This special meditation has been prepared by PRC home missionary, Rev. Aud Spriensma.
The Righteous Man
Meditation on Psalm 1
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.
Today, via the internet, there is a vast variety of different choices from which to read or follow. But the psalmist puts before us only two different ways of thinking and living. These two ways are antithetical. The Psalmist sets forth the way of the righteous man and the way of the ungodly. The blessed man walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, does not stand in the way of sinners, and finally does not sit in the seat of the scornful. There is a progression of sin. He walks with them, then he stands with them, and finally he is in a close relationship sits down with them.
Imagine that you are walking along a road with someone who strikes up a conversation with you. You listen carefully, and you stand there with him to digest and consider what he has said. Finally, you sit down with him to have a meal and become friends. This is the way of the wicked.
The righteous man steers clear of evil. Instead, his delight is in the law of God. He delights in that law. He meditates on that law. He constantly puts it before his mind and prays over it. He is instructed and guided by that law so that he can walk in it.
As a result, fruit is produced in his life. That man is like a tree, well planted. What a comparison! As a tree is nourished by the sun and nutrients of the soil, and watered by the stream, it naturally produces fruit. When the righteous man is nourished by God’s instruction, there will be fruit. But the growth and production of fruit is progressive. Not immediately is there fruit on the tree. Likewise, the work of sanctification is also gradual. After prayerful meditation of God’s instruction, there is eventually fruit.
Over against this growth and production of fruit, the wicked hate instruction. Therefore, the ungodly will not stand and abide, but like the chaff of wheat, they are blown away as worthless. The wicked will not stand in the judgment nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. The LORD knoweth the way of the righteous. He says, “They are mine!” He has destined them for heaven and eternal life. The wicked are also destined, for hell. Their way will perish!
So who is this righteous man? It is so easy to think that it is you and I. Notice, it is singular. Some like to translate this verse as saying, “Blessed are those people”. They want to use more inclusive language. The Hebrew word is not a generic word that refers to all human beings. There is one particular man in view. Who is he? It is the Lord Jesus! You see, this Psalm is Messianic. Jesus Christ did not walk in counsel with the wicked, stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scorners. Rather, Jesus said of Himself, “My food is to do the will of him that sent me and to finish his work.”
You and I need to look by faith to Jesus as the one righteous man to save us. He will not only save us, but will fill us with His Holy Spirit and enable us to be like Him. Only in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, can you and I approach the instruction of God and delight in it. Only in Christ can we be fruitful like the tree planted by streams of living water. Jesus taught in John 15, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Nothing happens overnight. Patiently wait for God to conform you to Christ’s likeness. Delight in God’s Word, meditate upon it. Flee wickedness and find your refuge in Christ, the righteous man. He forgives us our sins. He produces in us new life. A good tree bears not bad fruit, but good fruit. Christ Jesus is the blessed and righteous man. He by His life, death, resurrection, and ascension makes us righteous and fruit-bearing people. Do you delight in God’s instruction? Do you meditate upon His word day and night?
Take this Psalm and by grace, may it describe you too.
Spriensma, Audred T.
Rev. Audred Spriensma (Wife: Alva)
Ordained: January 1981
Pastorates: Atwood, MI CRC - 1981; Bethany, S.Holland, IL CRC - 1984; Grandville, MI - 1992; Missionary to the Philippines - 2002; Kalamazoo, MI - 2007; Byron Center, MI - 2010; Home missionary (Byron Center PRC), 2017; Cornerstone PRC, Dyer IN, Jan. 2021Website: www.prca.org/current/news/churches/usa-canada/cornerstone-prc-st-john-in
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State or ProvinceIndiana