"Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" (Psalm 1:1)
The word "Blessed" in our text means spiritual prosperity and pleasure. It could well be translated, "Happy." Therefore this first Psalm which opens the book of Psalms tells us how to be happy. This chapter in both a negative and positive way tells us what to do and not to do if we want to be happy. Our verse is in the negative and says there are three things one must not do if he expects to be happy.
FIRST - UNGODLY COUNSEL
"Blessed is the man that walked not in the counsel of the ungodly." The world's counsel is unholy and will destroy happiness. If you listen to the advice of the world you will end up in more trouble and less happiness that when you started. The world is ready to give counsel. The Ann Landers and astrology columns in the newspaper give much advice. But this advice is seldom, if ever, in accordance with the Word of God. Ungodly counsel does not include the Word of God. It is counsel that the Word opposes. If you want true happiness in life, do not listen to worldly advice in character matters. Worldly advice will not bring you happiness but regrets and sorrow. And in many cases it will deplete your pocketbook as well.
SECOND - UNGODLY CONDUCT
"Nor standeth in the way of sinners." This means to not do as the sinner does. It means to not act as the sinner. The world has their standards and they are certainly not God's standards. They are immoral, corrupt, and defiled in their conduct. Yes, there is pleasure in sin, but it is only for a season (Hebrews 11:25) then comes the eternity of sorrow. Political correctness and cultural are only clever terms for worldly conduct. Such conduct is not advocated in the Scriptures. The key to happiness is holiness. The world scorns that fact but scorning does not change the fact. If you want to be happy, be holy. There is no true happiness apart from holiness.
THIRD - UNGODLY COMPANIONS
"Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful" Our text says at least two things about scorners who make bad company.
• The character of scorners. "Seat" indicates that scorners often have high and respected position. Spurgeon said, "The seat of the scornful may he very lofty, but it is very near the gate of hell." The scorner is irreverent, and does not respect the things of God. The scorner does not bring happiness to the world. But honoring God does.
• The company of scorners. "Sitteth" speaks of keeping company with scorners. Choose your companions with care. Unholy companions have a bad influence upon you. Keeping company with the foul mouthed and those who scorn God will not bring happiness, but much sorrow to your life. A sanctified mouth is not a scornful mouth.