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"The Truly Blessed Man" (posted September 20, 2023)Printer-friendly version
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord."
How beautifully the book [of Psalms] begins with the man who is truly blessed! [This psalm] speaks preeminently of Christ, though not confined to Christ, for others follow Him in the path of faith and devotion. But only He is perfect in the qualifications of this psalm.
The first verse is negative in showing the blessed man's separation from the evils so common in the world. His walk (speaking of energy of action) is not in the counsel of the ungodly. Standing does not require action, but it does indicate association, as Judas stood with the enemies of the Lord (John 18:5). The blessed man stands apart from the path of sinners.
Sitting in the seat of the scornful would indicate that one is comfortable in the company of those who are guilty of scorn and contempt for the Lord of glory. Peter sat with the enemies of the Lord briefly, but of course he could not be comfortable.
Verses 2 and 3 are beautifully positive. Some people tell us not to mention the negative at all, but God mentions it first. Why? Because the whole world is in a state of evil, and it must first be established that the believer is not of this world. Then the positive things provide the evidence as to why he is not of this world.
"His delight is in the law of the Lord" (v. 2). The law here is not confined to the five books of Moses, which are rightly called "the law of Moses," but includes the entire word of God as revealed at the time this psalm was written.
The blessed man meditates in the law of God day and night. Some eastern religions advocate "meditation," but their practice is not meditation at all, but the effort to rid one's mind of everything, good or bad, and leave him in a state, of nothingness. How much better to meditate on God's Word!
Verse 3 tells the results of meditation on the word of God. The individual will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water. The water speaks of the word of God (Ephesians 5:26), and flowing water denotes the power of the Spirit of God in making the word vital and precious to us.
More than this, the tree is a fruit tree, producing fruit in its proper season, for there are times of rest also as the fruit is developing. Fruit is primarily for God, while the leaves speak of the profession of faith, and these in a devoted believer do not wither, as they do in one who is merely a professor with no reality. Revelation 22:2 speaking of the tree of life (symbolizing the Lord Jesus) says, "The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." Thus, the outward profession or declaration of God's glory in Christ, will have wonderful effect in the outward condition of the Gentile nations in the Millennium [that is, the reign of Christ in His kingdom to come].
"And whatever he does shall prosper." How absolutely true this is of the Lord Jesus. While His sufferings and death seemed to be His defeat, this sacrifice that He accomplished has prospered amazingly in the salvation of countless souls. Let us therefore not be discouraged by any troubling setbacks, for whatever God enables us to do for Him will prosper. "Your labor is not in vain in the Lord" (1 Corinthians 15:58).
Leslie M. Grant