The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 83

1. “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

2. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

3. “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yield its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers” (Psalm 1: 1-3).

Habits are character forming! The psalmist describes two alternative courses of action. They produce two diametrically opposite groups of people.

The first group of actions (described negatively in verse 1, “does not”) characterizes the person who is being drawn more and more under the controlling influence of ungodly people. His association with them brings him to a place where he himself begins to be an evil influence on others. Notice this does not happen overnight! It is a gradual progression. It happens like this. At first, he simply associates or keeps company with the ungodly (walking with them). In due course, he identifies with them, believing what they believe (standing with them). He has now fallen captive to their ungodliness. In the third stage he begins to teach others the ungodly ways he himself has learned (sitting, ‘in authority’). He has become an ungodly person like his friends. Such a person, says the psalmist, is not blessed.

In the second verse, the psalmist describes another set of actions that characterizes a godly person. This person meditates on God’s law continually, and actually delights in it! He has learned to meditate on God’s word; that is, to think about its truth with a view to understanding both its meaning and application in his life. He can actually enjoy (take pleasure in, delight in) it, because he has come to see that God’s law is not burdensome. He understands that it is given to help him live a productive and satisfying life that is pleasing to God. In the third verse the psalmist compares such a person to a well-watered tree, which exhibits healthy life and consequently bears good fruit. Such a condition, says the psalmist, is a sign of prosperity or of being blessed.

Every one of us is constantly being influenced by an ungodly society. However, we are also open to God’s word and the influence of godly people. Whether we are blessed will be determined by our attitude toward obeying God’s word. Meditation (defined earlier) must become a discipline. If we do not actively seek to come under God’s influence, then we will be influenced by a sinful society!



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