Three Stages Leading To Atheism, the Happy Man Doesn’t Walk Down Them
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, not sitteth in the seat of the scornful” (Psalm 1:1). Let’s divide this first verse of Psalm 1 into three parts, a, b, and c.
Psalm 1a, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,”
1. Even Jesus sought the Father’s will for his life, in everything, “…I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.” (John 5:30b-31)
2. Wise counsel is fine, but who in this world are the ungodly? They’re the people that just leave God out of their lives, and most often have no fear of God. They actually, most of them, don’t even believe God exists.
We find that verse 1a leads to the condition of verse 1b, “nor stand in the way of sinners,”
Following the counsel of the ungodly, those who have no fear of God in their lives, those who act like and sincerely believe God doesn’t exist, leads to “standing in the way of sinners,” How do sinners, non-believers act? “There’s a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [ie end result] are the ways of death” (Proverbs 14:12). “All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes…” (Proverbs 16:2). Are your opinions and is your world-view Christian, or are they being influenced by “walking in the counsel” the opinions “of the ungodly,” of even your friends in the world?
God says this about our own ways and thoughts, “Let a man forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts…” (Isaiah 55:7)
Verse 1c: So, following, being influenced by, seeking the counsel of the ungodly (those who don’t even believe God exists) can lead you (if you’re not careful) to “stand in the way of sinners” because you’re standing in their opinions, worldview. The next step down from “standing in the way of sinners,” is “sitting in the seat of the scornful.”
Who really are the scorners of God in our society? It is the atheists. And atheism is growing by leaps and bounds in our society. This is the third stage in this downward progression outlined in Psalm 1:1. Atheists, for the most part (not all of them, to be sure) not only deny the existence of God, but they exhibit antagonism and hatred toward God and the Word of God.
1. Caused the removal of all prayer from our schools and public events.
2. Caused the banning of Bible reading in schools (and Bible’s are no longer in courtrooms for people to swear on).
3. Caused or have sought the removal of any commandments of God or mention of God carved on public monuments.
4. Caused the removal of crosses on public parklands.
This is the negative side of Psalm 1. Psalm 1:1 shows what the spiritually happy man does not do.
One of the key beliefs atheists hold is in the theory of evolution. Which is true, Creation by a loving God, or the theory of evolution? See,
Is the Bible, the Word of God true? Or is the Bible the uninspired fables of a bunch of wandering Jews from ancient times? See,
[Ideas gleaned from THRU THE BIBLE, Vol. II, pp. 661-662, J. Vernon McGee]
What Path The Spiritual Happy Man Walks Down
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Verse 1 was the negative side of this spiritual equation, what a spiritually happy man or woman doesn’t do. As follows natural laws, as I learned in electronics, you can’t have a minus potential without a corresponding positive potential. In this next verse we see what a spiritually happy person does do.
The Unconverted Mind Cannot Delight In God’s Law, But The Converted Mind Delights In God’s Law
Verse 2a, “but his delight is in the law of the LORD,” The happy person finds delight in God’s law, and by extension in the whole Word of God. The opposite of delighting in the law of God is found in Romans 8:7, which states, “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The unconverted mind is, in it’s natural state, at enmity, is biased against, has open hostility toward both God and his law, and for that matter, the entire Word of God (which by the way, reflect God’s laws throughout). But, as Romans 8 shows us, the converted mind, filled with God’s Holy Spirit, is no longer hostile, no longer biased against God and his laws, nor either the Word of God. The new-believer’s mind has become, all of a sudden, biased toward the things of God, God’s Word, and God’s law contained in his Word. There is no neutral ground here, you’re either openly hostile toward God and his law or you love both God and his law, as expressed in the Word of God.
Breaking of God’s laws brings pain and tragedy
J. Vernon McGee says, “The tragedy that has come to man---the tear, the sigh, the groaning, the heartache, the heartbreak, the broken homes, the ruined and wrecked lives---are the result of God’s broken laws.” [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.II, p.662, par.4] The apostle John says in 1st John 5:3, “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” So the believer delights in God’s law, that’s Psalm 1:2a, first part.
The Happy Person Meditates On God’s Law
Now for Psalm 1:2b, “and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” “Meditate is a very figurative word. It pictures a cow chewing her cud. I’m told that the cow has several compartments in her tummy. She can go out in the morning, graze on the grass when the dew is on it in the cool of the day. Then when it gets hot in the middle of the day, she lies down under a tree and begins to chew the cud. She moves the grass she had in the morning back up [into her mouth] and now masticates it, she goes over it again. That is what we do when we meditate. We go over what we have read” [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol. II, p. 662, col.2, par.3] God’s Word from beginning to end is designed by God to mold and shape the believer, giving him or her God’s worldview, conforming you into the image of Christ, who is the express image of God the Father (cf. Hebrews 1). God’s Law, as James tells us in James 1:22-25 is designed like a highly polished mirror, into which we are to look, to see ourselves, and where the dirt is, and then we go to God, seeking his Holy Spirit to give us the power to “wash off” what we see is wrong with us.
The Psalms Are The Meditative Core Of God’s Law, Given To Us By David
Look at David, all he had at the time, as far as content in God’s Word, was Genesis through Deuteronomy, literally God’s Law given to Old Testament Israel, and maybe the books of Joshua, Judges, Ruth (which was family history for David) and maybe the book of Job. That’s all he had. But what David did with that is astounding. You might say what David wrote in the Psalms was the product of his meditating on God’s Word, God’s Law, the Torah, Joshua, Judges, Ruth and Job, day and night. The Psalms themselves are a beautiful series of stepping stones that lead us meditatively into the spiritual core of God’s Law.
