Two paths lie before you
This morning we are going to begin a 30 week journey through the Book of
-The Psalms serve as the prayer book of the Bible- reflecting all to often what is
going on in our hearts and hence teaching us how to approach the throne of God
-The Psalms serve as a worship book too, for Colossians 3:16 says; "Let the
message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another
with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God
with gratitude in your hearts."
-Of the Psalms, here's what Billy Graham said; "I used to read five psalms every
day (his health doesn't allow it anymore) - that teaches me how to get along with
God. Then I read a chapter of Proverbs every day and that teaches me how to get
along with my fellow man." WE NEED TO GET INTO THE PSALMS REGULARLY
Today we are going to begin our series by taking a look at Psalm 1.
-While we are going to take a look at Psalm 1, I'd like to note that it is integrally
connected to Psalm 2
-Psalm 1 and Psalm 2 stand as the doorposts into the whole book of Psalms
-Psalm 1 tells us that two paths lie before us- the way of the righteous and the
way of the wicked. Psalm 1 challenges to make a choice, a wise choice, the right
choice in the sight of God.
-Psalm 2 introduces us to Jesus (Psalm 2 is what is called a Messianic passage).
He/Jesus, the Son of God is the door. He is the way, the truth, and the life. His
way is the way we are to take. We are to submit ourselves to his Lordship. We
are to take refuge under his wings.
Through Psalm 1 and 2 one can step into the rest of the book on the right
footing- choosing the way of the righteous, surrendered to God's anointed, to the
Savior Jesus Christ.
READ PSALM 1
Cool parallel: Jeremiah 21:8
LESSONS, PRINCIPLES, OBSERVATIONS OF THE TEXT
1. TWO PATHS LIE BEFORE US- one leads to eternal life, the other leads to
Judgment -choose wisely!
-This text introduces us to those who are righteous and those who are wicked.
-The righteous are characterized as choice and cultivated trees, planted by a
stream of life giving water
-The wicked are characterized as chaff- left overs of the winnowing process,
husks, empty shells, useless and lifeless, driven away by the wind
The end that is spoken of for both groups - eternal life for the righteous and
Judgment for the wicked- has everything to do with a CHOICE MADE.
The righteous are said to have made a choice to seek after God and His ways and
to revere Him. The righteous are said to be ones who actively eschew and reject
the way of the wicked and their call to join in with them
The wicked are said to have made a choice to pursue their own guilty pleasures
and to rail against God.
The call of Psalm 1, especially when paired with Psalm 2 - which introduces us to
Jesus the Messiah- is to choose the way of God, the fear of the Lord, the way of
faith and trust.
The two paths of Psalm 1 reminds us of the call of Jesus in Matthew 7:13-14
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that
leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow
the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
2. THE PATH THE LORD CALLS US TO REQUIRES CARE IN HOW WE LIVE AND
WHO WE "ROLL" WITH v.1-2
Who are your associates? Who do you hang with? Who do you roll with?
Is your circle of friends all jacked up about drinking and partying? Are they into 1
night stands, casual sex, and hooking up? Are they the sort that think it
appropriate to attend and support the gay pride parade? Are they part of that
crowd that likes to declare what is evil to be good and what is good to be evil?
When you are with them, have you determined that it's best that you not talk
about Christ, the church, or the things of God, for fear of being mocked-- but for
some strange reason, you still want to fit in with them?
1 Corinthians 15:33 "Bad company corrupts good character"
Notice the progression of v.1-2
a. Blessed is the man/woman who walks not in the counsel of the wicked
b. Blessed is the man/woman who does not stand in the way of sinners
c. Blessed is the person who who does not sit in the seat of scoffers
Remember how sometimes you hear someone talk about a "slippery slope"-
implying that comprising a little will lead to bigger compromises and greater sin.
Psalm 1:1-2 describes this descent as walking, standing, sitting.
This principle that we are presently considering ties in with what is said in 2
Corinthians 6:14-18 "Don't team up with those who are unbelievers. How can
righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?
What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be
a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God's temple
and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: "I will live in
them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Therefore, come out from among unbelievers, and separate yourselves from them,
says the Lord. Don't touch their filthy things, and I will welcome you. And I will be
your Father, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."
An interesting thought: If you had a 3 year old, could you take them with you to
wherever it is and whoever it is with? If not--- it might not be a good idea for us
to be there either.
3. MEDITATION- AN OVERLOOKED AND MISUNDERSTOOD CHRISTIAN
PRACTICE THAT WILL HELP US STAY ON THE RIGHT PATH v.2
Verse 2 is a verse that almost flies under the radar "but his delight is in the law
of he LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night"
If we are not to walk in the counsel or the wicked nor stand in the way of sinners,
nor sit int he seat of scoffers- what are we to do? What can we do to protect
ourselves from the influence of the world and the wayward desires that are within
WE ARE TO MEDITATE ON THE WORD OF GOD
-A lot of people meditate. It's a popular practice amongst Buddhists and other
-Christian meditation is overlooked
a. How to meditate as a Christian
- Find a quiet spot. Set aside some time (at night in bed, in the morning,
wherever). Take the Word of God in hand. Pick a verse. Pick a passage. Read it,
read it, read it, pray it, pray over it, Pray to start. Ask God for wisdom and
understanding. Study the passage, ponder the passage.
- You might also consider playing some Christian music- for the Lord inhabits the
praises of His people
b. The need for Christian meditation
-that we might be steeped in the truth
-obedience to God-- for what does our text say - the one who is seeking after God
will meditate on His word, they will delight themselves in the laws of God
c. The benefits of Christian meditation
-Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
-When we meditate on the Word we gain a knowledge of the person and
gloriousness of God
-When we meditate on the Word we gain a knowledge of his will. We are able to
discern right from wrong. We are able to identify what is evil and see it and see
what is righteous more clearly
-peace, a healthy mind
d. The ill effects of meditating on wrong things
We meditate whether we like to think we do or not -but not always as
purposefully as we should
-when we ruminate and stew over the hurts we receive, we're meditating- but to
-when we ponder and plot how to gratify the flesh and get away with something,
there is a price to pay-- not only in flesh but in our spirit and mind to--- for peace
of mind flies out the window
-to dwell upon things that are contrary to God is the path to sin.
We must to care to arrest our minds from pondering and dwelling on things that
are sure to get us into trouble.
Rather, we are to heed what Philippians 4:8 says; "whatever is true, whatever is
honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is
commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things"
4. THE LORD HAS GOOD THINGS IN STORE FOR THOSE WHO CHOSE THE
PATH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
In short- Help for today and hope for tomorrow
Help for today
Herein our Heavenly father is likened to a gardener who has taken us from the
barren soil of our old life and purposefully and carefully planted us by a living
stream of water- for a purpose-- that we might bear FRUIT- the fruit of
righteousness, the fruit of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, patience, long suffering,
Hope for tomorrow
To be found in the "congregation of the righteous" -
- a picture of God's people in the heavenly courts. Numbered as one of the people
of God- being all those whose names are written in the Book of Life.
To such ones belong assurance