Summary: Are you happy? I am -- sometimes! Psalm 1 reminds us that God wants to give us more happiness in life, and here’s how to get it:
Summer Psalms #1 - You Can Have Heavenly Happiness
Sermon by Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - May 27, 2009
*Are you happy? I am -- sometimes! Psalm 1 reminds us that God wants to give us more happiness in life. John Phillips explained:
-The book of Psalms begins with the word “blessed,” or (as we would say “happy.”) In the original it is not in the singular but in the plural. We can translate the first word of the Psalms “Oh the blessedness-es of the man,” or “Happy, happy is the man,” or “Oh the happiness-es of the man. . .” God does not dole out His blessings one at a time. He pours them out in the plural. (1)
*God wants to give you Heavenly happiness, and here’s how to get it:
1. First: Follow the right path.
*We can find the right path by avoiding the wrong path that God shows us in vs. 1. God says, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”
*We are blessed with happiness when we don’t head down the disastrous path of sin. And vs. 1 shows us how sin takes us from bad to worse: Foolishly walking into sin, then stopping to linger, then sitting down to camp out with sin.
*Sin always takes us from bad to worse:
-First the ungodly, leaving God out of their lives, and living by their own rules.
-Then sinners, disobeying God not once or accidentally, but habitually.
-Then scorners or mockers, proud, self-sufficient, know-it-alls, mocking God, thinking that anyone who believes is stupid.
*But happy, happy “is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.”
-The right path leads to joy. -- The wrong path leads to judgment.
-The right path leads to Heaven. -- The wrong path leads to hell.
*In vs. 4 the wrong path leads to a worthless life: “The ungodly are like the chaff which the wind drives away.” -- Not the good part of the grain, but the trash that gets blown away in the wind.
*In vs. 5 the wrong path leads to a weak life: Too weak to stand in the judgment. -- That’s because only the Lord can give us the strength to stand.
*In vs. 6 the wrong path leads to a wasted life: “For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” That word “perish” means “wandering away, going astray, destroyed, put to death, lost forever.”
*But the Good News is that even if you have gone down that wrong road in vs. 1, God still loves you, and He wants to turn your life around! 2 Pet 3:9 tells us: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
*God wants to put lost people on the path to abundant, eternal life. And Jesus can do it, because He is the way, the truth and the life.
-How can I have God’s abundant happiness? Follow the right path.
2. And take the right pleasure.
*Vs. 2 is talking about the happy, happy man, and it says, “His delight is in the law of the Lord.” What delights you? What gives you pleasure?
*God’s Word should give us great pleasure, because Psalm 19:7-8 tells us:
7. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple;
8. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
*What delights you? What gives you pleasure? It is easy for us to get far too much affection for the things of this world, not necessarily bad things, but temporary things, things that will have no weight in eternity.
*It’s easy for us to lose sight of the things that matter most. That’s what Vance Havner was getting at when he told the story about some little boys in Africa who were playing marbles in the dirt with some rocks. It turned out that they were playing marbles with diamonds, missing the value of what they held in their hands. (2)
*God help us not to miss the value of His Word. May our delight be in the law of the Lord! How can I have God’s abundant happiness? Take the right pleasure.
3. And make the right pursuit.
*Vs. 2 tells us that the blessed man intentionally and consistently pursues the Word of God. He meditates day and night in the God’s Word. This is the same thing God told Joshua to do when the Lord called Joshua to lead the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. In Joshua 1:8, God said, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”