Two Paths Are Before Us

By Brendan Pratt
1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, 
nor stands in the way of sinners, 
nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, 
and on his law he meditates day and night. 
3 He is like a tree 
planted by streams of water 
that yields its fruit in its season, 
and its leaf does not wither. 
In all that he does, he prospers. 
4 The wicked are not so, 
but are like chaff that the wind drives away. 
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, 
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, 
but the way of the wicked will perish. - Psalm 1:1-6
It's a new year where culturally people take this time to tell themselves or others they want to change. They want to lose weight, accomplish more goals and do many other things to make themselves better or happier.

But where can we find happiness?
The simple answer found in God’s Word is because of God we can be blessed.

The word blessed I like to phrase as “The one whom God looks at with approval”

But what does it mean to be blessed?

You Live Distinctly From The World

In verse one, there are three words: walks sits, and stands which are all in the perfect tense. It means simply that a follower of Jesus lives differently than this description at all times. You are not influenced by sinners. You don’t take their counsel on the things of life. You don’t adopt their lifestyle. Where do you get the wisdom and counsel for this life?

The Blessed Man or Woman is Devoted to the Word

The blessed man or woman is not just delighting in the Word of God, but they are meditating on it day and night. You approach the Bible with your heart and your mind. The Bible is not only stirring your mind to think greater of God, but stirring your affections to love God more and more. It's from these two actions that you do what you do in life. Why would you come to church week after week? Why would you get up early to read your Bible? Why do you spend money on books to help you understand this one book? It is because of your delight and meditation in the Word of God that you are stirred to obey what God’s Word says. It's a love of God that stirs you to love His book. 

What if this is the year where you make time to read, study, think, hear good preaching, and obey the Word of God? The blessed person who devotes their life to God’s Word is considered blessed. The question is how are they blessed?

5 Blessings

The tree does not grow but it is planted. God has planted each of us where we are with a plan and purpose. We are not here by chance. Second, God’s planning in each of our lives. It says in the text the tree was planted by streams (plural). We are put in a place to thrive. Third, the blessed person yields fruit in every season. I assume you have gone through seasons of prosperity and seasons of little. You have gone through various seasons of life where you bore different kinds of fruit. You read here in verse three what you have seen in your own life. It leads to the 4th blessing that its leaf does not wither. When the things of this world can strangle the life out of those around you, but your roots are deep. Your roots rely on the water that is given to you by the gardener. When everyone around you has their identity in this world and it is failing them, you rely on God’s Word. Your identity is found in God and not in this world. Lastly, in all that he does, he prospers. This person is recognized by the people around him. They rely on God for every area of their life, and they prosper. Not the worldly sense of prospering, but they are considered blessed.

The work God gives us where he has planted us will prosper as we turn from sin, delight in God’s Word, and meditate on the Word.

The Picture of the Wicked

Verses four and five paint a picture of the wicked. They are not considered a tree but the writer describes them like the chaff that the wind drives away. We can read this and consider the winds blow away the chaff who do not have roots to hold them steady and reach the water. Life gets hard and they are blown away and do not survive spiritually. They will ultimately be driven away from God’s people because they do not belong.
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 1:6
The Lord knows His people. He watches over them. He is guiding their life through good times and bad. The wicked have nothing but themselves. It leads to the final question: which life is yours? Ultimately we can not live up to the standard of Psalm 1 perfectly, but there is one person who did and his name is Jesus. He did what we could not do and then died in our place, was buried for three days, and rose from the grave so all who believed in Him may have eternal life with the Father. My prayer is this year receive the blessings of a blessed life Psalm 1 describes.
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