Summary: Believers who are sitting with Christ, walking with the wise, and standing against sin will be planted firmly in Christ, rooted and established with him.
Believers that Won’t Be Blown Away (Psalm 1)
Please turn in your Bibles to Psalm 1 as we begin a new sermon series. For the next eight weeks we are going to be in the book of Psalms. Some of you might already be checking out, or at least wondering, “what am I going to get out of this?” Because isn’t Psalms just a book of poetry? How does a hymnbook help me with my daily life? I need something more practical.
Think of Psalms as a book of practical poetry. It is for artists and engineers. Musicians and military. Creative thinkers and concrete thinkers. Psalms is for you.
Next week we will get in to some of the structure and features of this book, but this week, I wanted to just jump in with Psalm 1, because it is seen by a lot of theologians as an introduction to the entire book. So I would invite you to stand in honor of the reading of God’s word as we read Psalm 1
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”
??Psalms? ?1:1-6? ?ESV??????
We can think of Psalm 1 as a song with three stanzas and a coda. The first stanza is going to teach us about the posture of the pilgrim. The second stanza deals with promises to the planted. Stanza 3 is all about warnings to the wicked. Then the coda—the cherry on top, turns from talking about us as believers to talking about God—the character of the creator.
First Stanza: Posture of the Pilgrim (v. 1-2)
The first stanza, verses 1-2, talks about the posture of the pilgrim. A pilgrim is someone who is on a journey, usually for religious purposes. The Psalmist is going to give us some guidance for how to be blessed on this journey, this pilgrimage, of life. In the Hebrew, the word blessed is actually plural, so you could say, “Blessings on top of blessings” for the man who…
Doesn’t walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
Think of “walking” as “how we live” [transition]. If someone said to you, “How is your walk with the Lord,” you would know what they meant. Ephesians 4:1 Paul says we are to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which we’ve been called. The invitation Jesus gives us is to “follow him.” So we have a choice. We can either “walk with the wise and become wise” as it says in Proverbs 13:20, or we can walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Verse 1 makes us ask the question, who do you listen to? Who are you influenced by? Who do you get advice from?
Does this mean that we should only go to Christian doctors, or only consult with a Christian financial planner, or only use a Christian realtor? Should we enroll our kids in a Christian school and only consider a Christian college? Not necessarily. But realize that the foundation of our worldview is going to be our relationship with Jesus. There isn’t an area of our lives that the Lordship of Jesus won’t profoundly influence. Verse 1 says the man who doesn’t “walk in the counsel of the ungodly” is blessed.
Stand in the Way of Sinners
If “walk” is about how we live, then “Stand” is about how we fight [transition]. Paul wrote to the Ephesians and said (Epg. 6:13)
13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
Again, If someone said to you, “What do you stand for,”, you would understand exactly what they meant. What do you believe in? What do you fight for? And what do you fight against? The Psalmist says we are blessed if we don’t “stand in the way of” (which means to stand with) sinners. Standing “in the way of sinners” means lining yourself up in opposition to God’s rule and plan for our lives. So there are blessings on top of blessings for the one who doesn’t stand with sinners. Now, I want to be careful here because I think this is a place where I could be misunderstood. Are we supposed to reject sinful people? No. We are to show the love of Jesus to all people, especially sinners, because we ourselves are sinners. Paul said “Christ died to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (1 Tim. 1:15) I’m not saying you reject sinful people, but sinful practices.