Summary: Preaching through the Psalms by chapter in a single message.
THE TWO TRAILS OF LIFE
TEXT: Psalm 1:1-6
Psalms 1:1-6 KJV 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.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE TRAILS OF LIFE
A. Kit Carson—Scout
Hampton Sides wrote a book about Kit Carson called Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West. The truth of the matter is that Kit Carson actually was a man who was fleeing from the East to get away from the cities and the early spread of industrialization. He was very short in stature, somewhere around 5’4” tall, but he would be pressed into filling the role of a scout for wagon trains and the US Calvary. To do this effectively, he had to learn the different trails of the West and be able to understand the terrain both its benefits and its dangers. Because of this, history documents in multiple times where that he was able to save an expedition, a wagon train, and even the US Calvary because of his knowledge of the trails. Some of the trails were developed and others were not but he had the savvy to know what to do.
One of the chapters in the book is entitled “The Pathfinder” (ch. 9) and it describes how that because of Kit Carson’s knowledge of some of the mountain passes in the California mountains that he saved Colonel John C. Fremont’s expedition. In fact some historians believe that Fremont and his men would have died just as the Donner Party died in a horrible winter in the Sierra Nevadas just a few years later.
Hampton Sides writes this about Kit Carson:
As a tracker, he was unequaled. He knew from experience how to read the watersheds, where to find grazing grass, what to do when encountering a grizzly. He could locate water in a desert arroyo and strain it into potability. In a crisis he knew tricks from staving off thirst—such as opening the fruit of a cactus or clipping a mule’s ears and drinking its blood.
Hampton Sides goes on to write how that Colonel John C. Fremont was called the Pathfinder during this time of his life but he would have never survived without the skills of Kit Carson.
B. The Paths/Trails in the Bible
-We all are on one of two paths in our spiritual walk. We are either on the path of godliness or ungodliness and Psalm 1 which is one of the Wisdom Psalms (along with 32, 34, 37, 49 and 119) shows us the dividing points between the two of them.
-Wisdom Psalms are instructive psalms that provide practical guidelines for godly living and give to us pointed direction for righteous living in the pursuit of God’s will. They can often be compared with the Wisdom Literature of the Proverbs because of the teaching form by which it takes.
-The NIV uses a word throughout the Psalms that is interchanged with path in the KJV, it is called “trail” or “trails.” Consider what we find with this word:
• Psalm 1:1—Nor stand in the trail of sinners.
• Psalm 16:11—You will make known to me the trail of life.
• Psalm 27:11—Lead me in a level trail.
• Psalm 36:4—He sets himself on a trail that is not good.
• Psalm 119:34—Make me walk in the trail of Your commandments.
• Psalm 119:105—A light unto my trail.
-In other places, the word comes out in this manner:
• Job 23:11—My foot has held fast to His trail.
• Proverbs 4:14—Do not enter the trail of the wicked.
• Proverbs 4:18—The trail of the righteous is like the light of dawn.
• Proverbs 4:26—Watch the trail of your feet and all your ways will be established.
• Proverbs 10:17—He is on the trail of life who heeds instruction.
• Proverbs 15:19—The trail of the upright is a highway.
• Proverbs 15:24—The trail of life leads upward for the wise.
• Proverbs 16:17—He who watches his trail preserves his life.
• Proverbs 16:25—There is a trail which seems right to a man but its end is the trail of death.