*Published today in the Tuscola County Advertiser*
Take a moment and read Psalm 1. The Psalmist paints a picture for us regarding the two paths that we can walk in this world. We can either walk the path of righteousness (or “blessedness”) or walk the path of wickedness. But there’s something interesting about this psalm.
The writer starts off with the word “blessed” (in Hebrew this is plural and refers to happiness or supreme satisfaction); he then talks about–in true poetic parallelism–the three things you do not want to do: 1) walk, stand or sit in the 2) counsel, way, and seat of 3) the wicked, sinners, and scoffers. The path of unrighteousness and the subsequent downward spiral starts with taking advice from the wicked, becoming party to their ways, and finally joining their company. Are you more satisfied with sin and what it has to offer? Is that the person you want to be?
Or do you delight in the law of the LORD and mediate on it day and night (vs. 2)? The Scriptures often contrasts these two paths (Proverbs 4:14-15; Ps. 26:4; Jeremiah 15:17 to name just a few). Jesus our Lord did the same in Matthew 7:13-14 when he talked about the two “gates”—the wide one that leads to destruction, and the narrow one that leads to life. The question that confronts us, however, is which person do you want to be?
But it’s not that simple. We cannot, in our own wicked state in which we were born into, be the blessed man. A short look at Biblical Theology will clue us in to the reality that we’ve all fallen short of the Glory of God (Romans 3:23) and that even our good works, our righteousness, are like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). Given the whole context of Scripture, we need someone to be that blessed man for us so that we can walk behind Him towards the path of righteousness.
And his name is Jesus. He is the one planted by the streams of water, producing the fruit of his Father. (vs. 3; cf. John 10:37). He’s the one that perfectly obeyed and not only paid for our sins on the cross, he clothed us in his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). The reason we will be able to stand in the judgment (Ps. 1:5) is not because of our good works, but because of the Good Worker Jesus Christ who has done this for us, for “the LORD knows the way of the righteous” (vs. 6).
The question then moves from ‘which person do you want to be’ to, “Who are you following, trusting, and believing?”