Psalm 1:1 Guard Your Company
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, not standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful (Psalms 1:1)
The key words in this text for today’s message are:
In order to move ahead with this message, we have to make sure we all have the same understanding of these words. What the intent of the writer is and how the ancient Hebrews would have most likely interpreted the meaning of these and then put them into context. I will attempt to do this for us.
*References are from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
The Hebrew root for the word used in blessed is ashar, meaning to go straight, go on, or advance. Many scholars translate the intent of this word to mean “level”, or “sturdy”. We could go on to say that this is a good foundation, in order to move ahead. That you’re on the “right path”, if you follow what is about to be said. Interestingly enough, this is the same term that Jesus starts his 1st sermon of his public ministry. In the sermon we have come to know as “The Sermon on the Mount”, Jesus begins with the “Be-attitudes”. He says, “Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) This shows the understanding that God has for us. Jesus’ first sermon and the 1st Psalm start off with an encouragement to us. Be happy, you’re on the right path! Be of good cheer, you are right with God.
The Hebrew root for the word use for ungodly is rasha: wicked, criminal. A criminal or someone who is wicked, is someone who made a choice to be in err. The Latin term would be “Malum in Se”, this means that something is just wrong in itself. No one needs to tell you that murder, rape, burglary, robbery are wrong. Those that commit these crimes are wicked.
The Hebrew root for the word used for sinners is chata: to miss, go wrong, sin. This is to fall short. Like a basketball player that just cannot make a basket. There is a standard and it is not being reached. The term we are probably most familiar with would be “lost”.
The Hebrew root for the word used for scornful is luts: have in derision, make a mock, mocker. These are those who make fun of the righteous. Who question the authority of scripture. Those who elevate their own craftiness, who think they are smarter then God. Those who believe in their own wisdom. Those who are arrogant. The saying goes, “He is too smart for his own good”. The 1st Cor. 3:19 says, “For the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God.”
So from the Hebrew perspective it would read more like:
Steady or Level is the man that;
Does not walk in the counsel of those who depart from the path;
Does not stand in the way of those who miss the mark;
Does not sit in the seat of those who imitate (mock) the truth.
We can even say, “At peace with God are those who:
Do not follow those that have strayed from the true path;
Do not hang out with those who miss the mark;
Do not believe there is no God.
A sinful man is one who misses the mark, stumbles and fails. A sinful person makes mistakes. An evil man is one who is bent on hurting someone and who has a life style of injuring others. No Christian should ever want to just hurt anyone. Sin is progressive. “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse…” (2nd Timothy 3:13)
Every evil person was once just a sinner. Sin causes separation from God and hardens the heart. If you hang out with people who have no morals, or have gray areas, or do not have a definite truth, then you will eventually adopt this way of thinking. Somehow we think that we can hang around evil people, people who take the Lord’s name in vain, who lie, steal, and cheat on their spouses, and think that we will not be corrupted. Have you not read? “A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.” (Galatians 5:9 NIV) We are warned of this fact over and over in the scriptures.
(Proverbs 4:14-16) “Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. For they sleep not, except they have done mischief; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall.”
Eventually this evil will get inside of you, and you will start thinking about the evil desires and it will grow in your heart. That is why Jesus let us know that if a man even looks on a woman in lust, he has created adultery already. This is just one example of how impurity corrupts the heart and mind of a man. Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33) It starts with a suggestion, grows into a thought, then a desire. This desire may manifest itself in words first, then before you know it, you have committed the act. James 1:15 says, “Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”
When someone is living a certain lifestyle contrary to what others perceive as right, they will at first hide this lifestyle. They will lie and deceive the ones they love, to protect this lifestyle. Then they will seek out others who live this same lifestyle, this gives them a sense of acceptance.
Even though they still know it is wrong inside. Then they move on to trying to convert others to their lifestyle. This is a progressive hardening of the heart. Once the heart has grown callas then they turn and attack the ones that tried to keep them from going down the forbidden path. They turn vicious and try to destroy the ones who care about them and who try to show them the way that they should have come.
They will try to say there is no God, because if there is no God then there is not absolute truth. Without truth there is no moral compass. Without a moral compass there is no judgement. Without judgement there is no penalty.
In reality God does exists, man knows it, and has turned their back on Him. Psalms 14:1 “The fool hath said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” We have all missed the mark, we have as a whole and individually been corrupted. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23 KJV) You will die and be judged. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for every, including a time to die. (Ecclesiastes 3:2) After this we will all be judged. “and as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:” (Hebrews 9:27 KJV)
What is the judgement? What is the criteria? Why are you condemned? You have turned your back on Jesus and rejected Him, even allowed yourself to be fooled by the mockers, and you have no excuse. You are personally responsible to Jesus. “And this is the judgement, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light; for their deeds were evil.”(John 3:19 KJV) The consequence of the judgement is that you will be cast out of the presence of God. Much like those who violate the laws of society, they are thrown into prison and the fellow prisoners do what they will.
“For without are dogs, and sorcerers the sexually immoral, the murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.” (Revelation 22:15)
“Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men,” (1 Corinthians 6:9 NIV)
If you are on a trip and decide that you no longer want to go to the destination, how do you prevent arriving there? Your make a decision, and get off the course you’re going and correct your course. If you hang out with evil men you will become evil. Paul writes to us, “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)
Hiding from your sin will do you no good, “Whosoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13) Jesus is the only way to be forgiven of your sin and have death Passover you. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
“God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood-to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished.” (Romans 3:25 NIV) Turn away from your sins, confess to Jesus your sins, and receive him as the atonement for your sins. Serve him as Lord of your life. You have a life debt to Him.
If you are a Christian and not doing what you should, forsake your life and confess, take up your cross and follow Him. The time for salvation is today.
This is the way to blessings. Being in fellowship with Jesus, who is God. The blessings of God are peace, joy, love, forgiveness, and fellowship with the One who created everything that is seen and unseen. He is a marvelous God who sacrificed all to make a way for you to experience His love. Hold fast to that which you have been told. Guard your mind and your heart from the ones who seek to destroy your fellowship with Jesus.