Each of us is born with a negative attitude toward the things of God. We have a natural bent towards rejecting God in favor of our own interests. Without Him in our lives, we, as human beings, are self-destructive individually or as people groups. When it comes to philosophies and government types (how we should live and be orderly), all our efforts lead to some form of oligarchy, which means that a few people make life and death decisions for the majority, who either submit to these leaders or they rebel and round and round we go.
Into this endless cycle of discontent, the Creator intervenes via the nation of Israel and later by the creation of His Church. Through these two institutions, God, through His Word, inserts Himself into the mix, which delays a second global judgment, the Global flood being the first. God gives human beings a choice. Each human being can choose dependence upon the wisdom of God or he can continue frolicking in the folly of human independence.
Dependence on God, Psalm 1:1-3
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers (NASB).
If everything around me is orderly and, therefore, advocates intelligence, it is only logical and reasonable that I, like the creation around me, am also a creation who is dependent on my Creator for the answers to life’s basic questions. One of these questions is: “How can I best live my life?” The assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy, the free love and drug use of the Hippie Movement of the 60’s, the evil of Charles Manson, the increase in sexually centered cult groups, the Vietnam War and the protests by leftist groups and Jane Fonda did not convince me that human beings had the answers to living a productive, fulfilling, and happy life. When I heard the Gospel during my senior year, I knew without question that God would provide me with the answers I needed. Psalm 1 explains the path I took and have walked on since that day to this.
If you desire blessing, that is, being happy in an unhappy world, you must connect yourself with the Source of truth. To be armed with truth gives a person confidence and steadfastness because this knowledge gradually cultivates the character and objectives of the Creator God into your life, which then leads to contentment, an abiding happiness, and devoted service to God and others (fruits of meditating on God’s Word). It makes the believer a truly blest individual (vv. 1a, 3). You don’t become prey to the “intellectual” purveyors of pathetic philosophical platitudes (don’t walk among them naively), you don’t end up as an activist whose path in life is passionately defending defenseless ideas (don’t stand with radical sinners), and you won’t fellowship with folks who find strength and security in groups that mock those whose lives threaten their indecent intentions (you won’t sit with scoffers, v. 1). Wickedness leads to anger, hysterical hate, despair, and death. Instead, the psalmist exhorts his readers to study and think often (meditate day and night) about the God of Scripture. If you commit to reading the Scripture regularly, meditating is natural—you can’t help thinking about the wonders of God, the threat of rebellion against Him, and the salvation He, by mercy and grace, gives to those who know and trust in Him. You can and will know happiness in the midst of adversity when you are dependent upon God (v. 2). The roots of faith will go deeper and deeper as you draw from the spring of truth that is the Word of God (v. 3).
Independence from God, Psalm 1:4-6
4 The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish (NASB).
The other option people can select is independence from God, which is a temporary selection. Choosing to reject the reality of a Creator does not make Him disappear. God is real; therefore, there must be accountability at some point. The sad reality is that the mind of the wicked is naturally arrogant. Consequently, unbelievers are not able to accept the fact that their steady and unswerving stand for all things contrary to God’s will is in truth like the rubbish that remains in the farmer’s field after the corn and the stalks are removed. All the greatness that humanity bestows upon itself is no more valuable than rubbish that is easily blown about by the wind (v. 4). All its great institutions, statues, cities, ideas and the individuals themselves will stand before God but will fall prey to the judgment that accompanies unbelief (v. 5). The horrible shock they will experience when each awakens on the other side of death to sit speechlessly and without pride before their Creator. Asking for mercy at this point is without value—the righteous will finally be vindicated and separated from those who scoffed and persecuted God’s own. The Word that they rejected on earth will pronounce their judgment in eternity. Until then, we pray for the unrighteous who are our neighbors and share the truth with them as they permit us to do so. We grow spiritually and endure knowing that the Creator’s promise of eternal life with God is assured.
Finally, please note that the righteous are not righteous in and of themselves. The righteousness of God is a gift He bestows or imputes on the repentant believer. We pursue to implement this righteousness into our lives as we daily emulate God’s character. Imputed righteousness leads to greater sanctification—becoming more like Him, more well-rooted or righteous in our behavior. Without spiritual growth, a believer produces nothing more than wind-blown rubbish (1 Corinthians 3:10-17)
To help in your study, I strongly recommend purchasing:
by John F Walvoord & Roy B. Zuck, 2001.
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