The secret of happiness

Blessed  is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

Psalm 1 v.1

In the eyes of the Psalmist here in the opening of this amazing collection of inspired writings that cover every part of life, one of the secrets of true happiness (that is what ‘blessed’ means’) is to be found in NOT doing certain things.

He does follow this up, as we shall see tomorrow, with the other side of the coin i.e. doing  things but starting with the NOT doing, challenges us to review our lives from a different standpoint for it is all too easy to overlook those things which prevent blessing. The result of this is that while we may actively and consciously do the good things unless we AVOID other things true blessing will escape us.

So he highlights three things which will hinder us from being blessed.

Walking in the counsel of the ungodly

Standing in the way of sinners

Sitting in the seat of mockers

From where does our wisdom and counsel come? There is such a huge abundance of information available through the MSM (main steam media), published books, the internet and social media that there is a real danger that we absorb material that is quite frankly ungodly. The antidote to this is in v.2 which we will reflect on in greater detail tomorrow, namely that our delight is in the law of the LORD. It is easily said but do we ensure that we so delight? Do we subject what we read and absorb on a daily basis to the bar of Scripture to ensure that it is not going to lead us in ungodly directions? As our culture presents us with ever more bizarre beliefs do we do the same? Measure them against God’s Word. If we fail to do this there is a huge risk that we will begin to think in ungodly ways on all sorts of key issues.

Once we take ungodly counsel it will quickly led to ‘Standing in the way of sinners’. This clearly does not mean that we cannot associate with ‘sinners’ for it is only as we associate with them that we are able to point them to Jesus as the source of true happiness (Blessedness) but we must not follow their behaviour (i.e. stand with them in what they do).

For once we have stood with them in this way it is only a short step to sitting down (comfortably settled) with those who mock all that we stand for as followers of Jesus Christ. Mockery is hard to take and while it is likely to be more common as the world moves further and further away from biblical foundations, we must be ready to stand firm on God’s Word.

It is hard to be different but that is what the Psalmist calls us to here. Different in what we avoid and different as we shall explore tomorrow in what we embrace.

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