Summary: This message looks at the blessing of meditating on the Word of God.
Introduction: In 1923 at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago, Illinois, several of the most powerful and wealthy men in the world gathered together for a meeting. These men, if they combined their resources and assets, controlled more money than the U.S. Treasury. In the group were the following: The President of the largest independent steel company; The president of the largest utility company; The president of the New York Stock Exchange; The greatest wheat speculator; A member of the President’s Cabinet; The president of the Bank of International Settlement; and The greatest bear on Wall Street. Quite an impressive and ambitious group of people! But let’s consider for a moment the individual fates of each of these men later in life. Charles Schwab, the president of Bethlehem Steel, died penniless; Samuel Insull, the chairman of Commonwealth Edison, was acquitted on embezzlement and mail-fraud charges, retired to France and died penniless, of a heart attack, in a Paris subway station; Richard Whitney, the president of the New York Stock Exchange, spent time serving a sentence in Sing Sing Prison for grand larceny; Arthur Cutton, the greatest wheat speculator, died abroad insolvent; Albert Fall, a member of President Harding’s Cabinet, was pardoned from a federal prison so he might die at home. Leon Fraser, the president of the Bank of International Settlement, committed suicide; the greatest "bear" on Wall Street, Jesse Livermore, also committed suicide. While few would argue that each of these men learned well the art of making a living, most would question whether or not they learned anything about life in the process.
Today, we have the second message in our series, "The Disciplines of a Disciple." The Psalm that we’re looking at starts out with the phrase, "Blessed is the man." The best translation of the word "blessed" is "happy." Not unlike the men I just mentioned, we all want happiness. I know of no one who has acquired so much of it that he or she has given up all pursuit of further happiness for the future. It is, also, worth noting that according to the Psalmist it is not wrong to seek after happiness. In fact, the whole point of the Psalms is to lead us to true happiness. Why is it, however, that so many people fail to find it? I would propose that many of us look for it in all the wrong places. Let’s take a few minutes this morning and see what the Bible has to say about the source of happiness as it comes from the very hand of God.
I. The distribution of God’s blessing. To what kind of person does God distribute His blessing? The first two verses of Psalm 1 answer this question for us. It is the individual who is identified by two outstanding characteristics:
A. The first relates to what he doesn’t do (See Psalm 1:1).
1. He does not walk in the counsel of the wicked. The word "wicked" is the Hebrew word "rasha." Its root idea is "turbulence or restlessness." It refers to the tossing and confusion in which the wicked constantly live because they can find no rest (See Isaiah 57:20-21). Illustration: Certainly we have a current example in Ralph "Bucky" Phillips, the 44 year-old fugitive from justice that was captured by authorities this weekend in a farm field in Pennsylvania. He’s been accused of murdering a N. Y. state trooper and wounding two others in June of this year. He has been on the run ever since. There really is no rest for the wicked.
2. He does not stand in the way of sinners. As I’ve said before, a sinner is someone who misses the mark of perfection. While this is true of all of us (See Ecclesiastes 7:20), the Psalmist is speaking of the person who deliberately chooses a way of life that is sinful and contrary to the will of God. Obviously, the person who seeks God’s blessing does not choose this lifestyle.
3. He does not sit in the seat of mockers. Mockers have no respect for authority, particularly God. They stir up trouble (See Proverbs 29:8) and do not listen to anyone else (See Proverbs 9:8). They flaunt their disrespect for others. Illustration: Do you remember the story of the young boys who mocked Elisha, the prophet of God (See 2 Kings 2:23-24). They came from Bethel, a town that was more than willing to worship one of the two golden calves made by Jeroboam (See 1 Kings 2:12:28-29). They treated the prophet with disrespect which was akin to treating God with disrespect and received immediate retribution as Elisha proved he really was a prophet of God! THE KIND OF MAN GOD BLESSES WOULD NEVER DREAM OF MOCKING GOD AND HIS SERVANTS.
B. The second relates to what he does do (See Psalm 1:2).