Editors Note: Jeremy Sanders rejoins us to explain why Christians are partially to blame for the recent riots and the acceptance of social justice.
The Pastor of my church recently started a series exploring various Psalms, starting with Psalm 1. Some of the points he discussed are extremely applicable to the issues facing our country today. Given recent experiences I have had, as well as observing various “Christian” responses to the culture, it made me realize just how applicable Psalm 1 is to today’s issues.
Psalm 1 also demonstrates that while the blame for the recent riots rests on the rioters, as well as a government that is failing to preserve the peace, there are others who must also share responsibility. Christians, the family, the church all share culpability for our current issues. If Christians had stayed strong, clung to God’s Word, and trained their kids to follow righteousness, we would not be facing the current problems assailing the country. Not only would many of the rioters not be committing their crimes, but the various “Christians” defending/ excusing their actions and pushing the BLM agenda would instead be advocating against such a godless agenda. Many people who I grew up with, am friends with, and who had at least some Christian background, have been deceived by this satanic attack, and instead of pushing the true Gospel of Jesus, are pushing a phony social gospel that will condemn sinners to eternal punishment in hell. For a more thorough explanation of the Satanic origin of BLM, please read my essay entitled “Black Lives Matter: An Organization from Hell.”
Below are all six verses that makeup Psalm 1. Of note, Psalm 1 is a “wisdom Psalm” similar to Proverbs and Ecclesiastes in content and makeup. We will examine each verse and exegete what exactly the verse is saying before applying it to our current culture.
- 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 meditate 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.
In verse 1, we see that a man is blessed if he does not do three things. The first is to not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. The Hebrew word for walketh is transliterated halak, and can mean to literally, or in this case, figuratively walk. According to Strong’s definition, it can mean “continually, be conversant”. Thus, a man is blessed if he does not converse continually in the “counsel of the ungodly. The Hebrew word for counsel is transliterated etsah and means exactly what you would expect counsel to mean, “counsel, advice purpose.” So we see that a man is blessed if he does not continue in the advice of the ungodly.
Hebrew poetry often includes parallelism, as we see in verse 1. Often, a similar idea is said multiple times, generally increasing in importance and effect. A man is blessed when he not only avoids walking in ungodly advice but when he does not stand in the way of the sinner. The Hebrew word of standeth is amad and literally means “to stand, remain, endure take one’s stand”. When you are walking in ungodly counsel, your course is not yet fixed, and perhaps you can walk away. However, when you stand in the way (Hebrew word is derek, meaning “habit, course of life, moral character’”) you are now taking a stand for ungodly things. It is now a habit in your life and a transformation of your moral character. You are no longer merely exploring these ideas; the ideas are now part of your character. This is not the last progression however, merely the middle.
The last progression of verse 1 is when a person “sitteth in the seat of the scornful”. The Hebrew word for sit is yashab and it literally means “to dwell, remain, inhabit, abide”. Instead of merely standing on ungodly principles, now the person has made his dwelling place in the seat of the scornful. Scornful is transliterated from the Hebrew word Luts and means “to scorn, talk arrogantly, mock and deride.” What are they mocking you ask? They are mocking God.
2 Peter 3:3-5 says “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:” The scoffers/ scorners are mocking God because they are walking after/pursuing their own lusts/desires. They mock God’s promise of return, which means they mock God’s ability to judge them for their sin. They are “willingly ignorant” concerning the flood of Genesis where God judged the whole world for its ungodliness.
So, we see the progression of verse 1, from merely pondering ungodly counsel, to making part of your character, to dwelling in the seat of scorners. The blessed man does not do this, the cursed man surely does. And the progression is slow, subtle and seductive, but always ends in a total rejection of God. It is easy to see this progression in many young people raised in Christian homes today. Indeed, I have seen this descending into darkness in several of my friends I grew up with and who were raised in Christian homes. Most began walking on the ungodly path once they went to college. Perhaps some would say they were seduced by leftist professors, liberal friends, or television programs/ documentaries praising ungodly organizations such as BLM, Planned Parenthood, and the like. And while all these temptations undoubtedly played a part, the real problem is that they were “walking after their own lusts.” They cannot place the blame on anyone else and must take responsibility for their own actions. They have compromised their convictions are at various stages of the descent, but all are assuredly on that destructive path.
