There is a difference between the wicked and the righteous. If we have heard the message of grace through Christ and the cross we will not deny this distinction. The cross is about the holiness of God just as much as it is about the mercy of God.
The man who obeys the Lord is called “blessed” at the opening of this psalm. In the deepest sense of the word, he is a happy man. He lives in the Word of the Lord, and that Word insists that he have an accurate appraisal of both the present trouble and the future hope. Because he believes in the Word, he is able to walk in the blessedness of the Lord even through the most evil day.
The alternative to life in the Word of God is continually before us. There is another counsel available to men. It is called here the “counsel of the wicked.” To follow that counsel is to ignore the most basic distinctions that are necessary for happy living. If we will not call anyone or anything evil, we will quickly drift into a dangerous life of sin. Though that life is laced with enticing sensation, it is not the way of happiness. Drunkenness and infidelity are not the good life. Someone who walks that road needs to see it for what is and turn away from it.
The blessed man will school his heart in what he knows to be right. His delight will be in the instruction of heaven. He will want to think about that Word day and night, not because anyone is forcing him, but because he has learned that this is where he finds solid joys.
The life of the man who is happy in God brings blessings to himself and to others. In the visions of heaven contained in the Old and New Testaments, God tells us about a river of life. God can plant us today right next to that good river so that the root of our lives will be healthy.
The wicked are not like the righteous. They may seem to have happiness and they may accumulate wealth beyond measure, but the wind can take it all away in a moment. In the day when the trumpet sounds, and the wheat is separated from the chaff, there will be nothing left of all that they accumulated.
There is a judgment coming when the Lord returns or when we are suddenly brought before Him at death. Some will be part of the congregation of the righteous, but others will not. There is nothing more important than traveling on that pathway of true happiness, hearing the Word of the Lord, repenting, believing, serving Him fruitfully, and building a life of godliness and contentment that will last forever.
Christ is the Cornerstone of that righteous life. For all of the many who are declared righteous in Him, our lives in the Word must begin by responding to His call to repent and believe.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Blessed Father, You grant to us many good gifts and a sure hope through the One Man who was perfectly holy and fruitful. We would have been chaff blown away by Your fury in the Day of Judgment. But now we are known by You in Him, and are called righteous. Move us forward by Your grace in the pathway of truth and life.