“God bless you and make you a blessing” is our usual greeting for Meditation Moments, and we’re so glad that you’re tuning in. Will you bow your heads for just a wee word of prayer?
Father, we thank Thee for the privilege of speaking about Thee. We thank Thee for Thy precious Word that we shall enlarge upon. We ask Thee, Lord, that Thou will give openness of mind and heart to the things that Thou hast laid upon our heart to say, in Jesus’ name, amen.
You know, it’s something of a tragedy, isn’t it, when there’s such a wonderful balm, such a provision for the needs of dear ones, that we say so little about it, that we don’t have such a sacrificial spirit in getting the word out, when there’s such transforming power with the Lord Jesus Christ, and yet we’re so silent about it. I want to talk just a little bit about that for a few moments.
Every morning before I get up, there are a few things I say to the Lord. I go through the twenty-third Psalm and I say the Lord’s Prayer and I always say the first Psalm, and then the eleventh and twelfth chapters of Hebrews. I go through quite a number of scriptures that bless my own heart and seem to prepare me for the day. But this particular Psalm—I want to read it to you—this first Psalm, and I think that most of you may know it or perhaps memorized it long ago.
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
“Nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” You know, in so many radio programs today there’s a scorning of the things of Christ, and it seems like nothing is sacred anymore. So much of the news is slanted toward the liberal and modernism and communism. And some of the leaders that we’d expected so much from, it seems as if they’re on the side that isn’t the side of Christ or of blessing for this nation.
Just let any honest-hearted person attempt to accomplish something worthwhile, and immediately there’s suspicion thrown upon them, or jeers at the least! Let any woman begin a work of mercy and love for the unfortunate and she’s criticized and condemned by others. And any other church member that will stand up and lay hold of a worthy piece of work that no one else seems to be interested in, and then many will instantly protest he’s trying to run the church. There’s so much criticism for those that are taking a stand for the Lord.
I can understand why some people do not want to be outspoken for the Lord Jesus Christ. They come to a place where they are fearful and they don’t sit themselves in the seat of the scornful, but they’re afraid of these scornful ones and the ones that will ridicule.
Some of the greatest people of the ages in history have been scorned for their stand. I think Washington was probably the most eminent ruler the United States ever had and was so loved. When he was leading the ragged Continentals at Valley Forge—and oh, their feet were bleeding, their bodies were hungry—there were those that were sitting at home in comfortable chairs by blazing fires, and they criticized him. They said, “Why he’s been twice a traitor! Washington has authorized the robbery and ruin of his own party.” And you know the story of Abraham Lincoln, where one nationally known editor even wrote that Lincoln ought to be hanged, that he betrayed the people, and he was a cancer on the body politic.
There is a lot of criticism, and it does make it hard for people to testify today and to witness to the power and the blessing of the Lord Jesus Christ, or to stand on the right. They’ll be called everything from an extremist and the fringe of lunacy, an extreme fanatical rightist and all. I will say that even public servants pay a dreadful price for the privilege and honor of serving their country.
True, every Christian who strives to faithfully bear witness for his Lord is going to pay dearly for his courage and his fidelity. Peter declared long ago, “Know this, there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (2 Peter 3:3; 1 Peter 5:8–9).
Now the paths of service are crimson with the blood of suffering. Hearts have been broken and hopes have been dashed and souls are needlessly wounded by thoughtless cruel ministry of those that are willing to occupy front seats among the scornful—these people that sit on the seat of the scornful that jeer at God’s people and make it hard for one, as I say, to testify or to witness to the things of Christ. Oh, I love those words in the psalm, “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”10
It was the same, though, for the Lord Jesus Christ. He was a national hero and was the idol of the multitude, but when the curtain rang down on His ministry, men of religious bigotry and political malice unsheathed the sword of hatred, and they deserted Him, and at His arrest all of His disciples fled for their lives. At the cross there was but one of His chosen apostles that dared to stand by, and when He died He left on earth eleven cowards, it seems to me, and one traitor.
You know, Paul, the one with the pulsing heart, he was the controlling mind of the early church. You remember when he said in his hour of direst need, “Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world and has departed … and Crescens is gone,” and “Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil. … At my last trial no man stood with me. All men forsook me” (2 Timothy 4:10,14,16). The majority of Paul’s friends weren’t able to face the lions and the swords of the fire and martyrdom. They clung tenaciously to their seat among the scornful.
There have been many cowards in our time also. I’ve had some experience along this line not so long ago. A young woman that had been greatly blessed in the ministry—God had healed her marvelously, and she went to tell someone about it. She said, “Oh, I just had the most marvelous doctor and he did such a wonderful work.” Then she added in a whisper, just a bare whisper to this party. She said, “Of course, the Lord helped a little.” But she said it in a whisper, “Of course, the Lord helped a little.”
Well, I turned to her and I said, “You did have a good doctor but,” I said, “you’ve got a very jealous God; and the Lord healed you through the prayers of all your friends, and I prayed for you desperately.” I said, “The doctor helped a little and the Lord did the work. True, the doctor did help some, but the Lord did the work.” She was ashamed, it seemed, of this.
A friend complained of the blasphemy of a certain program, and I said, “Did you write in or protest?” She said, “Oh, goodness no! They would’ve published my name and my letter.” Well, those that stand against Christ and the things that you believe, they don’t mind having their names published.
Sitting one time in the parlor car of the Southern Pacific train, a Christian woman and I knew the conversation between three people took on a vitriolic tone towards the Bible and towards Christ. She couldn’t stand it any longer and she got up and left. She never said one word of protest. She gave the least witness to her faith before those people.
You know, there’s something tragic about that when we’ve got so much to witness to, and we let those that sit in the seat of the scornful put fear into us. It’s an awful thing when you think that when we have so much to witness to and such a wonderful Lord, and there can be such transformation in these lives, and yet we don’t tell them about the balm that there is in Gilead. We used to sing a hymn in Sunday school, I think I’ve quoted it to you a number of times:
Dare to be a Daniel,
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose true
And dare to make it known.
Phillip Bliss, 1872
Oh, I wish that some unsaved one listening in right now would have the courage to trust God for your salvation and then help us stand out for His truth. Declare your allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ right now. Do you have the courage to do that? Oh, what a changed life you would have. What a witness you could be for the right and for the cause of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God’s Word says, “I say unto you, joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance” (Luke 15:7). God help you to have courage to stand out for the cause of Christ in this dark day. It’s needed so very much, and surely you owe the Lord Jesus Christ that much loyalty that you’ll not listen to the scornful or sit anywhere near the seat of the scornful. God help you to have the courage to speak for Him.
He’s still on the throne and prayer will change things for you.