Weekly Devotionals – 19 June 2023

Psalm 1:1-2 tells us how God considers a person wicked or righteous. The wicked person, as we can see, lives a self-centred life, whereas the godly lives a God-centred life. Here we see a definition of the wicked as well as the godly man. A wicked person is not just defined by his deeds; He is a wicked person not because he is a murderer or a rapist or such. He is wicked because he does not factor the wonderful Sovereign God, who controls every aspect of human existence, in his life.

To illustrate what a godly person is like, the Psalmist starts by describing the ungodly person. This person, he said, is a sinner, a scoffer, and one who listens to the counsel of the wicked. How he is brought into such a lifestyle is also revealed – through three words – walk, stand, and sit. He first gets initiated into evil by walking among the wicked. In walking with them, he listens and entertains their philosophy. The more he listens, the more he becomes entrenched. So he then takes his stand with those wicked philosophy. He gradually becomes convinced and is committed to the principles of those evil philosophy. Then he adopts the philosophy and acts on them. To sit among the wicked suggests that he would soon join them in the ungodly practises and would begin to scorn at godly principles. It begins with hearing the ungodly counsel, then becoming convinced, and finally making a commitment and joining in to scorn godly practices. So we need to be careful who we walk with and who we are listening to. The Americans have a wise saying “If you run with a skunk, you smell like a skunk”.

What the Psalmist is doing is to set the foundation for us to become the godly person we ought to be in God. The message is- Avoid ungodly counsel, avoid ungodly principles, and avoid ungodly practices! Remember, it all starts with accepting the ungodly counsel, then adopting the ungodly principles, and finally being led scorn godly principles. He explicitly stated that the godly man refuses to be induced into the route of the wicked.

How then would a godly person be defined? He is defined by the time he spends in the Word of God. He takes great delight in the Word that God has given to us, His children. It is not a book sitting on his shelf only; He takes the time to read it and reflect on it. He does not just do it occasionally; He mediates on the Word continuously. He meditates in the morning and he muses over it at night. He won’t start the day without it and he  ends the day with it. He allows the principles of the written word to saturate his mind and to fill his heart. He has deep consideration for the counsel of God’s Word; His principles in life are all derived from the Word. He spends time to read the Word, reflects on its implication, and He acts on divine principles.

It is God’s intention for us to adopt the stance of the godly. We become godly by avoiding the influence and counsel of the ungodly, And we spend time in the godly discipline of meditating and musing over the Word of God. Every action in life begins with a thought in the mind. When we allow ungodly counsel to fill our thoughts, we will naturally gravitate toward them. How needful it is for us to begin each day with the Word and to end each day with it. Bear in mind what Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 that “all scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work”.

Monday: Psalm 18:30
As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.

Tuesday: Matthew 7:24 
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.
Wednesday: Proverbs 30:5
Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him.
Thursday: Jeremiah 15:18
Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts. 
Friday: 2 Timothy 2:15 
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Saturday: Proverbs 19:7
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
Sunday: Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

All Scriptures are quoted from the New American Standard Bible 1995.
By Pastor Clarence Goh