“How blessed is the one who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand in the pathway with sinners, or sit in the assembly of scoffers! 2 Instead he finds pleasure in obeying the LORD’s commands; he meditates on his commands day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by flowing streams; it yields its fruit at the proper time, and its leaves never fall off. He succeeds in everything he attempts.”
Welcome to “Worshipful Wednesdays”! I treasure this day smack dab in the middle of the week where we can reflect on writings from the Psalmist’s heart. David was a worshiper. Not just because he played the harp, but He worshiped God with His life. Sometimes we can have a narrow definition of worship, thinking it mainly has to do with that portion of a church service in which we sing songs to God. But worship can take place in the most mundane of circumstances, moments in which we ascribe worth to God and acknowledge how amazing He and His ways are – so far above our own. It is a lifestyle and affects every part of our life.
Today I marvel at the counsel of God. He has truly given us everything we need in His Word to live a godly life. In this opening chapter of the book of Psalms, the stage is set that the believer has a choice – to choose righteousness or unrighteousness, wisdom or folly. Beginning with examining the advice we receive and pursue is paramount, because it is a precursor to all decisions we make in this life. Here the Psalmist counsels us to not follow the advice of the wicked.
Who are the wicked? Are they easily discernable? Not always. Sometimes advice is subtly influenced by the world with a hint of wisdom and not easy to discern whether the counsel is of God. What then? Filter the advice through God’s Word – does it agree? If we are not in our Word, we can be given to great error. Sometimes people will think you are not being flexible or are too legalistic because you do not bend to follow counsel that is not biblical. The Psalmist understands – and advises us to not sit in their company or let their opinion matter.
I love how we have an alternative in Christ. It is not just avoiding evil, but doing the opposite which brings great blessings. Choosing to obey God’s command instead of following the world’s counsel, or choosing to meditate on God’s commands is where we actually find pleasure and joy. Ironically, it is not in following our flesh and doing what we or others want to do. That path brings burden and destruction.
Sometimes we still choose bad advice when the fruit of listening to good advice is known. We often are deceived or unaware that the counsel we are receiving is bad and neglect to see the many benefits of walking in good counsel. The fruit of listening to good advice is a fruitful life, succeeding “in everything he attempts” and God guarding his way. That sounds a lot better than rebelling against God to get “our” way, which ultimately is Satan’s ploy to destroy us.
In gray areas where Scripture appears to be silent, God’s principles still offer counsel. They stand as a beacon guiding our path. People who have walked before God can also be a beneficial source of advice, but ultimately we answer to God. Go with God and His counsel – therein lie blessings beyond measure.
Lord, thank You that You instruct us and guide us in all aspects of this precious life You have given. Help us to seek Your will fervently and to obey You.