I was blessed to grow up going to church just about every time the doors were open! Another great thing about the church we attended was they were big on memorizing scripture. Growing up I had a really good memory and loved the challenge, and rewards, of memorizing verses. Sadly as I got older I quit spending time memorizing verses but to this day I still remember many of the verse I learned as a young child.
One of the passages I still remember to this day is Psalm 1. Over the next six weeks we will be looking at this chapter verse by verse. Psalm 1 is kind of a gateway to the Psalms. The theme of this chapter is echoed throughout Psalm, there are two ways to live, God’s way or the worlds way. Each of us gets a choice of which way we will live.
Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
The first verse starts out with the word blessed. This word is often translated happy. This isn’t just any kind of happiness. The original word had a sense of joy and satisfaction. Real joy comes from an obedient life entrusted in Jesus. When we are living inside the will of God our life can be filled with a joy like none other. Yes there will still be trials, suffering and pain, the bible tells us that because we still live in a sinful world. Having a personal trusting relationship with Jesus can help us overcome our pain and suffering and find joy in our circumstance and in who we are through Christ.
It is interesting to me to think about the rest of verse one as a whole. Happy is a person that doesn’t do three things, walk, stand and sit in the company of the wicked, the sinners, and mockers. If you are awake and doing something than you are probably sitting, standing or walking. Those words pretty much cover what we do when we are awake. If we are going to be in God’s will and experience real joy we have to watch where we go. We have to be careful of the places we put ourselves in because it can lead us away from God’s will. Who do you sit with, stand around and walk with?
It has long been stated that we are who we spend our time with. Put another way, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. We become what we surround ourselves with. As a Christian it is very very important that we remember this. Ask yourself, do the five people you spend the most time with love the Lord, worship the Lord, give glory to the Lord? If they don’t you might want to think about those relationships.
The people described in verse one remind me that not all bad things look the same. There isn’t just one characteristic of people we shouldn’t surround ourselves with. When we think of the word wicked we think of someone that is really evil, the worst of the worst, rapist murders etc. When we read the word sinners we can be a bit confused because we are all sinners, even people who are saved and their sins forgiven sin. The difference here is a “sinner” is someone that continues to live in their sin and has no desire to repent or stop doing it. We should not be around people who are habitual sinners. A scorner is someone who through their words and actions goes against something. In this case the will of God.
I watch a show on tv called The Flash. One of the characters on it was able to “steal” the abilities or powers of people they touched and become like them. It made me wonder, if we shook the hands of the the people closest to us and we became like them would God be happy with the new us. Ask yourself this question and answer honestly, “Do the people around me point and motivate me to move closer to Christ and His will or do they pull me away from Him and His will for my life?”
Maybe it is time for you to make a change in your relationships. It can change your life completely!