Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly…i
The first of three negative conditions of being a “blessed man” (blessed human being) is to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
In order to be blessed, we are to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. To walk can also mean (figuratively) “to live according to” or “to follow in the way of” or “to walk in the path of”. So we are here instructed to NOT live according to, to NOT follow in the way of, to NOT walk in the path of the counsel of the ungodly.
“Counsel” means “advice, plan, or purpose”. From Webster’s “counsel” is “1. Advice; opinion, or instruction, given upon request or otherwise, for directing the judgment or conduct of another; opinion given upon deliberation or consultation.“
Building our understanding, we are to “not live according to, not follow in the way of, not walk in the path of the advice, plan, opinion, or purpose” of the ungodly.
“Ungodly” means “to be morally wrong, an actively bad person”.
For a little more depth, let’s look at Webster’s definition for ungodly:
1. Wicked; impious; neglecting the fear and worship of God, or violating his commands. 1 Pet 4.
2. Sinful; contrary to the divine commands; as ungodly deeds. Jude 4.
3. Polluted by wickedness; as an ungodly day.
Webster’s definition of ungodly speaks for itself.
An expression or understanding of this part of Holy Scripture could be:
Blessed is the man (individual person) who does not live according to, not follow in the way of, not walk in the path of the advice, plan, opinion, or purpose of those who live sinful, morally wrong, or wicked lives neglecting the fear (intensely awed reverence for His Holiness) and worship of Almighty GOD.
So, there seems to be a few questions here: (1) Why on earth would anybody get counsel to live their life by from such a person? (2) Where do we get counsel to live our life by? (3) What path do we walk in?
Why would anybody get counsel to live their life by from an ungodly person? There are a few answers to this question. That’s where everybody else gets their counsel and advice. They are the expert, or a leading expert in that area. They were recommended by the media, by my kid’s teacher or school, by the government, by my church and church leaders, etc.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we are not to judge the individual, but we are to know a tree by its fruit. If the person or institution does not bear the fruit of righteousness, then we are to avoid eating from that tree. It really is that simple. No matter the success they seem to be having, no matter the awards they win, no matter the wealth they have amassed or are currently producing, if their life is not producing the fruit of the Kingdom Of GOD and His Righteousness, we are to not live according to their counsel.
Where do we get our counsel from? We start with prayer and the WORD Of GOD. We ask Holy Spirit who has been sent to dwell within us and who dwells within those who believe on the LORD Jesus Christ. Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 2:9-16:
1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. 13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.
Do we indeed love the LORD our GOD? Surely He has proven His LOVE toward us in the giving of His Only Begotten Son to pay the full price for our ungodliness and sins. He has even sent Holy Spirit to indwell us, and to teach us and guide us according to His Holy Wisdom. Holy Spirit searches out all things, even the deep things of Almighty GOD so that we might know all that our Abba Father has freely given to us, including His Wisdom.
James 1:2-8 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
James here not only counsels us to seek Almighty GOD, our Abba Father for the Wisdom He desires to freely give us, but he also counsels us to NOT be double minded. We cannot be looking to Abba Father for His Wisdom, then turn around the next day or a few days down the road and look to the world for their wisdom. We must gird our hearts and minds to be of singular focus, the WORD and Wisdom of Abba Father, or the word and wisdom of the world and the god that the world serves. We must choose, and remain steadfast in that choice; regardless of how it appears things are going and the moment.
So what path are we to walk in?
Psalms 23:1-3 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
The LORD our Shepherd is leading us in the paths of His Righteousness for His Name’s sake.
We have heard it said, “The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the LORD.”
The verse actually says:
Psalms 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
If you will notice “good” is in italics, meaning it was a word added by the translators to enhance understanding when translating from the original language into English. The verse, thus, should actually be strictly translated, “The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD”. The Hebrew word “gerber” translated as “man” means “a valiant man, a warrior; or generally, a person”.
You see, Almighty GOD has set a path before us and given us commandments to help us to recognize His Will and that which is best for us. However, Almighty GOD has also given us free will; the ability, the right, and the responsibility to choose for ourselves whether or not to follow Him and His Way, or some other way. Just as a parent may tell a child to do something and the child decide not to, so also does our Heavenly Father tell us (His Children) to do something and we so often choose not to. There are consequences for our choices. Each choice and action produces fruit. If our lives are a smelly, rotten mess, then we have been living according to smelly, rotten choices which plant smelly rotten seed that eventually produces the smelly rotten fruit we are experiencing in our lives.
LORD Jesus would tell or invite people, “Come, see” or “Come, follow me”. The people always had a choice. Even so today, we all will always have a choice. Will we choose to follow the LORD our GOD as He leads us in the paths of righteousness for His Name’s sake? Or will we choose to walk some other path? Will we choose to ask Holy Spirit to reveal to us each step the LORD our GOD has ordered (built, prepared, established) for us, or will we place our feet elsewhere? Again, the choice is ours. Will we ask Holy Spirit to help us to walk in the steps the LORD our GOD has ordered for us once He has revealed them to us? Or will we attempt to do so under our own strength? Whose counsel will we seek in walking these steps?
Though the Psalms are beautiful writings, they are not mere poetry meant to tickle our ears or give us the “warm fuzzies” about GOD. The Psalms are revelation of hard won truth given to someone seeking the heart of Almighty GOD, our Abba Father. Choosing the counsel that we will seek, and the path that we will walk in is of eternally vital importance.
Whose counsel will you seek? Where will you get such counsel? Will you actually walk (live according to) the counsel you receive? What choices will you make? The choice for you is only your choice and no one else’s. It is your eternal soul that is at stake here, and only you have the right and responsibility to make your individual choices. Choose wisely, please.
iHoly Scripture is given in the King James Version, 1769. Bold Emphasis is added.