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Monday, October 31, 2016

The Delight of the Righteous

“For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalm 1:6, NASB)

How often do we consider the repercussions of our thoughts, actions, and words? So many times we just do what springs to our minds and impulsively act on what we think? Jesus and Moses taught we are to love the Lord with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. That means our actions, our words, our thoughts, and our spirits must show our love for the Lord. When you think of it that way, it changes things. We begin to look at our own lives in each of these four areas and find something amiss.

David recognized the parts of the person who is wicked and who is righteous. In Psalm 1, he said the righteous are blessed. They are happy. David said the weak will not stand on judgment day. They will perish. How do we know what is righteous and what is wicked? We need to look further in the six verses of Psalm 1.

David said the wicked person walks in the way of the wicked, the one hostile to God. He or she lives in the way he/she heard persuasive leaders teach. David spoke of actions here. The wicked person also stands in the path of sinners, he said. He takes a stand means he declares with his mouth and way of life how he will live regardless of what other people say. David added and said the wicked person sits in the seat of the scoffer. He dwells and remains as one of the people who mock, deride, and scorn people who choose to live God’s way. In this David showed the wicked have become what they were taught. Their minds have been on the false leader long enough that they are haughty and perpetually deride people for their chosen way of life, especially those who follow the Lord. These three things show there is no love for God in actions, thought, or word. This person does not keep the great commandment of Christ as He taught in Matthew 22:37-40.

David tells us about a righteous person, too. In the first verse, he tells what the righteous is not – a wicked person. Then he expands that with subsequent verses. David says the righteous person delights in the law of the Lord. This person longs and desires to read and study God’s Law – His Word. He or she wants to know the Lord better and so goes to His Word. That action shows love of God in thought/mind, heart, and spirit. David also said the righteous person meditates on God’s laws ceaselessly. He or she ponders, thinks on, and speaks about what God’s Word says and about what God spoke to him or her. Studying and meditating on the Word involves the mind, spirit, and physical action - speaking.

In just one verse each, verses one and two, David tells about the wicked and the righteous. With verse three, David tells of the future of the righteous, the blessed one. He said this person will be like a tree firmly planted. He or she will be strong, healthy, have no rot or decay, and will produce fruit. The fruit of this steadfast and righteous person are good works and words, offspring who are raised to know the Lord, and continuous provision from the Lord. This person will not wither, fade in allegiance, or act foolish and senseless because of his or her meditating and pondering the Word daily and allowing it to effect change in his or her life. It will make the person’s allegiance to the Lord stronger. This truly is blessedness.

In opposition to this, David tells of the future of the wicked in verses four and five. He says the wicked will not stand, but will fall to easy seduction because it does not have firm roots in the Lord. This person does not have a strong relationship with the Lord. Besides this, David says the wicked are like chaff, the part of the food that is thrown away as useless, like corn husks and silk. They are worthless and the wind blows them away. This wind can be the easy doctrine offered by godless leaders, which can easily lead people astray. It can be the judgment God will declare upon them, too. David reiterates this point when he says these sinners – people who turned away from God and are exposed to His condemnation – will not be in the congregation of the righteous after judgment day. Their fickleness and willingness to follow an ungodly person shows their lack of love to God in heart, soul, mind, and strength. The future of wicked people is judgment, condemnation, and eternal separation from God and His children.

The Lord knows the way of the righteous, their manners, habits, and moral character. He also knows the wicked and that they will perish. The wicked choose their own leader and god and in so doing, they condemn themselves to destruction.

Are we more like the blessed righteous person or the wicked person? Do we seek God day and night - reading, studying, and meditating on His Word? Do our thoughts, words, and actions show love and obedience to God? We are supposed to love the Lord with our heart, soul, mind, and strength. This requires active conviction and obedience. It leads to God’s blessing us.

Alternatively are we more like the wicked? Are we easily led to consider and follow false doctrine and ideas? Do we work toward things that only gratify us now, but do not follow the Lord’s guidance in the Word? Do our actions, words, and thoughts show we are children of God or do they show we are our own masters and will not be led or “confined” to God’s ways? Are we fickle today choosing one way and tomorrow another way? This leads to God’s judgment of eternal separation from Him and His children.

For whom do you live your life, God or yourself?

Would God consider you one of the righteous or one of the wicked?

“Seek ye first His [God’s] kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NASB)