The Blessed vs the Ungodly Man


True Bible Teaching - About You and God and Your Hope of Salvation

The Blessed vs the Ungodly Man

‘‘Blessed is the man......’’

The first psalm is the perfect introduction to the Book of Psalms. It sets before us two ways of Blessed is the man... who walks in God's waysthinking, two ways of living: two mindsets, as we say these days.

The Blessed

One kind of person is blessed by God; but his or her mindset is first described in a negative kind of way.

There are things he doesn’t do:

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… (Psalm 1:1)

❖ He doesn’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly. There are people who go out of their way to do evil things, to be successful in a worldly sense, to be powerful or wealthy and pleasure-seeking without regard to how God would have them live.

❖ Nor does he stand in the way of sinners – people who sin deliberately or are easy-going in their living, not caring about God’s way.

❖ Nor does he join in the scoffing and scorn of those who treat God’s Word with contempt and are happy to ignore it, an all too common attitude in today’s busy world.

So what is he like, this man who is blessed by God, and how does he think?

The man of God "shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water..."His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper (Psalm 1:2–3).

‘His delight is in the law of the Lord’.

We would think of this today as the whole teaching of God and of the Lord Jesus. How often we read this word ‘delight’ in the Psalms!  David, who wrote many of the psalms, delighted in the Word of God and treasured it. We are told to take delight in the LORD and he will give us the desires of our heart (Psalm 37:4).

In another psalm we read of one who was to come who would ‘delight to do your will, O my God,’ words that are prophetic of Jesus (Psalm 40:8).

Do we delight in God’s Word?

The one who is blessed meditates day and night on the Word of God – well, you might say, we cannot do that all the time, can we? But what the psalmist means surely is that in all our life and actions we are thinking what God would want us to do, how He would have us live.

Are we guided in our lives by God’s Word?

Sometimes we may ask ourselves “What would the Lord Jesus do given our circumstances?” Answering that question will help us know what we should do.

Such a man, the psalm tells us, is like a tree planted beside the water: it flourishes and brings forth fruit.

Such a person is nourished by the Word of God, drinks of the water of life, and the fruit of the spirit is produced in his life day by day. In all his life he prospers – and that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be well-off in the financial sense; but he will be satisfied, happy and contented to know that God blesses him.

The Ungodly

Then the psalmist compares the destinies of the two people he has described.

The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous (Psalm 1:4–5).

The lives of the wicked will be transient, not forever. They will be like the chaff the wind blows away in the winnowing process. In the judgment, such a man will not have a leg to stand on.

Nor will sinners – the unrepentant – find companionship with the righteous.

We notice that those blessed by God are now called the righteous – not that they are without sin, but they have recognized their naturally sinful state, confessed it and have sought the forgiveness of God. Daily they now ask for strength to live a new life. And the Lord God knows the human frame, our weaknesses, and is ready to forgive us our sins if we acknowledge them and are repentant (Psalm 103:13–18).

The Righteous

As a consequence of their belief, commitment and trust in Him, He is willing to call them ‘righteous’.

What a blessed state indeed.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish (Psalm 1:6).

When we read this lovely psalm, we have to ask ourselves a question.

Am I on the Lord’s side?

Surely we would like to think we are on His side and have His blessing.

What an encouragement it is that He knows our ways and will help us in the course of our lives and bring us to the end He has in mind for those who seek Him. The “way of the righteous” leads to immortality and to sharing His nature.

Thus the psalm puts before us the biggest of all choices: do we want to live forever, or are we content to live for a while and then to perish?

Surely not!

By John Boulton

Glad Tidings of the Kingdom of God on Earth