apply their hearts to the pursuit of heavenly wisdom are blessed. The main responsibility of all believers in attaining this wisdom and true happiness is to meditate on and apply God’s Word. In contrast, unbelievers have no interest in the things of God and mock His Word. Even though they think they are happy, they delude themselves, not realizing their eternal state will be one of pain and anguish.

The believer knows what is in store for the ungodly and does not seek wisdom and happiness among them. Instead, he separates himself and follows God’s ways as revealed in Scripture. Often believers are derided for their simplicity in trusting in the Word of God. Sadly, this opposition comes not only from the world but also, at times, from within the church. Yet those who meditate on God’s Word know from passages such as Psalm 1 that God only blesses those who dedicate themselves to His ways, strive after holiness, and delight in His Word. The true follower of Christ knows that he is a stranger on earth and in dire need of God’s strength, guidance, and direction in all areas of his life.

As believers immerse themselves in the study of the Scriptures, they become increasingly aware of the difference between the lives of the godly and the wicked. The believer does not toy with wickedness, but takes seriously God’s admonitions to separate himself from all ungodliness. He does not take counsel from the wicked, or live in an ungodly manner, or adopt the lifestyle of those who mock God. Instead, he lives according to God’s Word.

The study of Scripture is not burdensome for the believer, but is a delight. Calvin said, “From [the psalmist’s] characterizing the godly as delighting in the law of the Lord, we learn that forced obedience is not at all acceptable to God. Those only are worthy students of the law who come to it with a cheerful mind, and are so delighted with its instruction, as to account nothing more desirable or delicious than to make progress therein.” Those who do this will bear godly fruit. Such is the encouragement to all who follow Christ, for only they will taste the blessings of God.

The promises of blessing to believers are numerous. Read Deut. 5:29; Matt. 5:3–10; John 10:28; James 1:25; and Rev. 22:14. List the characteristics of the person God blesses as well as the promised blessings. Meditate on these promises and strive to reflect in your life the characteristcs of one blessed by God.