Blessed is the man who walks not according to the scheming of wicked men…
“Is there hope for me?”
This is one of the great questions of people today. Can we expect God to bless us, to reward us for our faith in Him, to renew us and accept us? Not only can we expect it, we must expect it! If we meet God’s conditions of repentance and faith, we must also as an expression of our faith expect God to bless us. Hebrews 11:6 states that we must believe in God but also believe that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
In the opening line of this magnificent psalm a blessing is promised for the person who turns his back on the world and comes to God. In the first verse the journey down – walk, stand, sit – shows us what we are to avoid, but then in the remainder of the psalm the journey up shows us what we receive in Christ. The first thing to avoid is the walking in the ways of evil schemers. It calls us to control our traffic patterns in life.
Temptation starts here, with a casual detour to pass by something we know we should not be involved in. We think we will just drive down a different street, or surf a few websites, or just walk in a certain store, or just stroll down the aisle where pornographic movies are found in a video store. When we walk in the ways of wicked men we will find ourselves being drawn into the powerful lure of temptation. I won’t do anything, we protest, I am just looking, but no good can come out of walking the pathways of evil men.
Satan does not ordinarily start with convincing us that we will do some repulsive act, rather he simply suggests that we follow him down a certain path, just to see, just to explore, just to learn. Then, step by step, we continue down that path to our destruction. Our hearts get hard, our minds seek some justification for participating in that which we know is inexcusable, and we begin to consume little sips of spiritual poison. Like the boy who was warned not to go swimming after school, but took his swimming trunks along just incase he was tempted, we set ourselves up for failure. “Make no provision for the flesh” Paul warned (Rom. 13:14).
My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them…My son, do not go along with them, do not set foot on their paths… These men lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush only themselves!
The Bible says, “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7), meaning to stand firm, unflinching, determined not to give in to the temptation, not to go along for even a few steps with the deceiver. Do not be deceived. There is a much greater blessing in store for those who do not go down the path of evil than for those who do.
Is there hope for you and me? Are there blessings God desires to give us? Yes. The first thing to do is to stop detouring down the wrong paths in life.
Lord, teach us to depend on You exclusively, and to be wise in our moments of temptation. Show us where the path of evil leads and how we can avoid taking the first step down it. Amen.