1 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,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
4 Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
I see this as a good guide (and instruction) to living right. It is saying that basically, we will be blessed if we choose to stay pure and refrain from certain evils and temptations. This is said at the start of the chapter, when the Psalmist says we are blessed if we don’t walk in step with the wicked.
But, I believe that most honest Christians will be able to admit that this isn’t always easy to do. Life is always easier for us if we just take certain shortcuts… bending the truth to hide incriminating facts, cheating on our taxes, or keeping our mouths shut when we see somebody doing something unethical. The list is endless, and we always seem to have a choice before us… will I choose God’s way, or the world’s way?
One key instruction (and guideline) in all of this, I believe, is to meditate day and night on the law of the LORD. Maybe, if we’re doing that, the rest will fall into place with just a little more ease. We will be less tempted by the wrong choices, because they won’t sound as appealing to us – that is, if God’s word is what we find appealing.
Yes, forbidden fruits will always sound very appealing. But, I notice something even more appealing at the end of this chapter, where it says that the LORD watches over the way of the righteous. Isn’t that a pretty desirable thing? How great is it to know that God – the one who knows all, past, present, and future, and who has all power, is overseeing us and guiding us from above? Isn’t THAT pretty tempting? I think so.
Lord, please help us to live according to the ways you’ve laid out for us. Please guide and guard our hearts so that what we want is more of you – more than any other desirable thing. Please transform us daily and keep us on the way of the righteous. Please let us yield fruit and our season, and keep our leaves from withering. Thank you, Lord… for your direction. Help us as we strive to be in line with your ways. Amen.