Summary: Psalm 1. (Powerpoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:

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(A). Principles of happiness (verse 1)

(1). Right Decision (verse 1

(2). Right direction (Verse 2)

(3). Right Desire (verse 2b

(B). Profile of happiness

(1). Planted. (vs 3a)

(2). Fruitful (vs 3b)

(3). Un-withered (vs 3c)

(4). Prosperous (vs 3d)

(C). Picture of the ungodly.

(1). Without substance (verse 4)

(2). Without excuse (verse 5)

(3). Without hope (verse 6)



Helpful instructions:

• (1). Kathy’s children’s cough medicine contains this warning:

• “Do not drive a car or operate machinery after taking this medication”

• (2). Boots hairdryer:

• “Do not use while sleeping!”

• (3). Marks & Spenser’s bread pudding:

• “Product will be hot after heating!”

• (4). Our Christmas lights from B&Q contained this helpful information:

• “For indoor and outdoor use only”

• (5). Sainsbury’s peanuts;

• “Warning product contains nuts!”

Psalm 1 gives us helpful advice regarding how to live life:

• Unlike the makers instructions I mentioned earlier;

• This psalm is full of practical, relevant advice on how to experience lasting happiness!

Many people in our country have a false idea of what happiness is:

• We look to other people, for our happiness i.e. relationships

• Or to things, to possessions i.e. materialism

• Or to experiences,

• Or to circumstances.

• And when those things are favourable we are happy,

• And when they are not, then we are not!

So if we just look to those things ALONE:

• Then we can experience quite a bit of happiness,

• But also we must also often endure periods of unhappiness.

• The Bible shows us in a variety of places:

• That lasting happiness is not necessarily related to things or happenings,

This Psalm starts off with the word "Blessed’:

• Our English word ‘Blessed’ is somewhat bland. –

• Some translations use the word ‘Happy’.

• That’s a start, but it means much more; ‘To be enriched, contented, fulfilled’.

• The Hebrew term has a plural ending: ‘Oh, the happiness, many times over’.

(A). Principles of happiness (verse 1)

(1). Right Decision (verse 1):

“Who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked".

Straight away we are told:

• Happiness is not found, in a life-style that leaves out God.

• Note: the word "Counsel"; or the "Advice” or “Consultation of the wicked".


• British prime minister Herbert Asquith;

• Once spent a weekend at the Waddesdon estate of the 19th-century Rothschild family.

• One day, as Asquith was being waited on at teatime by the butler,

• The following conversation ensued:

• The Butler asked him: "Tea, coffee, or a peach from off the wall, sir?"

• "Tea, please," answered Asquith.

• "China, India, or Ceylon, sir?" asked the butler.

• "China, please." replied Asquith.

• "Lemon, milk, or cream, sir?"

• "Milk, please," replied Asquith.

• "Jersey, Hereford, or Shorthorn, sir?"

• Asked the butler.

This Psalm tells us that actually life is not that complicated:

• In fact this psalm it narrows down to one simple choice;

• We can either choose the advice of the crowd (i.e. live like the world).

• Or we choose the advice of God.

If we take that first option and choose the advice of the crowd (i.e. live like the world):

• Then according to verse 1 three negatives actions take place;

• Three unhelpful actions occur.

• In fact verse 1 is a picture of spiritual erosion, “Walk, stand, sit”.

• (a). If you walk, eventually you get tired, - So you will have to stop and stand,

• (b). If you stand long enough,

• (c). It’s only a matter of time before you will sit down.

Now at times every Christian will take on board the attitude of not obeying God:

• All of us at times sin,

• That’s not an excuse it’s a fact!!!

• (a). For some Christians:

• They sin, when they fall into temptation, - That is they are suddenly caught off guard,

• (b). For others it will be a deliberate choice.

• ‘The pleasures of sin for a season’, despite the consequences.

• (c). For many Christians, it’s the problem of compromise;

• That word ’compromise’ seems to summarise verse 1.


Life ought to teach us, that deterioration is never sudden:

• No garden is suddenly overgrown with weeds,

• No building suddenly crumbles,

• No church suddenly splits,

• No tree suddenly falls,

• No marriage suddenly breaks down,

• No person suddenly becomes base,

Quote: The words of Eleanor Roosevelt ring true:

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words. It is expressed in the choices one makes.

In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.

The process never ends until we die.

And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”

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