Our society has both wicked and righteous people. Both of them share the same arena to earn their livelihood. The wicked will always be with us in the form of our neighbours, colleagues, friends and relatives who distort us from fulfilling the purpose of God in our lives.
Staying Away From Wicked People
Blessed is the one who does not
walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,Psalms 1:1
This Psalm lingers in our minds right from our childhood. The idea of staying away from unethical elements or bad people might have developed fear in our minds. Instead of being watchful, we compromise our noble principle to remain in the good books of wicked people. Ironically we hate the wicked people, but at the same time, we would like to be with them. In the book of Isaiah, God reveals his anguish over our behaviour.
Whom have you so dreaded and feared that you have not been true to me, and have neither remembered me nor taken this to heart? Is it not because I have long been silent that you do not fear me?Isaiah 57:11
Sometimes even the elects become victim to the idea of maintaining a close association with them to proclaim the Gospel to them. They think that Jesus hates sin and not the sinners, and so will we. Jesus is sinless and He took our sin and it did not enter in Him on its own. But we are born with a sinful nature and we can swiftly succumb to evil as we mingle with sinners. Sitting with wicked people and involving in their activities to tell the love of God is a risky one. Sitting in their company may become habitual and we may not be able to come out of it. Instead, staying away from their company despite peer pressure, may better reflect the principles of Jesus in us.
To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behaviour and perverse speech.Proverbs 8:13
In our secular lifestyle, sometimes we remain silent when someone makes fun of our faith. We think that instead of defending our faith, ignoring their ignorance is a better solution. This attitude of ours includes us with them in their mockery. Peter sat with the mockers to protect his image, but his attempt was exposed when Jesus looked at him (Luke 22:61).
I will expose your righteousness and your works, and they will not benefit you.Isaiah 57:12
Meditating His Word
Our interests are similar to that of the wicked people and we do not find any reason to stay away from them. We think that without the company of bad people, achieving our goals will become impossible. The Bible does not teach us about separation but to become mature enough to make the right decisions.
This Psalm speaks about how righteous people should restrain themselves from gaining influence from the wicked people in their lives. God is not going to take the righteous people out of these evil people. Instead, He prompts His Son, Jesus ,to unceasingly pray for their protection so that they can discern His will in their lives. This kind of prayer protected Peter from a great fall (Luke 22:32).
My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil ones.John 17:15
The Bible teaches us to delight and meditate on the Word of God day and night. It is difficult for us to do so because our minds are always busy with the available worldly information and we keep on manipulating the available data and resources.
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,Psalms 1:2
and who meditates on his law day and night.
We want to keep our friends, relatives, family, and bosses happy, but we are too busy for God. In other words, friends, relatives, family and bosses are real to us but God does not seem real to us. We think of God as a fictional hero or a lifeless object created by the hands of man. These hinder us from hearing His voice. For hearing His voice while meditating on His words, we should experience His presence by believing that He dwells in our hearts.
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.Hebrews 11:6
When God’s word dominates our lives and its multidimensional directions leads our lives, even though we live amongst the wicked people, nothing can harm us. Instead, living water from the word of God will flow from our lives that they may look up to our Father in Heaven (Matthew 5:16) (Jeremiah 47:9).
Merits of Meditation
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,Psalms 1:3
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
The above verse is not promising prosperity but a conditional statement. If we believe in the existence of an invisible God and meditate on His word day and night, then our lives will be like an evergreen tree planted by the streams of water.
It may look like that our prosperity is depending upon our deeds (Karma). We are aware that salvation is purely by His grace. Then how our deeds (meditation) paving the way to our prosperity. Meditating the Word of God is not karma, but it is a default function for our survival. The trees planted by streams of water continually consume the water for it is survival.
Word of God is the Living Water that sustains our spiritual life . It is not a deed but an essential or default function required to keep our soul alive, just like our lungs breathe on their own to keep our body alive. We are not counting our breathing as our deed, then why are we counting the meditation of the Word of God as a holy deed. It is a default function, and when it got choked in people’s lives, God sent His son to revive our breath.
He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.Deuteronomy 8:3
Unfortunately, the prosperity gospel took its turn in our lives, and we meditate the word to become prosperous, to get healing and deliverance. When we use the Word of God to derive benefits out of it unknowingly, we are applying extra pressure on a default function. Thus, we think that we are doing a great thing, thereby assuming God’s grace into our deed (karma).
We may think why we have to meditate on His Word day and night, while Bible tells us to come to Him during wee hours and the faithful servants mentioned in the Bible worshipped Him during the morning, noon and evening. The answer to this doubt is because meditating His word is our lifeline.
Wicked People’s Destiny
Not so the wicked!Psalms 1:4-6
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
Most of the time, we wonder about seeing the comfortable and flourishing lives of the wicked people. The Psalmist gave us a pen picture of their destiny. With this picture in our mind we should stop wondering and should start praying for their salvation. This Psalm ends with an assurance to righteous people that God is watching them day and night.