How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.
– Psalm 1:1-6
The first psalm is simple and short. It serves well as the opening to the complete set of 150 psalms because…well, you’ll see for yourself as we meditate on it.
This psalm contrasts the righteous man with the wicked man. The righteous man is like a well-rooted tree that produces fruit. The wicked man is like chaff that the wind blows away.
What behavior distinguishes the righteous man from the wicked man? Where he gets his guidance. The righteous man is constantly meditating on what the Lord wants him to do. By contrast, the wicked are getting their guidance from each other: they “walk in the counsel of the wicked,” “stand in the path of sinners,” and “sit in the seat of scoffers.” This is what distinguished Jesus from the men who crucified Him.
When you start each day with these devotions you are going to the law (teaching, instruction, direction) of the Lord. If you continue throughout the day thinking about what the Lord wants you to do, you fulfill the vision of the righteous man set forth in this psalm…and your life will bear fruit for God.
It’s not the few minutes that you give to this exercise that makes the difference. It’s carrying with you all day long the sense of direction it gives you. For if you don’t think about it during the course of the day, how could you possibly be doing it?
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, help me take away from this devotional time at least one thought I can chew on all day long…so that I can act on it…(this is where you remain quiet in order to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)