Summary: If you desire to walk the path of righteousness, let God’s Word fill your memory, rule your heart, and guide your life. May God find you faithful, sincere, honest, committed and dedicated to that walking, standing and sitting with Him. Will you take the s
Opening illustration: In talking to young people about preparing for the future, I’ve had several say something like this: “We must get into the world to experience ungodly situations and ungodly people in order to grow stronger.”
This kind of thinking has swallowed up many immature Christians and eventually turned them against God. Sure, we’re in the world (John 17: 15) and we’re exposed to non-Christian situations (school, job, neighborhood), but we need to be careful that exposure to those situations does not lead to embracing ungodly philosophies. All of us would mature faster by following the divine pattern suggested in Psalm 1.
First, let’s not let our decisions and choices be controlled by the “counsel of the ungodly.” Second, we shouldn’t put ourselves in a place where those who don’t know Jesus can unduly influence our thought processes. Third, let’s avoid getting comfortable with those who mock God, His Word, and His role in our life so that their thinking seems right to us.
Counsel from such sources leads us away from God. Instead, it’s best to get our training, our guidance, and our advice from God’s holy Word and those who know it and love it. God and His Word, not experiences, are our best teacher.
Introduction: This first Psalm stands as a kind of introduction to the rest of the Psalms. Its subject matter is very general and basic, but it touches on two subjects that continually occur throughout the Psalms. It declares the blessedness of the righteous and the misery and future of the wicked. Man’s spiritual life is set forth negatively and positively, inwardly and externally, figuratively and literally. Above all else, it summarizes all that is to follow in the rest of the Psalms, and, for that matter, in the rest of Scripture.
It presents two ways of life: the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked. However, the key subject is the centrality of God’s Word to the life and fruitfulness of the righteous who truly love His Word. Two great thrusts flow out of this:
(a) The importance and absolute necessity of the Scripture, and
(b) The changed character, stability, and fruitfulness it promises to those who make Scripture the core of their lives.
This passage helps us to reflect upon –
(i) There are three degrees of habit or conduct: walk / stand / sit.
(ii) There are three degrees of openness, fellowship, or involvement in evil: counsel / path / seat.
(iii) There are three degrees of evil that result: wicked / sinners / scoffers.
In each of these there is regression from God’s way and progression into sin and Satan’s way. It warns us how man is prone to turn aside little by little and become more and more entangled in the web of sin. He is easily influenced by the way of the world in its attitudes and actions, for actions follow attitudes.
The imagery of the tree is of a believer … so what does it take for the tree to grow? How will the chaff grow? OR for that matter does it really grow? How do you protect the tree from rotting and falling? Are you like a tree or like chaff?
What are the ways of the righteous?
1. Do NOT make decisions and choices by taking counsel of the ungodly (vs. 1-2)
“Does not walk …” “Walk” in the Hebrew which metaphorically means, “To go along with, follow a course of action,” or “to live, follow a way of life.” It has the idea of “go along with, use, and follow.” The tense is decisive; he is one who has chosen not to follow this path.
The Devil is active and will put obstacles in your way. He will use those who are his to hinder and hurt you. The threefold danger: Walking, standing, sitting.
• People you surround yourself with (especially those who are not Christians) will lure, tempt and speak things into your lives that are ungodly - Walking in ungodly counsel.
• The ungodly always are ready to give advice, to give counsel.
• This may be in the form of literature.
• I’m Okay, You’re Okay.
• Advice columns in Newspapers, i.e., Dear Abby.
• This may be in the form of advertising
• This Bud’s for you -- drink this.
• You deserve a break today -- eat this.
• This may be in the form of entertainment.
• Talk shows, with secular opinions, solutions, and their focus on self-esteem.
• Movies: Where violent and immoral men and women advocate revenge, one-upsmanship, material possessions, infidelity, and moral relativism. (Shooting in Aurora, CO Thursday night)
• Radio shows that are full of secular psychology and opinions.
• A children’s cartoon where one of the characters in exasperation says, "I’m voting democrat."