Summary: Being tooted in God’s Word and Will results in a blessed life.
Title: Examining Our Roots
Text: Psalm 1
The Big Idea: Being rooted in God results in a blessed life.
Roots… in 1977 we were introduced to the Roots made for TV Mini-Series
based on the book written by Alex Haley. It is the story of an American family that began in the year 1750 when slavers captured Kunta Kinte in Africa, transported him to America, and sold him into slavery. The story continued for six nights and twelve hours, through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, spanning over one-hundred years of national history and six generations of family history.
Genealogists typically use a family tree as a genealogical diagram to trace the development of a family lineage. It seems there is always a bit of curiosity about from whom and where we came… we like to know something of our family roots. Fortunately, in nearly every family there is someone who is very much into genealogy and they do the hard work of examining our roots for us.
Going back to one’s roots can uncover all kinds of things. The Eastman online people reported that Sarah Palin and Princess Diana share a 9th great grandfather by the name of John Strong who was born in England in 1605, making the Governor and the Princess 10th cousins. She reportedly shares lineage with Franklin Delano Roosevelt as well. (eogin.com/Eastman_online_ genealogy/2008/10/sarah-palin-is.html)
A year ago the Washington Post reported Senator Barack Obama and Vice President Dick Cheney are 9th cousins. (Anne E. Kornblut, Obama and Cheney Making Connections, WashingtonPost.com, October 17,2007)
But those aren’t the kind of roots I want us to examine this morning. I am thinking more along the lines of tree roots… roots that tap down into the soil of our lives and from which we draw the things that sustain our lives.
Simply put, trees root in one of three primary ways:
• Tap Roots – Hickory and Oak Trees have Tap Roots or a primary root from which other roots grow.
• Heart Roots – Locust and Pine Trees have Heart Roots or a clump of roots, so to speak.
• Flatroots – Cottonwoods, Firs, Birches, and Maples have Flat Root Systems which spread and radiate from the tree beneath the surface of the soil.
And every tree has a three pronged root system: All roots have primary, secondary, and transport root systems. Root systems typically grow within three feet of the soil surface and extend laterally as much as three times the canopy of the tree. The root system serves to anchor and nourish the tree.
In our text godly people are likened to a tree that is planted along a river bank… a tree whose roots tap into an endless supply of nourishment.
Throughout the reading of our text, we notice that the Psalmist uses a series of contrasts to illustrate the difference between a gody person and an ungodly person. He begins by saying:
1. Godly people do not pattern their lives after the ways and will of ungodly people.
• Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with scoffers. Psalm 1:1
Note the downward spiral of one’s life when a person get all intertwined with ungodly people… when ungodly people become the primary influence in their lives:
• They begin by walking in the counsel of the wicked.
• They then stand in the way of sinners.
• And finally, they sit down with the scoffers.
I don’t know if you have ever seen a tree whose roots are exposed? They were not always exposed. They were once beneath the surface but over time two things happened: One, the roots grew larger and pushed up through the soil. And two, the soil eroded away leaving the roots exposed.
Walking with the wicked, standing in the way of sinners, and sitting in the seat of scoffers describes a gradual spiritual erosion.
• What does it mean to walk in the counsel of the wicked, i.e., follow the advice of the wicked? It means to begin to think like the ungodly.
• What does it mean to stand around with or in the way of sinners? It means to begin to behave like the ungodly.
• What does it mean to join in or sit in the seat of scoffers? It means to belong to the ungodly.
It means that what begins as a casual relationship evolves into becoming under the influence of and identified with, and eventually ultimately in agreement with, ungodly people.
It begins innocently and casually and ends with a casualty.
In August of 2004 a 24-year old woman in Malasia set out to break the world record of 32 days in a glass box with 6,000 scorpions. Showing no signs of fear she entered the box and was promptly covered with scorpions… she was allowed to leave the box for 15 minutes each day but she made the box her home for 36 days.