1. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
God will bless me if I don’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly. The ungodly are those who want nothing to do with God, those who do not follow His will. Counsel is advice on how to live and what to do, and is supposed to be good. Walking in counsel is accepting it and following that counsel; carrying it out. But God tells me not to follow the counsel of the ungodly. I must ask God to help me spot the ungodly around me and stay far away from their counsel, for God will not bless me if I do.
Next, I am not supposed to stand in the way of sinners. Sinners are those who continue to do wrong and refuse to admit it; they refuse to acknowledge that they need a Savior. The way of a sinner is his lifestyle, how he lives and what he does and doesn’t do. God doesn’t want me to stand in their way, to be around them, to do what they do. Many times, a sinner will walk in his own way and seem to get away with it, and if I’m not careful, I will imitate them because I think I can get away with it too. I need to stay far away from the path of sinners.
Finally, God tells me not to sit in the seat of the scornful. The scornful are those who mock God and His Word; they don’t believe it and criticize it. They’ll attack any Christian who dares stand for their beliefs and try to make them look like fools. God doesn’t want me to sit in their seat, or imitate them. He doesn’t want me to put myself with them, and try to sound like them. God will bless me if I don’t listen to those who don’t listen to Him. He’ll bless me if I don’t be like those who don’t follow Him. He’ll bless me if I don’t try to imitate those that scoff at Him.
2. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.”
God will bless me if I delight in His Word. A delight is a desire and a joy. If I delight in God’s law, then I want to read it, I want to pay attention to it, I want to remember it, I want to learn from it. And I enjoy doing so. The phrase “God’s Law” could specifically mean His commandments and what He tells me what and what not to do.
Meditate on it. That doesn’t mean read it once and then go on my way. Meditating means to read it over and over, think about what it means, and to continually think about it throughout the day. It means taking time to figure out how it applies to my life. What hidden gems does God have for me in a verse if I study it out? I am supposed to meditate day and night. That means before I start my day and when I’m about to end it, I should go and study God’s Word.
3. “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Trees planted by rivers are strong. Their roots go down into life giving water and absorb as much as they can, so that even in times of drought, they can hang on. In the same way, if I reach into God’s Word and hold fast to its life-giving substance, I will be strong when trials and tribulations come. But it isn’t me that is holding fast and keeping strong; for if I was on my own, I would fail right away. It is the power of God flowing through me that keeps me close to Him. But to get that power, I must be willing to meditate, study, and apply God’s Word.
In due season I will bring forth fruit if I meditate on God’s Word. Fruit doesn’t just come up overnight. It takes days of sunshine and water for a tree to produce fruit. In the same way, I must be patient in meditating in God’s Word. I can’t give up two days in expecting to be completely changed. I need to be dedicated and willing to push so that I may bear fruit for God’s glory. Dedication will bring the reward.
The verse continues by saying my leaf shall not wither if I delight in God’s law. A leaf is what shows that a tree has life. It takes the water from the roots and produces beauty. A healthy tree is full of vibrant leaves. I believe that this part of the verse is saying that I will be a cheerful and bright person if I delight in God’s Word. I will not wither away in depression and gloom, but rather take what I’ve learned and become brighter through it. Finally, a person who delights in God’s law shall have a prosperous life. He will be doing God’s will, and God will be with him, blessing him along the way. That’s not to say that life won’t be hard and have trials; because life will. But if I delight in what God said in His Word, He promises to prosper my life.
4. “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.”
Once again, the ungodly are those who don’t want anything to do with God and go against what He commands. God likens them to chaff, which the wind easily blows. In other words, they are flippant and undetermined. They have no morals, goals, or standards. They just go with the flow. What they consider right or wrong depends on how they’re feeling at the moment or who they’re with. Someone like that doesn’t have any resolve. Ungodly people are very apathetic. I must be careful not to be the same.
5. “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.”
Because the ungodly are so flippant, God will separate them from the righteous. They will not be in the same judgement, or the same group. God will protect His own from them.
6. “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
The righteous are those who are saved and have Jesus in their hearts. God says He knows their ways. He knows what’s going to happen in their lives, and will direct them in the best ways. However, for the ungodly, their ways and desires will only lead to confusion and finally destruction.