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 Recognizing the "counsel of the ungodly" by Alan Martin


Psalm 1 describes the blessedness of the man who "does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly." What kind of "counsel" would that be, what might it sound like? We really do not have to guess, because the very next Psalm describes the "counsel" taking place among the "kings" and "rulers" of the earth who have taken their stand against the Lord and against His anointed.

Since "ungodliness" comes from the literal root meaning "not to fall back", it conveys the idea of persons who stand their ground and refuse to recognize the authority of God. These kings and rulers are "counseling" each other to take their stand against the Lord and against His anointed rather than "fall back" (becoming godly). Here is their "ungodly counsel": "We should tear up their bonds and we should throw their yoke away from us." This is the basis of the counsel of the ungodly - defiant rejection of the Lord and His anointed.

There is an interesting "plural " in the verse - the word "THEIR". Who are the kings and rulers referring to? The kings and rulers are standing against the Lord, against His anointed and against all who are blessedly delighting themselves in those sweet bonds and easy yoke. Jesus said, "because I have called you out of the world, it hates you. If you were of the world, they would love you, for the world loves it own." The ungodly are against all who are in submission to the Anointed One.

This is how we can recognize the "counsel of the ungodly." It is any communication that is a clear rejection of submitting to the authority of God's word and those he has placed in authority.

No where is this more evident than in the communication of children who have begun to walk in the "counsel of the ungodly." From the overflow of their hearts, ungodly words will come out of their mouths and will sound very similar to "we should tear up their bonds and throw away their yoke." When children or youths begin to boldly state that they have no intention of walking in instruction of their parents, a disease greater than cancer has begun its deadly work. Cancer can only kill the body, ungodliness will destroy body and spirit; it's consesquences are eternal. Children who begin to "stand up" to godly parents and defy their instructions have been walking in the counsel of the ungodly.

The end of Psalm 2 gives a word of advice to the Kings of the earth (to all who want to be in command of their own destiny), and we will do well to heed it ourselves. "And now O Kings, understand. Receive discipline all the ones judging the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling! Grab hold of discipline, lest at any time you should provoke the LORD to anger and you shall perish away from the righteous whenever His rage shall be suddenly kindled." These words are warnings the wise will hear and fools will despise. Fools are characterized by their common hatred of instruction and despising of discipline.

Interestingly, Psalm 2 ends not with a warning, but with a blessing.
"Blessed are all the ones having been persuaded by Him."
The LORD knows that the ungodly are giving their counsel, that kings and those in authority are taking their stand against Him and His ways, and encouraging their people to stand up for themselves. This is why in His kindness He sends forth a word of warning. Grabbing hold of His warning will save our lives.

Blessed is the man who seizes discipline, and allows the warning of the Lord to persuade Him to receive the bonds of the Lord and come under His easy yoke. That man will be blessed because he became so persuaded by the Lord's words that he ultimately began to "delight in them."

Seizing instruction and being persuaded will put us in good favor with the Lord's Anointed. Obedience is even better than sacrifice. We can not "call Him Lord and do not the things He says." Jesus made it clear - "You are my friends if you do what I command." He is the one who will inherit the nations and will possess the ends of the earth. The LORD promises His Anointed One (Jesus) - "You will shepherd them with a ROD OF IRON and like vessels of the potter you shall break them."

The rod of iron will provide no comfort to those who are standing up for themselves, it will be the end of all who are ungodly. Only the Lord's sheep will be spared His Rod of Iron; they are those who follow Him wherever He goes. Those who take their stand against the Lord will be as those men in the parable of the talents who sent the delegation after the Lord to state their protest against His being crowned king. All who take their stand against the LORD's Anointed will be brought before Him and utterly crushed. Their ungodliness is their undoing.


We will be wise if we will be warned.


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