GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
Two Ways, Two Destinies
By Keith L. Estes
The Psalms, like our Lordís Sermon on the Mount, begin with a beatitude. Although not specifically written as an introduction to the Psalter, the first Psalm provides a basis for all the psalms that follow. It compares the happiness found in the Lord with the sadness of those who do not know Him.
ďBlessed 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. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither, and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous but the way of the ungodly shall perish.Ē(Psalm One)
The psalmist describes the godly man, both negatively and positively. Negatively, he lists three types of sinners, three expressions of sin, and three places of sin that are available to, but not frequented by, the godly man. In ascending order they are: Walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, i,e., his conduct is not shaped by worldly standards; nor standeth in the way of sinners,- he does not make his association with evil men; and nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful,- he has no fellowship with those who scorn God.
Positively the godly man is one who delights in the law of the Lord. The law of the Lord, is clearly to be understood as more than Moses; law. It is synonymous with the Word of God. Hence, it is in the Word of God he doth meditate day and night. To meditate means to discuss or ponder, A Thomas a Kempis quaintly put it, ďI have no rest, but in a nook, with the Book.Ē Thatís meditation.
Positively, the ungodly are described as those who cannot stand in the judgment. When they are brought before the judgment bar of God, they have no retort to Godís just condemnation of their ungodliness,
The secret of the godly manís success is not found in his godliness, but in that the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous. Our loving Lord attends to and provides for those who live godly lives before him. In contrast, all the plans and hopes of the ungodly will end in disappointment and ruin.
Two men, two ways two destinies. One leads to life and blessedness; the other, without God and His Word, is a dead-end street, leading but to death. No one can seriously read this psalm and not examine his own destiny. If weíre going to go to Godís heaven, we have to go in Godís way. Jesus said, ďI am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6)