Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
It is the first portion of this wonderful Psalm that I want to look at today. Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly. Blessed is the man who does not join the scornful. Blessed is the man who does not let the unrighteous shame him, but rather stands in their presence and delights in the law of the Lord. He shall be like a tree. Un-moveable. Planted by the water of life. He shall stand in the judgement because he stood in the presence of mocking. He stood in the presence of the scornful and delighted in the Lord.
This is so applicable to basically every situation that Christian might be in. A college student who doesn’t believe in evolution. A lawyer who decides to go home with her children. A mother with her van at the grocery store. Honestly, can you think of any righteousness that the world would not mock? Have you ever tried to explain submission to anyone? Have you ever been mocked for that? Have you been mocked for being pregnant as though you didn’t know that you don’t have to bear children? Have you ever been mocked for being a virgin before marriage? Have you ever been mocked for being “just” a wife and mother? Are the scornful bothering you? Are they embarrassing you? Are they making you reconsider everything? When we do not listen to the counsel of the world, we will be open to it’s mockery. What does the world counsel women to do with their lives? Is the world an older woman teaching us to love our husbands, love our homes, and love our children? Does the world have any interest in seeing us being faithful wives and mothers? Of course not. Once we show ourselves unmoved by the serious counsel of the world, what comes next? Mocking. Scorn. Laughing. Questioning your intelligence. Questioning your abilities. Questioning you.
This is why this Psalm is so beautiful. What does the righteous do? What is the response to all of this mocking and scorning? The righteous delights. The righteous stands. The righteous meditates on the law of God day and night. So basically we have the perfect playbook for handling this.
The first step is to delight in the law of God. Your source of joy should not come from the world. Your source of joy should not be an approving glance from other people at the grocery store. Your delight should be in the law of God. Delight yourself in that. What does God think of your work? What does God think of your commitment to your husband? What does God think of your life purpose? Delight yourself in that. God delights in our obedience, and we delight in His law.
The second step is to stand. Stand in the midst of it. Do not change. Do not make excuses. Do not pretend that the Bible doesn’t teach submission. Do not try to water down the word of God so that you too can make fun of the faithful. Do not be afraid of people – God says that some people are like trees and some are like chaff. When we delight in the law of the Lord, we have the joy that we need to stand, because we have roots. Deep roots that are planted by the river. Do not listen to the counsel of the world. Stand.
The third step is the one that I think presents the biggest challenge to women who are in this position. You believe God’s promises. You believe the Bible clearly teaches that your place in the home is important. You are at home, but maybe you have questions. Maybe you can’t figure out why exactly this is of value. Maybe you are just interested in what might be going on elsewhere. You are imagining what amazing things that you could have accomplished by now if you weren’t always changing diapers and trying to figure out what is for dinner. This is not what the righteous meditates on. This passage tells us what to fill our thoughts with day and night. Too many christian women become absorbed with trying to answer the mockers. They spend their time feeling angry about that bizarre interaction at the store. They think again and again of a slighting remark that a working woman made towards them and they meditate on that. But we are to meditate on the law of God. Meditate on what we delight in. send your mental roots to the river. Drink. Delight.
And of course the promise at the end is that the fruit will come in it’s season. In it’s time the chaff will blow away. The fruit of our children is a generational activity. It takes time. When you are buckling people up and cleaning up and sorting toys all day long, you can easily buy into the lie that what you are doing is not important. That it is not as fulfilling as sitting in the seat of the mockers. But the reality is that trees grow slowly but strongly, and chaff grows quickly and lightly.
Delight yourself in the law of the Lord. Stand in His word. Meditate on Him. And you shall be like a tree bringing forth fruit in season, whose leaves will not wither. Whatever you do shall prosper.