Summary: What kind of man does God bless? Or what kind of people does God bless? We are reading today "God bless America." Is America in a place spiritually and morally where God can bless it?
What kind of man does God bless? Or what kind of people does God bless? We are reading today "God bless America." Is America in a place spiritually and morally where God can bless it? Let’s examine God’s blessing and its conditions.
This passage, according to verse 6, is illustrating "the way of the righteous" and "the way of the ungodly."
1. The righteous are blessed (v.1)
2. The ungodly are cursed (vv.4-6)
3. The righteous delights in God’s Word (v.2)
4. The ungodly delights in his own ways (vv.4-6)
5. The righteous will prosper (v.3)
6. The ungodly will perish (v.6)
"This Psalm has no title, and has been generally considered, but without especial reason, as a preface or introduction to the whole book" (Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Old Testament).
"Its theme is as big as the whole Bible because it tells of people, paths, and ultimate destinations" (John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible).
I. The Way of the Righteous (vv.1-3)
A. His State (v.1a)
"Blessed" Heb.’ashrey, "is plural — describing the fullness of the blessings that come to those who love God" (Believer’s Study Bible).
"From the perspective of the individual, this is a deep-seated joy and contentment in God; from the perspective of the believing community, it refers to redemptive favor" (MacArthur).
"Man" Heb.’iysh, "is emphatic — ‘that man’ — the one among a thousand who lives for the accomplishment of the end for which God created him" (Clarke).
1. Generally God blesses the righteous
Ps.5:12 - For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. (NIV)
Ps.29:11 - The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. (NIV)
2. Specifically God blesses individuals
Noah - Gen.6:8 - But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
Gen.9:1 - So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.’
Abraham - Gen.12:1-2 - Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your kindred and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.
Joseph - Gen.38:1-5 (NIV) - Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there. 2 The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.
B. His Stand (v.1b-d)
1. It’s against "the counsel of the ungodly" (v.1b)
"Ungodly" Heb.rashaa, "to be unjust — he who has not God in him; who is without God in the world" (Clarke)
"The ungodly man is unconcerned about religion; he is neither zealous for his own salvation, nor for that of others: and he counsels and advises those with whom he converses to adopt his plan, and not trouble themselves about praying, reading, repenting, etc., etc. there is no need for such things; live an honest life, make no fuss about religion, and you will fare well enough at last. Now, "blessed is the man who walks not in this man’s counsel;" who does not come into his measures, nor act according to his plan."
A. He does not follow it
"Walks" Heb.halak (verb), "to go, walk, behave" (Vine)
"Counsel" Heb.’etash, "the plan, advice, advisement" (Strong)
"His conduct is not shaped by worldly standards" (KJV Commentary).
Eph.5:6-7 - Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partaker with them.
B. He exposes it - Eph.5:11 - And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
C. He follows the instruction of his parents
Prov.1:10 - My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.
Prov.1:15 - My son, do not walk in the way with them, keep your foot from their path.
2. It’s against the "path of sinners" (v.1c)
He does not take his stand with them