Temple Baptist Church - 2-12-2017
A. This great Psalm may take more than one service because of both its importance as a preface to 150 chapters, which makes it the longest of all books of the Bible.
1. It is a Psalm of great content as it sets forth the beginning and end of both godliness and sinfulness.
2. This little Psalm is one of great encouragement as living for Christ is rewarded in this life as well as the life to come. The blessedness of living for Christ is often shrouded by a worldly view of “much is good and little is not.”
Luke 12:15 “And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” (Life does not consist of the possessions that we have but the peace that we have with God and the peace that we find as we live a life with little regret. Godliness great gain – It will be worth it all when we see Christ!)
3. It is a Psalm of dire warning as it also shows the beginning and end of the wicked, both in this life and the life to come. As the “god of this world” has blinded the minds of the lost to the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, he has also blinded their minds to the result of sinfulness.
Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
B. Several things stand out in this first Psalm that I think are important to look at.
1. The Psalm has no title. Other than the 1st and 2nd Psalm, the rest of the Psalms have titles that give either a general or specific backdrop. Because of the structure and contend of the 1st Psalm, it has been called by some “The Preface of the Holy Ghost” or “The Psalm of the Holy Ghost.”
2. The Book of Psalms has also been called “The Hymn Book of Israel.” Think of our hymn book for a moment. It is a book filled with songs of Worship! The songs that we sing are meant to glorify our wonderful Lord in both the good and the bad times of our lives. I love to sing! What a blessing to come to church and have the blessed opportunity to worship the Lord with a grateful heart. Come before His presence with singing. These Psalms were meant to glorify Jehovah God!
3. Our hymnal is not a Book of Complaints or Disappointments. The hymns are to elevate the Lord and to encourage the child of God. There is much in the Psalms where God’s people did not understand their suffering, the seemingly elevation and blessedness of the wicked, the silences of God through many of the hard times of their lives. The Psalms elevated God above the strife of this present world.
C. What makes the Bible a “God Book” instead of the writings of man is the absolute honesty that it shows.
1. The Psalms show man what he is as well as tell man who and what God is. This “preface” to the Psalms divides naturally into two nearly equal portions.
a) In Psalm 1:1-3 the essence of the righteous is described, and his reward is promised.
b) In Psalm 1:4-6 the condition of the wicked is considered, and his ultimate destruction predicted.
D. The first Psalm is an expanded version of a proverb as it contrasts wisdom and foolishness.
E. The Book of Psalms is the “Hymn Book” of the Jewish nation. It is a “Prayer Book” and a “Worship Hymnal” combined. I have gotten more help from the Psalms over the past few years than from any other place in the Bible. It encourages us to remain faithful and trust; it illuminates us to God’s ways; it glorifies His holiness and impending judgment on the wicked; it is the resting place of the soul that is endangered or discouraged.
F. It begins with the word “blessed.” Many will substitute the word “happy” in the place of “blessed” but I believe that it is a cardinal mistake. Though both “blessed” and “happy” come from the same root word (which means to be straight, to be level, to go forward, to be honest, to prosper, happy), the words are a little different in their meanings.
1. To be happy is a manner of disposition. It always means happiness or to be extremely glad in your circumstances. Everyone wants to be happy but we are not always so for life is hard at times and we wish things to be different.
2. To be blessed is a word that pertains to our personal welfare. You can be unhappy and still be blessed. Do you see what I mean? In the worst of circumstances, you can be unhappy but still be blessed. That is what 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Not to be thankful for cancer, death, or sinfulness but to be thankful that you are saved, God is meeting your needs, etc. during these hard times.
G. Psalm 1 tells us how to be “blessed,” not “happy.” I am glad that the things in this Psalm will ultimately (and sometimes instantly) make you happy but they will ALWAYSmake you blessed.
1. The Conditions Of God’s Blessings
a. The Blessed Man Finds His Counsel In God’s Word – “walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly” This means to both listen and agree with the counsel of the world. Their counsel is anti-god. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
b. The Blessed Man Finds His Pleasure In The Things Of God – “standeth in the way of sinners.” The wages of sin is still death! “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
c. The Blessed Man Finds His Fellowship With The People Of God – “nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are. The world scorns (to have in derision) the things of God. They mock you if you serve God and will make you mock those who serve the Lord if you run with them. “Evil communications corrupt good manners!”
d. The Blessed Man Finds His Delight In The Law Of The Lord – “But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Proverbs 19:23 says, “The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.” We will have problems but God will deliver us out of them all!
2. The Characteristics Of God’s Blessed
a. God’s Blessed Are Prominent - “he shall be like a tree.” God’s people will “stand out” and “stand above” the world! “They took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.” The world may not like you but they will recognize you and most of the world will respect you.
b. God’s Blessed Are Planted – “planted by the rivers of water.” The child of God will be vibrant, lively, and lovely during the most horrible spiritual droughts! They will have a constant, unending source of both life and strength.
c. God’s Blessed Are Productive – “that bringeth forth his fruit in his season.” The child of God will produce godly fruit that will be both observed and beneficial to others. You never know who is watching your life but you do know who you want to follow in your footsteps! “If my kids follow me they will be drug free” is a familiar bumper sticker. If my kids follow me, they will follow the Lord!
d. God’s Blessed Are Perpetual – “is leaf also shall not wither.” One of the greatest of spiritual assets is that of predictability! When the world not only recognizes a life of godliness in the believer but expects to see it every time they come around. Not shocked that our lives have changed but expectant of our spiritual consistency.
e. God’s Blessed Are Prosperous – “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The believer will be successful in both his public and personal life. That does not mean that we will have no problems but it does mean that we shall come through them victoriously! We can overcome hardship with the help of an ever present, all powerful, and graciously loving God at our side.
Conclusion: The ungodly are not so!!!