Psalm 1:1-6 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. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditates day and night.
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.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Are we to be practical about the law of God? Let me remind us, the righteous are blessed for a number of reasons in this Psalm, for rejecting the counsel of the ungodly, for not standing in the way of sinners, and for not sitting in the seat of the scornful. And the conclusion we have is that the righteous are blessed because unlike the ungodly he took to heart the word and law of God. In other words, he obeyed them.
But the most compelling information we have concerning this Psalm is that both the righteous and the ungodly received the message, that is, God’s law or instruction. But only one was left standing in the face of judgment.
Now, it’s interesting to note, we are not saved by our own righteous acts, yet when reading this Psalm, it seems to suggest one of the person group was beforehand considered righteous and the other was not. However, when we look at the state of humanity and what the scripture has to say about the state of humanity, it is clear, Romans 3:23, “We have all sinned” and yet we see in this chapter of Psalm one, one of the person group is being marked as righteous.
But why is that the case? Why are we able to discover one of the person group in this Psalm to be righteous? And if we have all sinned through Adam, how was he considered righteous? Looking behind the curtain, it is clear, the person group that is considered to be righteous was considered to be righteous because of his attitude toward the law and instruction of God.
Immediately upon receiving God’s law or instruction, he did something that was important. He believed God, and secondly, he began to obey, that is, do what he was instructed to do which is a cause for us to ask our next question, “Why was he, that is, the righteous man so quick to act on the word of God”?
It calls to mind what Jesus said when he came to the end of his sermon, “Whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”
And I believe because the righteous man had come to the knowledge he was in danger after reviewing God’s law for his life, he was quick to obey the law of God, the reason he meditates on it day and night.
Being practical is what the blessing of God is all about, it is not only to know the law of God, it is to put into practice the law of God as demonstrated by this blessed man. It is not a matter of earning our way into God’s kingdom. Because before we came into this world, we were already condemned to death, and the moment we came into the world, the penalty of death was applied to our lives.
Seeing that we were guilty and without help, and were in the way of perishing in the event of the coming judgment, Jesus stepped in with the information we need on how to escape with our lives, and so provided a way of escape through his law.
Realizing this was the way out of danger, the righteous man took action, he believed God, and so ready himself according to the revelation he received from God on how to prepare for the coming season.
Rather than not taking action according to what he the righteous had uncovered in God’s law, the righteous man obeyed, took action, and because he believed, and acted on the law of God, he is both blessed and was considered to be righteous.
His righteousness was not on account of any good he had done, or because he was perfect and without sin. Instead, he was accepted because he put his pride aside confess, he was in danger and in need of help, and so when the law was provided with the solution for his escape he acted.
This was the message of John to those believing their own righteousness could earn them the right and access to God’s kingdom. John said upon seeing the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, Matthew 3:7-10 “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth, therefore, fruits meet for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the ax is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore, every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”
And seeing that his life was in danger, the blessed man did not toss the law of God behind him, instead, he meditated on the law of God day and night to ensure he obeyed the law, repented by acting and obeying the instructions found in the law and so escaped God’s outpouring wrath.
So, to answer the question, are we to be practical when it comes to the law of God? The answer to that question is yes because it’s when we are practical concerning God’s law will we enter the blessing promised, and it is also when we will escape God’s wrath revealed against the world.
And let me use Psalms 119:1-4 to explain and answer the question and confirm why the righteous are considered to be righteous; although, born in sin. Psalm 119:1-4 reads, “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.
And born in sin and in need of redemption, when he the blessed man heard the testimony of Jesus Christ, he responded. He responded by rejecting the counsel of the ungodly which is to ignore the law of God that he might continue to walk in sin or rebellion.
And because of his actions, he, the blessed man is said to be undefiled in the way because he diligently followed the law or instruction of God, “Walked in the law of the LORD” Psalm 119:1. And he is blessed because he kept the testimony of the Lord, and he seeks the Lord with all his heart because of what was revealed to him.”