Summary: Three contrasts found in the psalm
Delighting in the Law of the Lord
Woodlawn Baptist Church
November 2, 2003
In this morning’s message, we took a brief look at a passage of Scripture where Jesus said, “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” A lot of weight hinges on that little two-letter word “if,” because in that word hangs the difference between following Jesus and not. It is the difference between life and death, heaven and hell, the wide gate and the narrow gate, the blessed, abundant life, and a wasted, impoverished life. Following after Jesus has never been easy, nor has it been cheap. Following Jesus will cost you everything; it will cost you your life.
Do I mean that following Jesus will cost you all your money? Or your job? Or your family? It could, but it may not. Following Jesus means that you’d be willing to loose all of those things, including your very life if following Him demanded that, but more than anything, following Jesus is about you dying to your right to live your life in pursuit of your own agenda. Take Abraham for example: there was a man who followed, and when God demanded that he sacrifice his only son Abraham obeyed. God waited till the knife was drawn back before He stopped what was happening. Why? Because He knew that nothing, absolutely nothing stood in the way of following after Him, not even his only son Isaac.
Well Brother Kevin, what are you getting at? I’m getting at this: when you boil it all down, all you are left with are the decisions you have made for or against Christ. Are you for Him or against Him? Are you following Him or are you not? It’s your choice, but the choice you make has very real and very pointed consequences. So, it is not only my Christian duty to warn and encourage you, it is one of my greatest joys to point you in the way of God. The psalmist experienced such a thing when he penned the words to the psalm we are going to look at tonight. Psalm 1 is an important psalm in this sense, because it serves as a gateway to understanding and applying all the rest of them. As we read this psalm tonight, I want you to consider three contrasts that are clearly made: the contrast between the righteous and unrighteous, the contrast between the delights of the godly and ungodly, and the contrast between what their lives produce. We’re going to conclude right back where we have started, and that’s with a choice, because even the most simple reading shouts forth the writer’s warning and encouragement to take great delight in the word of the Lord. Let’s read all six verses now.
“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.”
Look at verse 6 again. It says,
“For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
Now turn to Romans 3:10. There Paul says,
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…”
This verse and the thoughts that follow are taken from Psalm 14. I want you to turn to that Psalm now and look at something there.
“The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
Now in Romans 3:10 Paul says that there are no righteous people, and David says in Psalm 14 that there are no people who do good, meaning the same thing. Well how can it be that there are no righteous people, but in Psalm 1 we find that the Lord knows the way of the righteous? Does the Bible contradict itself? Let’s read on in Psalm 14 for help in verses 4-5.