Anglican Morning Devotion for 10 November 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“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. 2But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3And 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.”(Psalms 1:1-3; all scripture quoted is form the King James Version)
The first Psalm defines the purpose of all those that follow in establishing the Way the Godly should walk in Truth and Life. It is comprised of two parts; the first – the WAY of the righteous; the second – the way of those who reject the government of God.
The way of the sinner is an escalating DIRECTION. The way of sin is first to walk and closely associate with those who are sinners. The good man is counseled to avoid walking in the “counsel of the ungodly.” There is no dearth of ungodly counsel at large in the world today – politics, education, business, and, I am sad to say, even a great number of churches. If we keep our hearts stayed on God and His Word, our life’s ship shall be well navigated to its destination along the Narrow Way that leads Heaven: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3) The righteous will stop their ears to the subtle suggestions of the ungodly which abounds in every media of our day.
If one begins to walk in ungodly counsel, he will surely finding himself STANDING with the ungodly. He will begin to assume upon his character their cause and manner of living. Just one more little sin surely cannot damn his soul forever he is told. But the gravitation to the lowest ebb of the sea of life is strong and grows mightier as one nears the epicenter thereof. “. . . . nor standeth in the way of sinners.”
Finally, that one who has repeatedly yielded to small compromises will find himself in a landmine of sin as he makes himself at home with the sinful. “. . . . nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
The Way of the righteous is a way less traveled. He delights in the law of the Lord – I mean REALLY delights in that Law and Word. All his thoughts and action mirror that Word of God hidden in the ruling chamber of his heart. He acts out of love and not compulsion in his obedience to the Lord. His every beginning and closing of the day is centered on that love. He is a tree transplanted from the marsh of the swamp to the verdant banks of the ever-flowing River of Life. His roots sink deep into the water channels and make his place immovable to storm or flood. All his undertakings, being centered on Godly intent, shall prosper in mysterious ways to the world. Even his failures will turn to his advantage: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) The joy and love he enjoys shall not go out of season but actually billow into a mountain of glorious peace and comfort, not only to him, but to those of his neighbors.
Psalms One is a two-sided coin. On one side is the head of righteousness before God. On the converse side is the tail of life to those who do not believe. What a great difference exists in the two sides. It is a summary of all the fate of all peoples born upon the face of the earth. It defines the only two families of mankind – the righteous and the unrighteous before God. The righteous are not righteous in their own right, but by virtue of the righteousness of their Redeemer and Savior. The ungodly remain lost in their own works and plight of all unrighteous souls.
When we consider the definition of the righteous, we find them starkly contrasted with the unrighteous: “4 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. 6For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”(Psalms 1:4-6) When I lived in the Far East, I was fascinated by the process I observed of winnowing grain from the chaff. The harvested grain would be spread over a smooth ground. The ideal time of winnowing would be upon a windy day. The harvester would use a three-pronged device called a tribulatum (in latin, a term from which the word, tribulation is derived) to cast the harvested crop into the air. The wind would then blow away the chaff and the grain would fall directly to the earth. The wind is the Holy Spirit that separates the wicked from the righteous. In that Day of the Lord’s Harvest, the unrighteous chaff will be blown away and nowhere found among the righteous.