Here two portraits are presented to our view. The
godly man appears. His walk is holy, happy, fruitful, prosperous,
heavenward—The ungodly is entirely diverse. His course is worthless, and his
end is woe. Spirit of God, grant now Your light!
1. "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel
of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in
the seat of the scornful."
All praise be to the grace of God that in this world of
widespread sin some lovely spots are seen. There are the heirs of life. Born
from above, to God they live. Abhorrence of all evil is their grand
distinction. The godless have their schemes, their pleas, their plots, their
evil counsels. In such vile course the blessed ones never walk. They
resolutely shun the hateful path. Sinners have their chosen way. How broad!
how thronged! what multitudes move down the sad decline! In this the blessed
ones have no part. They hate the filth. They keep their feet unsoiled.
Wickedness has its topstone. Scorn and derision proceed to mock God's word,
Christ's work, and all the lowly followers of the Lamb. Too many love the
sneering seat, and impious jests find sympathizing smiles. Such company is
counterpart of hell. The blessed man sits not in such fellowship. We here
are taught that in sin there is gradation. Let us flee the first
step. The rolling stone descends with quickening speed.
2. "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in
His law he meditates day and night."
The godly man has his delights. His cup is crowned
with joy. His table is spread with richest pleasures. The Scriptures are his
soul-refreshing feast. They gladden him with views of God as his own God;
Christ as his own Savior; the Spirit as his guide and sanctifying Comforter;
heaven as his home forever; and all things ordered for his well-being. The
morning light invites him to this sacred page. In the day his thoughts cling
closely to it. The evening's shadows and night's wakeful hours call to
rejoice in this treasury of truth.
3. "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of
water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not
wither; and whatever he does shall prosper."
Behold the tree on the brook's verdant bank, whose roots
drink constantly the flowing stream! The laden branches bend with plenteous
fruit. Unfading freshness decks the leaves. No lovelier object adorns
nature's field. It is a picture of the godly man. Deep springs of grace
supply his inner life. The fruits of righteousness, which are the
Spirit's work, abound. His fertility of holiness is rich, and large, and
real. The Lord is truly with him; and where the Lord is, there is every
good. Of Joseph it is sweetly said, "The Lord made all that he did to
prosper in his hand." Of David we read, "He went on and grew great, and the
Lord God of hosts was with him."
4. "The ungodly are not so; but are like the chaff
which the wind drives away."
The scene is changed. The ungodly widely differ. Nature
shows, also, their picture. The fruitful tree gives place to chaff—light,
barren, hollow, worthless—the refuse of the barn-floor. It yields no profit.
It is cast out, the sport of winds. Driven away, it leaves no trace behind.
Such are the godless. They minister no grace. They benefit no souls. None
gain by conversation with them. Unstable, they are tossed by every changing
wind. Temptations drive them headlong. Terrible is their final doom. Jesus
comes, "Whose fan is in His hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and
gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with
5. "Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the
Judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous."
Judgment is near. The Judge stands at the door. The great
white throne will soon be set. The dead shall be judged out of those things
which are written in the books according to their works. They cannot flee
the dread tribunal. There is no escape. No mask can hide their guilt. Their
sins are all recorded. No blood blots out the stains. They plead no
Savior's merit. They have no interest in the saving cross. No solid ground
sustains their feet. They cannot stand. Undefended, they receive the
dreadful sentence, 'Depart! you cursed ones!' Thus they are cast far from
the congregation of the righteous. May we live ever with this last scene
before us, and never rest until clear evidence is ours that we have happy
place in "the general assembly and church of the first-born, who are written
6. "For the Lord knows the way of the righteous; but the
way of the ungodly shall perish."
Amid all their trials, sorrows, pains, reproaches, let
the righteous lift up rejoicing heads. The eye of God rests on their way. He
called them to the narrow road. He upholds their feeble steps. He safely
leads them to the glorious end. Unfailing watchfulness surrounds them. But
the broad road, with its unrighteous throng, goes down assuredly to hell.
Holy Spirit, give us the portion of the blessed man! May
we escape the doom of the ungodly!