The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
This Psalm starts with separating the ways of the righteous from the ways of the wicked. For the righteous, being those who delight in the law of the Lord, they will be blessed. As Christians we are not under the law, however we should still delight in it. Jesus said of the scribes and Pharisees that they “sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice.” (Matthew 23:3) They knew the law of the Lord, they taught the law of the Lord, they condemned according the the law of the Lord, but they were “hypocrites”. They did not delight in the law of the Lord because they did not walk in the law of Lord.
For Christians our delight is in the moral teaching of the Holy Scriptures and we delight in it. We read it, we understand it, we hunger and thirst for it, and we delight in applying it to our daily lives. In Joshua 1:8 we are told that “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” The law of the Lord is our blessing.
God did not give us an arbitrary set of laws or rules. God gave us the formula for success and happiness in this life. “The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.” (Psalm 19:7) For those who reject His word they are on their own. Walking through life with no guidance is a very difficult path. I have done it both ways and I thank God always for bringing me to faith. In my nights of affliction He comforts me, when all is falling down around me He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake and for my own good. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for He is there always and will never leave me; His rod and His staff, they comfort me. In the presence of my enemies He prepares a table before me. He blesses me and my cup overflows.
The law of the Lord is our blessing and a promise from our Creator. The law of the Lord is not a legalistic or Pharisaic check list that is to be complied with unless we do so as we meditate on it day and night and as a delight of our heart.
“The Lord is knowing the way of the righteous. He is constantly looking on their way, and though it may be often in mist and darkness, yet the Lord knoweth it. If it be in the clouds and tempest of affliction, he understandeth it. He numbereth the hairs of our head; he will not suffer any evil to befall us. “He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10.) “But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” Not only shall they perish themselves, but their way shall perish too. The righteous carves his name upon the rock, but the wicked writes his remembrance in the sand.” Charles Spurgeon, “Exposition of Psalm 1”