Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers. Psalm 1:1
When their bank accidentally deposited $120,000 into their account, a couple went on a shopping spree. They purchased an SUV, a camper, and two four-wheelers in addition to paying off bills. Discovering the deposit error, the bank told the couple to return the money. Unfortunately, the husband and wife had already spent it. They were then charged with felony theft. When the couple arrived at the local court, the husband said to a reporter, “We took some bad legal advice.” The two learned that following bad advice (and spending what wasn’t theirs) could lead to making a mess of their lives.
In contrast, the psalmist shared wise advice that can help us avoid messing up in life. He wrote that those who find genuine fulfillment—who are “blessed”—refuse to be influenced by the advice of those who don’t serve God (Psalm 1:1). They know that unwise, ungodly counsel can lead to unseen dangers and costly consequences. Also, they’re motivated by (find “delight” in) and preoccupied with (“meditate on”) the timeless and unshakable truths of Scripture (v. 2). They’ve found that submitting to God’s guidance leads to stability and fruitfulness (v. 3).
When we’re making decisions, big or small, about our careers, money, relationships, and more, may we seek God’s wisdom found in the Bible, godly counsel, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. His guidance is essential and trustworthy for living a fulfilling life and not creating messes.
Why do you believe Scripture is essential in making godly decisions? Who are your counselors that help you with wise advice?
God, before I seek Your advice about things I don’t know, help me to practice obedience in the areas I do know, and in loving You and others.
Psalm 1 is often classified by scholars as Wisdom Literature because it describes an idealized person—someone whose integrity no one could actually fully live up to. The purpose is to inspire in the audience a desire to pursue such a life of wisdom themselves. In stark contrast to a lifestyle of wisdom, the psalm portrays an alternative destiny, the lifestyle of “mockers” (1:1).
The meaning of the Hebrew word ’ashre (1:1) is difficult to capture accurately in translation. Although often translated “blessed,” the word doesn’t have the modern connotations of being given a gift. Instead, it evokes the idea of the richness and joy of life rooted in God, living out the kind of peace (or shalom) that God intends for humanity. The New Living Translation attempts to capture these connotations by translating the word blessed as “Oh, the joys.”