“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! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.” (Psalm 1:1–2, HCSB)
What does God have to say about happiness? Psalm 1:1 is simple, but complex. The verse starts out: “Happy (blessed ESV) is the man”. I’m not sure if we ignore the next part of the verse, “who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners or join a group of mockers!” As you read, the verse gets more intense.
If we can do the simple thing of not taking the advice of the wicked, we are well on our way to much happiness in life. Why is it that we take the advice of the wicked? It is hard to decifer between good and bad advice. The flesh is drawn toward evil, but the Lord equips us with good old common sense and a conscience if we don’t read the Bible. Have you ever heard someone say, “The hair on the back of my neck stood up!” or “I felt something just wasn’t right”. You know when something bad is about to happen, but you just can’t put your finger on it. Some folks no longer have simple sensitivity to evil due to long periods of time in sin and rejecting God:
“And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a worthless mind to do what is morally wrong.” (Romans 1:28, HCSB)
ἀδόκιμος adokimos worthless; spurious
99 ἀδόκιμος (adokimos), ον (on): adj.; ≡ Str 96; TDNT 2.255—1. LN 88.111 bad, not fitting, not in accord with right; (most versions) depraved; reprobate (kjv, asv), debased (nkjv, nrsv), undiscerning (nab), unacceptable (njb), (Ro 1:28+); 2. LN 65.13 worthless, of no use, formally, failing the test, unfit, unproven (1Co 9:27; 2Co 13:5, 6, 7; 2Ti 3:8; Tit 1:16; Heb 6:8+)
You obey your conscience, and some of you can talk about how the decision either saved your life, or kept you from heartache. The more you read God’s word, the louder your conscience becomes. When you read every day, the Holy Spirit is powerful, and it screams when you witness what is contrary to the Lord’s word. A simple turning or saying no to wicked advice keeps your happiness intact. The love of God’s word increases because it protects and keeps the Christian:
“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness—how deep is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22–23, HCSB)
I know the laws of this great country are changing; we are now calling what is right, wrong, and what is wrong, right. All the more reason we need to cling to God’s word. There are decisions that you will have to make in the future that will test those who you truly follow. Will you stand the test? That’s another devotion, another time. Now, if we start to venture on the path of sinners, what does that say? You are now on the road with sinners…enough said.
“Don’t set foot on the path of the wicked; don’t proceed in the way of evil ones. Avoid it; don’t travel on it. Turn away from it, and pass it by.” (Proverbs 4:14–15, HCSB)
Then we have the last level, “join a group of mockers!” The word “join” says it all. What exactly is a mocker? A mocker is the same as a person who shows open disrespect for God. Now why would we even want to run with such people? As I mentioned earlier, we have a natural bend toward evil behavior, but that doesn’t mean you are not an overcomer:
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, HCSB)
The child of God loves God’s word, and he is influenced by it. He loves it so much that he reads it day and night. God controls his or her activities and blesses them. God can’t lie, so He can’t break promises, but you have to respond honestly to the Lord. Discipline yourself in seeking God; the same way you once practiced sinning practice righteousness…why not be happy?
“He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” (Psalm 1:3, HCSB)
Posted on Mon, November 24, 2014
by Sam Petitfils