Summary: Good and godly peop-le are rooted in the Word of God.
Title: Choose Your Own Adventure
Text: Psalm 1
Thesis: Good and godly people are rooted in the Word of God.
“Choose Your Own Adventure” is a series of children’s gamebooks where each story is written from a second-person point of view in which the reader assumes the role of the protagonist, i.e., the main character. The reader then makes choices that determine the main character’s actions and the plot’s outcome.
In the story the reader becomes a private investigator, mountain-climber, doctor, spy or whomever. After a couple of pages the reader/protagonist faces two or three options, each of which leads to more options and consequently to one of many possible endings.
So the child learns that the choices he or she makes in the course of their adventure determines the outcome of their adventure. Simply put, our decisions in life have consequences. Good decisions result in favorable outcomes and bad decisions result in unfavorable outcomes.
In Psalm 1 we are given the adventure of life with two options and two outcomes. When we have completed our life adventure we will arrive at the end of the path we chose…
In the first few verses we see that in our adventure there is a fork in the road and we may either choose the ways of God or the ways of the wicked.
I. (Do you) Delight in the Lord or follow the advice of the wicked? Psalm 1:1-2
The text begins on a negative foot. Oh the joys of those who do not…
A. A Godly Person Doesn’t (Negative), Psalm 1:1 (If we think of do’s and don’ts… these are don’ts)
Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked… Psalm 1:1
In this text wickedness is not defined in terms of heinous acts or deviant behavior. Of course those kinds of things may characterize the life of a wicked person but our text distinguishes between two kinds of people: Those who follow God and those who do not. One commentator said the difference between these two kinds of people is that one is God-centered in life and the other is self-centered in life or one kind of person is God-instructed and the other kind of person is self-instructed. One kind of person choses God’s-rule while the other kind of person choses Self-rule. Those distinctions become clear at the onset.
Godly people do not:
1. Follow or walk in the advice/counsel or path of the wicked.
The inference is that when a person sincerely wants to walk through life with God, that person does not adapt the thinking and the lifestyle of those who are not walking with God.
2. Stand around with sinners.
The inference here is that the person who sincerely wants to walk with God does not get comfortable with the ways of the wicked. The person who sincerely wants to walk with God does not hang with wicked people.
3. Sit in the seat of or join in with mockers.
The inference here is that the person who sincerely wants to walk with God does not become fully at home with the lifestyle of those who live with no awareness of God.
The text goes on to outline what the Godly person does in fact do.
There is a painting by Hieronymus Bosch titled “Ship of Fools” hanging in the Louvre in Paris. It is a marvelous work filled with symbolism. The painting shows ten people aboard a small vessel and two people overboard swimming around it. There is no captain. Everyone is busy drinking, feasting, flirting and singing. They are oblivious to what is happening in waves around them. They are all fools because they are enjoying all the pleasures of the world without knowing where it all leads.
On top of the mast hangs a bunch of dangling carrots and a man is climbing the mast to reach them. Above the carrots is a human skull representing the thirteenth person on the ship who is unlucky in every imaginable way. The idea is that the twelve think everything is perfect when in fact they are sailing to their demise. The only figure leading the way is death. So it is with the way of the wicked. They are sailing through life oblivious to God and it does not end well.
Now the text turns to the positive…
B. A Godly Person Does (Positive), Psalm 1:2 (Think do’s)
But they delight in the law of the Lord… Psalm 1:2
1. Delights in the law of the Lord.
To delight in something is to find joy and fulfillment in that something.
Our daughter Lorri posts a photo she has taken from nature along with an insightful thought or a devotional thought or comment on Instagram every day. She calls her daily posts “adored creation.” A recent post was of a beautiful yellow wild flower… up close the flower is crisp and clear but in the background is blurry and indistinct. In the same photo was clarity and distortion. Her comment was, “Perspective changes our view. Things that were once blurry start to become clear.”