Has God’s Law Been Done Away, Nailed To The Cross?
And if you have been taught the fable that God’s Law has been done away, nailed to the cross, or some such nonsense like that, think again. Does it make sense to destroy the very mirror God built and designed to help believers see themselves, so that they could clean themselves up with God’s help through his indwelling Holy Spirit?
Law & Grace is a complex subject. For more on this, see,
And this link carefully examines and lays before you both interpretations, “the law is nailed to the cross” and “our transgressions are nailed to the cross” and shows you why one is accurate, and the other is a misinterpretation of Scripture. See,
The Spiritually Happy Man Is Like A Tree Planted By On A Riverbank
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
Psalm 1:3a, the blessed or happy man, woman, “shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,” First part of verse 3 shows us that, unlike wild trees, God’s trees (believers in Jesus, Yeshua haMeshiach) are chosen and planted by God, and they are planted by “rivers of water.” First, the planted part. Let’s turn to and read Isaiah 61:3, “to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.”
What’s the meaning of “rivers of waters”? God says this in Isaiah 55:10-11, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it to bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” God through Isaiah has defined rain, snow, precipitation which gathers into rivers of living water, as his Word, the Word of God, the Bible. Bible study, reading the Word of God causes those God has planted via calling them and giving them his Holy Spirit, causes them to grow, just as a tree grows which has been planted by the edge of a river. The distinction is in that only the trees “planted by the Lord” are nourished by studying God’s Word. This planting is the calling of the Lord and the placing of his Holy Spirit within those he plants. The “rivers of living water” is the Word of God, the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21.
Psalm 1:3b, Each of God’s planted trees “bringeth forth fruit in his season;” Most fruit-bearing trees bring forth fruit during a special growing season which has been programmed into them (by God, via DNA code). For example, apple trees bear fruit in the fall. They develop their fruit from spring up into the fall. When a Christian is a new-believer, he or she spends a lot of time in Bible study, drinking in the Word of God and growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. But oftentimes it isn’t until later in the believer’s life that he or she really begins to bear spiritual fruit, the fruit of godly good works, which often draws others to the Salvation of the Lord. [For more on this theme on the growth of the believer, see http://www.unityinchrist.com/hebrews/Hebrews5-1-14.htm] We’re all different, we all have different talents, different personalities, abilities and whatnot. One fruit tree’s fruit will not be the same as another’s. Some fruit trees take years to bear fruit, while others bear fruit almost immediately. God is the vinedresser for all of his fruit trees, those whom he has called and drawn into the Body of Christ, and as one of his “fruit trees” you will bring forth fruit in due season.
Psalm 1:3c, “his leaf also shall not wither.” J. Vernon McGee says “Now the leaf is the outward testimony of the Christian. That is something that should be out [visible] all the time. God’s trees are evergreens---they never lose their testimony.” [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.II, p. 664, col.1, par.2] What’s your testimony like, your actual lifestyle? When people look at you (or listen to you), do they see a genuine Christian or do they see a worldly person (or worse yet, do that see a Pharisee)?
Psalm 1:3d, “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Back in the time of David this would have been interpreted as talking about God’s promised material blessings for obedience to his laws (and the Health & Wealth Gospel people love to interpret it this way for the Church now, which is improper, it doesn’t apply that way for the Church). But taken in context with the rest of the Psalm (and David was a real spiritual forward thinker) and what we’ve covered so far, I think this also refers to a believer’s spiritual works, good works, ministries, ‘our fruit trees bearing fruit in due season.’ I’ve been an active believer since around 1969, a year before my baptism, but my fruit, the fruit of this web-ministry, didn’t start appearing until around 1995, and now the “tree” is filled with all kinds of good fruit. We also prosper and bear fruit in whatever good works projects we may do, from large ones to small personal ones, like getting up to give an elderly lady a seat on the bus, however we express the love of Christ to a dying world.
What The Ungodly Man Is Like
“The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of he ungodly shall perish.”
Verse 4, “The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” The ungodly are not so, they are not like everything David has described here in Psalm 1 about the righteous. The ungodly are not planted by rivers of water, they’re not (at this point in time) called and chosen of God, they’re not drinking in the Word of God, they’re not growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, thus the ungodly are not developing godly fruit in their lives, and their good works, their leaves do fade away, fall off and blow away in the fall, they’re not evergreens. There is no lasting spiritual prosperity to their lives or coming out of the lives of the ungodly. So the works of the ungodly along with their lives, have no permanence.
Verse 5, “therefore the ungodly shall not stand in judgment,” The ultimate end of the ungodly, if they don’t repent, is to be burned up in the Lake of Fire. Ultimately, the ungodly will not stand, or remain standing in their judgment, they will be annihilated, burned up. Malachi 4:1-3, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.” (See also Revelation 20:15.)
Verse 6, “For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” God knows the way of the righteous, he has just described the way of the righteous through David in this psalm. “but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” We have just described how the way of the ungodly will perish in defining verse 5.
Bible prophecy describes the various judgments of God where the way of the ungodly, as well as the ungodly themselves perish. It’s a huge subject and covers a lot of territory in the Bible, designed to teach us a lesson. See,