Are you an unrighteous person? (Psalm 1)

With this article I would like to continue our look at Psalm 1. Up until this point we have covered the righteous man, what he is like, what he does, what he does not do etc. He is different from the unrighteous man because he delights in the Word of God and meditates on God’s Word night and day. Because of this attitude toward the Word of God, the righteous man is wise and avoids the ways (lifestyle) of the wicked. He is firmly planted in the Word and is stable in his life. He produces good fruit and his service to God always prospers. God knows his way of life and he is never alone. This is why the Psalm opens by saying that he is blessed, or content in life. Now I want to turn to the characteristics of the wicked man and see what he is like and what his ultimate outcome is.

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)

Let’s just go down the list. Verse 4 says that the wicked are not so, meaning that everything that we have learned about the righteous man up to verse 4 can be reversed and is true for the wicked man. He is not blessed or content in his life. He is always searching for something more. The grass is always greener on the other side and when he gets to the other side, the grass on the other side of the other side is also greener. In other words, he is never satisfied in life. Are you like that my friend? Maybe you cannot put your finger on it but you just never seem content no matter what the situation in life or are you a person who envies the neighbor and thinks that if you could have what he has then everything would be great? Not being content in life or blessed, is a sign of a person who is not right with God. If you are not right with God then you will never be content in life because you have a God-size hole in your life that only He can fill. If you try and fill it with anything else then you will never be satisfied.

An unrighteous man will walk in the counsel of the wicked and he will give bad advice. He does not know how to distinguish between good and evil. The Bible explains that until we come to God in repentance and accept His Word as our wisdom for life then we are like children (when it comes to right and wrong) who do not know their right from their left hand. Are you a person who constantly seems to follow bad advice? Or are you a person who seems to give bad advice constantly? An unrighteous person also walks in the path of sinners. In other words, his way of life is a life addicted to sin. He is a slave to sin and will be for all of his life if he is not set free by the power of God. Do you struggle with sin, wishing that you could just say “NO” yet finding yourself doing the same old disgusting things over and over again? If so, there is a way of escape for you. In the Gospel of John chapter 8, Jesus deals with this problem explaining the following steps to freedom:

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine ; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

The steps to freedom are simple; 1) believe in Jesus Christ (not that He exists but that He is who He says He is and He did what He claims He did, follow Him with your life) 2)continue in the Word of God (delight and meditate as Psalm 1 says) 3) be true disciples of Jesus Christ (not just Christians in name only) 4) know the Truth (we are slaves to sin and can be set free) 5) {apply the Truth} and the Truth will make you free. Are you a disciple of Christ? Do you realize that if you are not then you are still a slave to sin? How does a person know that he is a slave to sin? Jesus answered that very question:

Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. “The slave does not remain in the house forever ; the son does remain forever. “So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:34-36)

If you live in sin or in other words if your lifestyle is a lifestyle of habitual sin then you are a slave to sin and you need to be set free. If not then you will dies in your sins and will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. What will you do with the knowledge that you have acquired?

Another characteristic of an unrighteous man is the fact that he does not delight in the Word of God and he does not meditate on the Word of God day and night. The Word of God is not important to him. He lives his life based on what he thinks and wants to do instead of what the Word of God dictates. This is a plague in our modern society. Everyone does what he thinks is right in his own eyes (relativism). This is nothing new. The people of Israel were doing the same thing thousands of years ago. The results are devastating but people do not learn from history and because of that, they are bound to repeat it. What about you, what dictates and guides your life (daily decisions)? Where does the Word of God rank on your list of daily priorities? When was the last time you even opened the Bible? Think about the manner of life that you are leading, whose life does it reflect; the righteous man or the unrighteous?

The unrighteous man is not stable in his way of life. He does not have a firm foundation because he is not interested in the Word of God. He does not have fruit and he does not prosper in what he does. His leaf will wither and he will have nothing to show for all his hard work in life. It will all be in vain. What are you working for? Do you prosper in what you do or does it seem like everything that you try fails? (you tried marriage and failed, a job and failed, a business and failed, etc. etc) As bad as this is it gets worse. If you are an unrighteous person then when judgment comes you will not be able to stand. You will fall over because you have no firm foundation. Ultimately, you will perish. You days will end with nothing significant and then you will pass on to judgment and eternal torment.

In conclusion; we see clearly what the way of life of an unrighteous person is like and the outcome. Which would you choose if you understood the actions and consequences? Why do so many people choose the way of slavery, the way of the unrighteous? I believe it is because they do not know of any other way. That is why the Gospel is such “good news” for everyone to hear. We must get the Word out to the people who are hurting and seeking help. What will you do with the knowledge that you have gained? God bless as we serve God by serving others.

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