The End of Standing, Sitting, and Walking | Psalm 1:5–6

“Therefore the wicked will 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 wicked will perish.”

The righteous may grow tall as the tree (v. 3), but the wicked will not stand nor thrive.  Verse 1 says the blessed man won’t stand in the way of the wicked, but this verses says that the wicked will not stand in the judgment.   

Note that in verse five, sinners won’t remain in the congregation of the righteous.  Any unrepentant sinners in the midst of God’s people will not remain.  Either they will remove themselves in disgust, or they will be disciplined out the door, or the Lord will remove them.  The wheat and tares may remain together for a time, but Jesus warned, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be rooted up” (Mt 15:13).

Why is it the blessed man avoids the fate of the unrighteous?  First, because He has been transplanted beside the stream of water (v. 3)—the Lord has given him new life.  The Lord knows who are His, and He holds their paths in His hand.  Spurgeon says here, “The righteous carves his name upon the rock, but the wicked writes his remembrance in the sand.” 

Second, he heeds the wisdom of God’s Word; on Scripture “he meditates day and night” (v. 2).  He follows the Good Shepherd “in paths of righteousness” (Ps 23:3).  Consider Prov 3:13, 16–17: “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding… Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.”

If you are unrepentant, you will find yourself walking a crooked and difficult road, taking one forward to find yourself moving backwards.  If you trust in Christ for eternal life and delight in His Word, however, you will find light and strength in His precepts.  You are declared righteous by Christ and need not fear the judgment.  You know the wicked who trouble the congregation of the Lord are there for a season.  And, you find peace and vitality in the Lord; blessed is the man!

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