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The Godly Contrasted with the Un-Godly

Psalm 1


I remember memorizing Psalm 1 as a camper at El Rancho de Paz

We talked last week about the imagery of Psalm 23:  in a different way this Psalm is full of word pictures as well

As we mentioned a few weeks ago when sharing our favorite Scriptures that this is one of Eloise’s favorite passages. 

In this Psalm we see two things:

1.      A description of the Godly and the results

2.      A description of the ungodly and the results

I.                   A description of the Godly and the results

1.      Negative characteristics:

1)      Does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly

When we are seeking counsel or advice who do we turn to?

Often we find that even Christians look to the world for advice on how to properly live their lives.

The ungodly:  Those that leave God out of their thinking

      Many sources of ungodly counsel today:

                  Writers, professional counselors, internet, friends

Over the years I have received some counsel from ungodly men and women that was actually good counsel and I have received some really bad counsel from some that were believers.

*I think that we have to take any counsel, pray about it, and compare it with the Word of God  and move ahead accordingly.

I have heard others give counsel and advice and say something to the effect of:  I know what God’s Word says, but that is wrong and here is what we should do instead.

Any counsel that we get should be run through the strainer of what God’s Word says, and God’s Word needs to take precedence.

I also believe that God’s Word and other Christians need to be the first place that we look for counsel and advice in our lives.

*In God’s Word we can find answers for every situation we face

2)      Does not stand in the path of sinners

Does not stand in the same path as sinners

Does not model his conduct after the world

Everything about the godly man is different from the world

      *His business affairs

      *His social life

      *His friendships

      *His married life

      *All that he does stands in contrast to the world around him

3)      Does not sit in the seat of the scornful

To sit with someone in Scripture is to have deep fellowship with them

The scornful are those who would mock at God and the things of God

The closest fellowship that a believer has is to be with other believers.  It is those friendships that

      *Encourage us to godliness or godlessness

      *Draw us closer to God or away from God

      *Gives us the most counsel and advice

2.      Positive characteristics:

1)      He delights in the Law of God

This is in direct contrast to the three negatives

Instead of turning to unbelievers and the world he turns to the Word of God

                  *It is the first place he looks for counsel

Psalm 112:1 “Praise the LORD! Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who delights greatly in His commandments.”

What does it mean to delight in it?

Job 23:12  “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;  I have treasured the words of His mouth More than my necessary food.


We would all know what I meant if I said that we were going to delight in a good cheeseburger; yet do we feel the same way about God’s Word?


Psalm 119:162  “I rejoice at Your word As one who finds great treasure.”

Proverbs 2:4 “If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures

2)      He meditates in the Law of God

Question:  Have you ever seen anyone nourished by simply looking at bread?

The same is true with the Word of God.  We are not nourished by simply looking at it or listening to it.  We must go deeper.  We must meditate on it

Psalm 63:6 “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches.”

Psalm 119:15-16 I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.  I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”

Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”

Mediate means that it is at the forefront of our minds.  Continually before us in all that we do.

3.      Fruit of their godliness

The fruit is the direct result of putting God and His Word first and forsaking the counsel of the world

Here is where the word picture:  He will be like a tree

1)      Planted by the rivers of water

Planted where its needs are met

Planted where it gathers the nourishment that it needs

A godly person is planted in God

            *Spiritual nourishment

            *Great security

2)      Brings forth its fruit in its season

The godly person is a fruitful person

The fruit of his godly life is clearly seen

Fruit of the Spirit

Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. 

Peace of God


Blessing of God on his life

Living and acting with a purpose

3)      Its leaf will not wither

A leaf that is not withering is a sign of God’s blessing

In Isaiah 1:30 God is pronouncing judgment on the people of Israel for their sin:

For you shall be as a terebinth (tree) whose leaf fades, And as a garden that has no water.

As a result of the righteous person seeking out, delighting in, meditating on, and doing God’s Word God’s blessing will be on him.

4)      Whatever he does will prosper

Why?  Because all that he does will be what God wants him to do

He will be following the principles set forth in God’s Word

Since God is faithful to His Word the godly man will prosper.

He may not have the most riches or the most toys, but he will know God’s blessing and success that goes beyond this life.

II.                 A description of the ungodly and the results vv. 4-6

1.      The character of the ungodly

1)      They are not so

In direct contrast to all that we have just said

a.       They seek counsel apart from God’s Word

b.      They do not care what God says

c.       They do not delight in the Word of God

d.      They leave God out of all that they do

2)      They are like the chaff

In Scripture the chaff is used to refer to what is weak and worthless

It is easily blown away and tossed to and fro

The ungodly bounce from belief to belief, idea to idea, counsel to counsel.  There is no firm standing as in standing on the Word of God

There is not certainty

2.      The fruit of the ungodly

They will not stand in the day of judgment

Cannot and will not stand before God

God knows the way of the righteous but the ungodly will perish.

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