The Message of Psalm One
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.” (Psalm 1:1 NKJV)
Yesterday we examined the three basic groups of unsaved mankind: unbelievers, sinners and mockers. Today we want to look at a great two-fold truth offered by the psalmist: The human heart is extremely impressionable, but we have been given the choice as to what has access to it.
The “counsel of the ungodly” describes the prevailing maxims and ruling principles of the unregenerate world. Unbelievers are not shy about propagating their opinions about how people might find happiness and fulfillment in life.
In the psalmist’s day, a believer understood that he should avoid the obvious hangouts of the drunks, criminals and prostitutes. This is not so simple in the advanced culture in which we live for Satan can spiritually pollute us in the safety of our own homes through the various forms of the media. For instance, on any given night, sitcoms offer the three people groups of Psalm 1:1 the opportunity to fully vent their foul messages.
It should come as no surprise that Hollywood has been able to rouse public sentiment against Christianity. What is astonishing to me is the level of devotion Christians have to their TV watching. It seems that many are so addicted to entertainment—so unwilling to live without it—that it doesn’t matter how wicked the content might be. Downright pornography is about the only form of programming that professing Christians are unwilling to tolerate.
I believe the key to Satan’s success can be found in a biblical statement regarding a different subject. “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly,” wrote Solomon, “therefore the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 8:11) If I could slightly restate this verse I think you would get the sense about what I am saying: “Because people don’t feel the effects of some forms of evil immediately, therefore they give themselves over to it completely.”
It is true that the effects of television on the believer occur subtly and gradually. The television viewer doesn’t lose his passion for the things of God, his yearning for God’s presence, his rejection of the world’s offerings, his shame of sinfulness, his abhorrence of evil right away. No, the change is subtle and gradual.
The message of the world always caters to the flesh and to self-love. Those who listen to that message inevitably take themselves out of God’s blessing in life.
This first verse serves as a gateway to all of the blessings found throughout the entire book of Psalms. Let us heed the warning offered here and enter through God’s prescribed entrance to all the joys He offers in this tremendous book.
And how about you? Have you considered making a consecration unto the Lord about what you view? David wrote, “I will not have anything unworthy in my presence; dissolute behavior is odious to me; it shall not gain a hold on me.” (Psalm 101:3 Har) Are you willing to make that same commitment?