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Psalm 1

By Pastor Doug
The way of righteousness and the end of the ungodly.

This Psalm starts with a blessing being offered to certain people.  Some blessings come for specific reasons and as the result of certain things. To be blessed is to be happy.  We sometimes associate happiness with money, cars, homes.  We quickly respond that way……….we all do.  Those things are nothing time will carry them away.


This Psalm tells us how we can hold onto some happiness, how we can keep our blessing.  We keep our blessing by not listening to the counsel of the godless people around us; by not walking the same path of sinners; and by not sitting with the scornful.


What does it mean to walk in the council of the ungodly?  Or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers?  We begin to walk in ungodly council when we fail to trust God.  Our eyes are not on him and we seek to do things our way.  We do things of our own power to control our circumstances, instead of relying on the sufficiency of Jesus Christ.


For whatever reason, whether it is peer pressure, relevance, being cool, or whatever, one day we take an innocent stroll down an ungodly path.  Then after you've walked in the council of the ungodly for a while, you begin to think its okay.  You can handle this sin, this situation, or these people.  Before you know it, You begin to stand in the way of sinners.  You stand In agreement with them, finding a way to be comfortable with their ways.  And in a short time, as you become more comfortable and confident in your ability to deal with the things or the world, you are sitting in the seat of mockers.  You've become completely comfortable, relaxed and there to stay.


You went from walking to standing to sitting.  Everyone of us have those temptations in our life.  Maybe it's the TV channels you flip to, the music you listen to, the websites you visit, maybe it's the pills you take, or the drink you mix.  You know what that thing is that tempts you to walk down the wrong path.


The world is becoming more godless by the day.  And the godless offer their advice on how to live life. They invite you to walk in the same manner that they are walking.  They offer you a seat among the scornful.  The scornful are those that hold God in contempt, mocking Him and sneering at His ways.  The seat may look prestigious or important.  It may be offered in the spirit of unity and peace.  This walk and place of standing and seat among the world may appear to offer great blessing.  The godless offer you a seat among them every day.


Instead, we should find delight in the law of God.  God's laws are precepts that keep us out of trouble.  The law is God's counsel offered instead of the counsel of the ungodly.  The law keeps us on the right path and not the path of the wicked.  The law of God keeps our life in perspective instead of living in scorn.


Part of this delight of the law is to meditate on the law day and night.  This word 'meditate' means to speak the law.  It's to utter or mumble the scriptures.  Someone said, "Meditation is to the soul what digestion is to the body."  Its spiritual nutrition……..it's sustenance and life


See Jeremiah 15:16. 

       16 Your words were found, and I ate them,
      And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;
      For I am called by Your name,
      O LORD God of hosts.

Jeremiah ate the words and found them to be joy and rejoicing of his heart.


When we delight in the precepts of God and meditate on His word we are changed, transformed.  The Psalmists says, the man who makes the choice to stay away from the ungodly and scornful; to walk God's way; and fill himself with God's word………..

……………..He shall be like a tree
         Planted by the rivers of water,
         That brings forth its fruit in its season,
         Whose leaf also shall not wither;
         And whatever he does shall prosper.

We should desire to like a tree that bears its fruit in season.  Fruit coming from the tree is a very natural and expected progression.  Fruit comes in season when growth has occurred.  Growth comes from sustenance and pruning.


Whatever this man does will prosper.  This isn't talking about winning every bet you make in Vegas, it's not picking all the right stocks to invest in.  This prosperity is a life lived for God.  It's having your priorities aligned with God.  Godly prosperity is based on eternal things.  This man who is like the tree bears the fruit of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control


Living a life of faith bears fruit and the prosperity comes to you in love for those around you…..friends, family and fellowship.  It's giving and receiving that love.  It's a God given joy and peace that comes from understanding we are passing through this life to eternity.


The ungodly will not prosper in the same way.  They may prosper in worldly ways: in pride, selfishness, self centered arrogance. However, any prosperity they experience is short lived in an eternal perspective.  Any prosperity is strictly worldly and will burn away.


The Psalm says the ungodly are like chaff that the wind blows away.  We see chaff throughout the bible.  It is useless material mixed in with the valuable grain.  On the threshing floor the grain would be winnowed and stirred and the worthless chaff would blow away.


The threshing floor is always used in reference to judgment.  There will be a final judgment and these sinners will be before God bearing the burden of their sins.with no savior, with the wrath of God built up against them.  They won't stand with the righteous.  They will be cut down and thrown into the fire………winnowed and blown away like chaff.


The last line of this Psalm says God knows your ways.  Will He see you as righteous or are you marked to perish?  The Psalm shows us a picture, a contrast, the ungodly are like the worthless chaff being blown away and the godly are trees planted by the waters.


The one is dead, dry and worthless, blown away and forever gone.  The other you can envision the roots pulling in the life giving water.  This living water is pulled in through the roots that anchor this tree.  They hold it up and feed it……the roots bring in the sufficiency.  From that tree……..from that kind of life comes fruit.