You may ask, what is the remedy of this lifestyle? What is the opposite of the cursed man, what must a man do to be blessed? Verse 2 of Psalm 1 says that a blessed man will “delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” To delight means to “take pleasure in, desire, long for” something or someone. The desire is to read the “law of the Lord” (Scripture) and meditate on it, day and night. Meditating comes from the Hebrew word Hagah, meaning to muse, devise, imagine, speak, or ponder.” Our very imaginations must be towards God’s Word. Our first answer when confronting a problem must not be to run to a secular organization, but to Scripture.
So how does this incite the desire for God’s Word? Verse 3 says that a man who does this will be “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither”. Notice, the deliberateness of the tree. It was not randomly sprouting from the rivers of water (symbolism for the Holy Spirit/ Scripture) but was deliberately planted. And this phrase epitomizes why we have so few blessed people in America today. You cannot delight in the Lord unless you are deliberately planted by the river. A tree does not plant itself. It must be nurtured and planted by another. Trees can sprout from anywhere but are only planted deliberately. And a tree that is so planted, will not wither, meaning it will not fall away or die when confronted with difficulty. Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If we train our children and plant them deeply by Scripture, we can be assured they will not wither when the harsh winds of secularism sweep across the land.
The reason the family, and the church are culpable in permitting the lawlessness we see today, is that they are no longer planting by the river. Many of the friends that I grew up with that have turned to the social gospel and who have rejected God’s principles grew up in Christian homes but were never planted. Yes, they went to church, perhaps for the music, the fellowship, the youth groups, etc. But they were never planted deliberately by their parents or by the church. Instead of meditating on Scripture, they were part of the VeggieTales culture. Good morale stories based on the Bible that lacked true depth or appreciation for God’s Word. A simple look at the creator of VeggieTales attacking Biblical principles by collectivizing sin and promoting a social gospel is indicative of the problem. Instead of focusing on the Word of God, we focus on man-made philosophy such as social justice, “critical race theory”, “Black Liberation Theology” (an oxymoron as theology is the study of God, not man) and “white fragility”. As Jeremiah 2:13 says “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” We have planted our kids next to the broken cisterns of man’s philosophy instead of planting them by the river of living waters, springing forth from the fountain of God’s Word.
Notice the contrast to the blessed man being planted by the rivers of living water. In Verse 4 of Psalm 1. 4. “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away”. Just like a leaf that withers due to lack of moisture, so is the ungodly person like chaff from the wheat. A person who has no roots will be swept away by any winds that blows. How perfect this picture represents our current crop of backslidden Christians and those not planted by God’s Word. When the winds of leftist professors, friends at college, or Marxist media sweep across the land, they are driven from away from the river of living water. They forsake God’s Word and follow man-made, Marxist philosophy. And they are oftentimes so blinded that initially, they think they are following God, which demonstrates just how little root they have. And because the family and church have failed in their duties and have not planted their children by the Word of God.
Although sad to see people suffer, it is also reassuring that God will impart justice on the ungodly at the final judgment. We see in verses 5 and 6 that “the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” and will eventually “perish.” The end of the wicked will not be triumphant, and like the chaff in the wind, they will not stand during the time of judgment but will be carried away to eternal punishment and death.
Conversely, “the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous”, which means to know intimately and deeply. The righteous will stand in the judgment because they have been firmly planted in God’s principles. As it is God who is the only one who can truly plant us by the river of eternal life and ensure our roots take hold, we can rest assured in His grace through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 16:25 says, “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ”. Only salvation through faith in Jesus Christ can plant you firmly by that blessed fountain. Only by Christ himself establishing you can you have this blessing. The Gospel of Jesus is one that touches the heart. It and only it can bring peace and healing to our nation. Only the Gospel can touch the heart of a rioter seeking to loot and burn, or the heart of a corrupt policeman. It is not a social gospel or one that absolves rioters from their actions, but a Gospel that convicts men of sin, and demands repentance. Such a Gospel is what is required today, to prevent our young people from being driven like chaff and instead, be planted firmly in a place where they will not wither in the storm.
Do you know what’s going to happen when you die? Are you completely sure? If you aren’t, please read this or listen to this. You can know where you will spend eternity. If you have questions, please feel free to contact us, we’d love to talk to you.