[Editor's note: Beyond Sunday is a Monday refresher to carry you through the week.]

Focus Verse of the Week

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. (Psalm 1:1, ESV)

Classic Commentary

In the Hebrew, the word blessed is a plural noun, ashrey (blessednesses), that is, all blessednesses are the portion of that man who has not gone away, etc.; as though it were said, "All things are well with that man who," etc.

If a man has found that pearl of great price, to love the law of God and to be separate from the ungodly, all blessednesses belong to that man, but if he does not find this jewel, he will seek for all blessednesses and will never find one! For as all things are pure unto the pure, so all things are lovely unto the loving, all things good unto the good; and, universally, such as you are yourself, such is God himself unto you, though he is not a created being.

The word counsel is without doubt here to be received as signifying decrees and doctrines, seeing that no society of men exists without being formed and preserved by decrees and laws. David, however, by this term strikes at the pride and sinful recklessness of the ungodly. First, because they will not humble themselves so far as to walk in the law of the Lord, but rule themselves by their own counsel. And then he calls it their "counsel," because it is their prudence, and the way that seems to them to be without error. For this is the destruction of the ungodly - their being prudent in their own eyes and in their own esteem, and clothing their errors in the garb of prudence and of the right way. For if they came to men in the open garb of error, it would not be so distinguishing a mark of blessedness not to walk with them.

But David does not here say, "in the folly of the ungodly," or "in the error of the ungodly;" and therefore he admonishes us to guard with all diligence against the appearance of what is right, that the devil transformed into an angel of light not seduce us by his craftiness. And he contrasts the counsel of the wicked with the law of the Lord, that we may learn to beware of wolves in sheep's clothing, who are always ready to give counsel to all, to teach all, and to offer assistance unto all, when they are of all men least qualified to do so.

Martin Luther

(Adapted from Charles H. Spurgeon's the treasury of david, psalm 1:1.)

A Thought to Keep

Carefully examine your motives when you assume something looks or feels right. The counsel of God starts with His Word.