Summary: Dear Christian, how much grief befalls us because we fail to listen to the Word of God? Because we fail to RECOGNIZE the counsel of ungodly? Because we fail to AVOID areas and thoughts that lead us to sin? Because we think LIGHTLY of sin.
Psalm 1:1 "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful."
There is a system of “threes” in this first verse of Psalm 1:
1. "walketh, standeth, sitteth"
walk = follow after
stand = to put yourself in the area of
sit = to be at ease and comfort with
The process: Walking leads to a place where we will sit.
2. "counsel, way, seat"
counsel = the philosophy of, the wisdom of, the advice of
way = the areas frequented by
seat = a congregation of
The process: Counsel directs us to a place where others of the same congregate.
3. "ungodly, sinners, scornful"
ungodly = those who do not know God, those without God
sinners = those who actively transgress (go beyond, "break") the laws of God
scornful = those who make a mock of sin
The process: Ungodliness leads to sin, and sin leads to making a mock at sin.
The idea: To start with walking in counsel that is ungodly leads to opening yourself up to outright sin, which in turn leads to feeling comfortable with it and where we eventually become numb to it and begin to laugh at it. Compare that with Proverbs 14:9 "Fools make a mock at sin ..."
Looking at Psalm 1:1 from these perspectives puts a brighter light on the words of God here:
4. "the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly"
The man who does not follow the advice, the wisdom, or the philosophy of those without God in this world.
How much of the wisdom of the world do we hear every day? Are we not continually exposed to horoscopes, palm reading, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and the like? Do we not hear the ungodly wisdom of this world in songs which tell us to "follow our hearts," to "fight," and to "rebel"? What do they know?! What do the ungodly know of God, His counsel, and His Son Jesus Christ? What REAL benefit can believers obtain from people who do not even know the fear of the Lord (Psalm 111:10 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom")?
The entire book of Proverbs is filled with wisdom. In fact, the WHOLE Bible is. And the New Testament describes the Ultimate Wisdom of God, Jesus Christ (1Corinthians 1:30 "... Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption"). But the counsel of those who know not God (ungodly) does not see this. Jesus Christ is only a “man,” a “good teacher,” a “prophet” and not God. This counsel tells people that Christ is only an historical figure to be put on the same plane as Muhammad, Buddah, Confucius, or Ghandi, with no inkling of His saving work.
Whereas the counsel of God based on reality and truth tells us that man is without hope in this world (Ephesians 2:12 “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world”) because of his sinful state (Psalm 51:5 “conceived in sin;” Romans 3:23 “all have sinned,” John 3:18 “condemned”). “But God who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4), “sent His only begotten Son” (John 3:16), to “save us from our sins” (Isaiah 53:5). For God sent His Son into this world to save sinners: 1Timothy 1:15 “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” THIS is the counsel of God: Matthew 17:5 “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” And this is the counsel the ungodly CANNOT give; faulty counsel that directs people to sin and scorning God. Their counsel leads to death (Psalm 1:6 “the way of the ungodly shall perish”) but God’s to life.
5. "nor standeth in the way of sinners"
The man who does not put himself in the place where sin (mentally) and sinners (physically) are to be found.
When we start listening to the wisdom of those who know not God, we begin to find ourselves OPEN to the seeds of sin and the arousal of our innate sinful desires (Psalm 51:5) which eventually become so strong that we ACT on them (James 1:15 "...when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death"); Or perhaps we think "it's not so bad" going here or going there to places where we KNOW that are hotbeds of sin. This then is the beginning to the next level.
6. "nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful"
The man who does not hang out and feel at ease with those who laugh at sin as if it is a joke.