Friday, May 9, 2008

Thoughts on Psalm 1: Things the Blessed Man Refuses To Do

"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." (Psalm 1)

The Bible starts with pointing out what the blessed man refuses to do. So many today do not like Bible preaching because this kind of preaching always points out error and people do not want to be corrected. As a result, some Christians foolishly ask an audience with the preacher to persuade him to "tone it down" or to "focus on the positives." It is amazing to see, here and in other portions of Scripture, that God's ways and Word is directly opposite of man's ways. John Phillips in his excellent commentary work on Psalms points out that man's philosophy starts with "The Power of Positive Thinking" but God starts with "The Power of Negative Thinking." I thought John's observation was right on.

To start with, the blessed man refuses to listen to advice which stems from the ungodly. The main characteristic of the ungodly is that they are people who do not factor God in the equation. More than that, they disregard and disrespect God and the things of God. God is obviously absent in the advice given. God is absent in the life of the adviser(s). In other words, God is not a consideration in the hearts and minds of the ungodly. Ungodly people will generate ungodly advice. This must be qualified, we are dealing with counsel in areas of moral importance. The blessed man is very careful about where he gets his advice from, who he gets his advice from, and does it line up with God's Word?
Here are some great sources for advice:
1. The Bible - God's Holy Word.
2. The Holy Spirit - He will never contradict His Word.
3. The Pastor - God's Man - the main qualifications are doctrinal, domestic and moral integrity.
4. Other godly men and women - the main qualification is true godliness.

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