-Everyone Wants To Be Happy!
I’ve spent the last couple of posts breaking down Psalm, chapter 1. And, we’re not finished! There’s so much to glean from this text of Scripture. The writer tells us that the more consistent we are in adhering to his counsel, the happier our lives will be! And, since everyone wants to be happy, everyone should follow his advice. Beginning with the 1st verse, he says that your happiness depends on where you get your advice: “How HAPPY is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers.”
-Who’s Your Source For Advice?
I think it’s significant that he doesn’t say, “Don’t be wicked; or, don’t sin; or, don’t mock!” It seems that the contrast, he wants to draw on, is our receiving advice from one source vs. our advice from a competing source. We are shaped by the advice we receive! So, take great care, he says, that you’re not getting advice from sinners! That word that’s translated “advice”— or, some of your versions translate it “counsel”— is referring to persuasive words or ideas that someone shares intending to get you to go in a specific direction that they recommend! The “advice” is meant to change your thinking in such a way that your behavior is altered; and, the very course of your life is modified!
-Taking The Path Of Sinners!
When you listen to the advice of wicked people, the Psalmist says, you take the path that sinners take & you become a mocker! There’s a progression here. Based on the advice you receive, your thinking affects your actions affects your character! So, turn your ears away from the advice of the wicked— whether that’s friends, people, books, music, TV, video games, websites, or social media platforms! Choose wisely who you listen to because your happiness depends on it! The writer is saying that your life will only be happy or blessed or fulfilled when you turn a deaf ear to the advice of the wicked!
-Who Are The Wicked?
And, who are the wicked? They are everyone on the path of sin, he says! Everyone who is disobedient to God’s Word & mock anyone desiring to obey God’s Word! Don’t be fooled by their deceitful, enticing words! Notice, in v.2, that the Psalmist says your happiness also depends on what you delight in: “Instead, (or, in contrast to accepting bad advice from the wicked) his delight is in the Lord’s instruction.” Don’t let the wicked; or, the scoffer influence the way that you think; or, you’ll begin to “delight” in their ways! It starts by looking at & listening to all the stuff the world produces; until you think about it so much you begin delighting in it!
-Delight In God’s Instruction!
Beware, the text says; because you’ll find no happiness there! The genuinely happy person does NOT do something; DOES do something— the happy person does NOT take advice from the wicked; and, DOES delight, instead, in God’s instruction; or, the “Law of the Lord.” The Apostle Paul warned the Church of Rome: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” Rom. 12:2. That word “conformed” carries the idea of being pressed into a mold— ”Don’t let the world press you into its MOLD with all of its wicked advice & counsel.” Instead, delight, Paul says, in God’s instruction so that your thinking is transformed! Test the advice you receive by comparing it against the grid of God’s Word!