What Does Your Life Exemplify, part 1
Psalm 1:1 NASB 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!
Here we have the foundation of true happiness. This is not happiness dependent on things going our way but is dependent upon obedience to God. In verse one we are told what NOT to do and in verse two we are told what to do. We will look at the "what not to do" side first.
- do not ask for advice from the wicked
- do not stand or go to the places sinners go
- do not sit or be comfortable in the ways of scoffers
This goes from walking to standing to sitting. That is from being casual to being friendly to being intimate. There are the wicked, the sinner, and the scoffer. We will look at all three.
Ungodliness does not always appear as some atrocity that is openly noticeable.
Mark 7:6 HCSB He answered them, Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written:These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 7 They worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men.
The Pharisees and scribes, among others, were opposed to Jesus because His words and actions continually challenged them. They believed they were in right standing with God through their works. Jesus keeps telling them they can not earn being right with God, that is self-righteousness. The Jewish leaders had created many laws and rules that had nothing to do with the laws of God. Jesus, being God in flesh, did not obey their laws or traditions (Mark 7:1-4)
The Pharisees ask Jesus a question:
Mark 7:5 NASB Then the Pharisees and the scribes asked Him, Why don't Your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders, instead of eating bread with ritually unclean hands
Mark 7:6-9 Jesus tells them, on the outside you look and sound pious but on the inside you are far from God. Instead of living and teaching God's commands, you live and teach the commands of men. In verses Mark 7:8-9, we are told how;
They neglect God's commands by making their traditions priority. This leads to pushing aside God's commands in order to keep their traditions. In Mark 7:10-13; we are told why;
Jesus reveals the religious use their traditions for their own gain. What they present as laws are not true obedience to God. So, obedience to the traditions of men causes disobedience to God's word.
What does this tell us? That there are those who appear morally upright and good. Their life has the appearance of godliness on the outside. But there is no fooling Jesus, God, because He sees our heart which means He sees hypocrisy and uncleanliness in the heart.
However, for us it is not always easy to discern between true and fake believers. The goal is to be aware from whom you ask advice and when given advice, go to the word of God and see if there is agreement.
Why is this important? Because these are not just words to me. I know from experience to walk with the wicked has no choice but to lead to disappointment and darkness. Why, because though they appear to be good and right they are not. They are without faith in God, without joy, and their expectations come to nothing (Proverbs 10:28). They are only externally religious. The wicked hold thoughts of pride in their minds and hide rebellion toward God in their heart.
John 14:15 NASB 15 If you love Me, you will keep My commands... 23 Jesus answered, If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 The one who doesn't love Me will not keep My words. The word that you hear is not Mine but is from the Father who sent Me.
The wicked do not obey the word of God, Christ, instead they obey their own rebellious heart and their ways. The only question to ask would be, who are you accepting council from? Is your obedience to God, truly?
Proverbs 15:9 HCSB The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but He loves the one who pursues righteousness.
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