Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Two Paths

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,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
(Psalm 1:1-2)
Psalm 1 describes two different kinds of walks. Each represents a way of life. One way seeks after God, the other does not. The one who seeks after God takes great delight in His law (the Hebrew word is torah and means “teaching,” instruction for living well). It gives him counsel, guides him along a good path and seats him in a place where he is a blessing to others.

The other one follows the advice of people who habitually do evil. It leads him into a path that is harmful both to himself and those around him, and it seats him with those who only know how to mock what is good.

Two radically different ways, two dramatically different outcomes:
He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
(Psalm 1:4-6)
The one who diligently seeks after God, delighting in His ways and meditating continually on His instruction, finds great reward, not only in the life to come but also in this one. His life is well established, abundant and fruitful. He has something to offer for every season of life. He goes from prosperity to prosperity.

Not so for the one who walks in the way that is not God’s. His life becomes dry and dusty, like chaff, and is soon blown away with the prevailing winds. On the day when God comes to stand everything up and set everything straight, there will be no place for the evil man. He will not be found among those who are found doing what is right.

For God has great regard for those who do what is right, who “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” — God’s rule and reign and His way of doing and being right — and everything necessary for life will be added to them (Matthew 6:33). But for those who follow the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of evil and conspire with the mockers of everything good, there is nothing left except a wasted life and a dismal future.

Two radically different paths. Two dramatically different outcomes. In what will you delight?