Often when we read the first psalm, we are struck by the qualities of a life characterized by delight in God’s Word. The life marinated in the Scriptures leads to a life that is faithful to God. The faithful give themselves away in fruit-bearing service to God and others.
But there is another arresting element to the psalm. Consider the one whose life is not governed by the Word of God and the God of the Word. Reading the text and seeing the contrast provides ample reason to give ourselves to extended time in the Scriptures.
To see the full force of the plight of those who ignore the Scriptures, consider it from the perspective of the opposite of the description of the righteous.
They do walk in the counsel of the wicked (1)
They do stand in the way of sinners (1)
They do sit in the seat of scoffers (1)
They do not delight in the law of the LORD (2)
They do not meditate on the law day and night (2)
They are not planted by streams of water (3)
They do not yield fruit (3)
Their leaf withers (3)
They do not prosper (3)
They are like chaff that the wind drives away (4)
They will not stand in the judgment (5)
They will perish (6)
So often we minimize doctrinal differences, but we cannot forget, doctrinal error leads to eternal punishment. We must be sure above all that we have that essential doctrine clear and see the Bible as God’s holy Word, given to us as a treasure to for reading, meditation, prayer, preaching, and singing. Too often our doctrinal confessions that assert a belief in the inspiration and inerrancy of the Scriptures are betrayed by lives that ignore them. We must be sure that we are not succumbing to the false teaching that denies the supernatural nature of the Bible.
When we look at the result of a life lived drinking and delighting in the Word contrasted with one that rejects and belittles it, we have ample cause for evaluating our habits and our hearts.
Here in the dawning of a new year, it is certainly healthy to ask yourself what changes you should make with your life in order to give yourself more faithfully to this Word. For motivation, you need only to consider the staggering consequences of neglecting your Bible.