The Happy Man
Text: Psalm 1
Introduction: One of the most precious privileges of a Christian is to commune with our Father in prayer. Because we are operating in a spiritual work in prayer, it is best to approach this work with reverence. It is most difficult to come from out in the world and attempt to jump right into communion with the Eternal God. We better suit ourselves for the work by having our hearts desirous of the blessed time and the way to have our hearts ready and tuned to God is to have our minds contemplating Him.
My objective is to give a thought about God to prepare us for prayer. I am not looking to preach to you, but to direct our thoughts to God in a special way each Wednesday night in a devotional. I know of no better devotional book in the entire Bible than the Psalms. It’s beautiful prose and marvelous spiritual depth are tremendous for meditation and contemplation on God and how He deals with men, especially His own people. The Psalms ring in the glories of God as King, Lord, Savior and Shepherd and deal faithfully with the thoughts and desires of men.
So, I would like to follow the Psalms and the short ones we will generally take one at a time. The long ones we will break up as would be proper to the text. So, let’s begin tonight with Psalm 1.
I. The Preface Psalm – Blessed Is
A. This first Psalm may be considered the Preface Psalm, the Psalm that opens book of Psalms and lays out its contents before us. It quickly makes a declaration that there is a blessed man and there is a man that is not. There are two paths one unto righteousness and one to unrighteousness or evil. Verse one – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.”
B. It brings up the question: Well, who says this is right and this is wrong? Who determines Blessedness? Immediately, the Psalmist clearly lays out the foundation of right and wrong and our term – blessedness: it is founded in the law of the LORD. This is not just any lord. This is not just some wise man or prophet or holy man or great man. This is the law of the LORD. yehôvâh - the Self-Existent, Eternal God. There is none else! Men have tried to rid themselves of the concept of God, so they call into question the validity of a Law or a truth and in doing so they think they have freed themselves to live unto themselves. It is the Big Lie that is from the Garden – “You shall NOT surely die! For God knows when you eat of that fruit, that you eyes shall be opened and you shall be as gods, knowing (What??) good and evil.” In other words, you will declare unto yourself the standards – anything goes. Judges ends with this sad commentary –“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”
C. The blessed man is defined in contrast to the man who is not blessed or we could even say cursed! How are men unblessed or cursed? It is something that men don’t recognize. They think that they are free, but they are in fact under judgment. We know that there is a wage for sin and it is death. Romans 1 says three times “God gave them up.” And if you read the horrible results it is chilling. And you can see that it is not just something God did in the past and doesn’t do any longer. Look at the horrific things men are involved in.
D. But the Psalmist declares the cursed in a seemingly nonchalant or casual manner. He says, “The ungodly are not so (blessed): but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.” This could be rendered worthless, dead, without substance – easily carried away. The idea here is that they are just scattered to nothingness. Who can find chaff after the wind has scattered it?
II. What Makes Him Blessed
A. What makes a man blessed? Blessed is a marvelous word, although maybe a little archaic in that we don’t really use it so much. The word is originally in the plural meaning there is a multiplicity of blessedness on this man. We might even render this “Oh Blessednesses!” But what to bring the word to our modern language, it means happiness. How many people are looking for happiness?
B. What makes men happy? If we looked at what men go after, we might think it is money, stability, love, work, fun, playing, family, all kinds of things. But, we find that when men obtain these things, they are still not happy. Ah! But what about religious men? Maybe they are happy! Are men happy because of a negative purity? In other words, are they happy simply because they do not do this or do not do that? Are men happy because of verse one?
C. The Key to Happiness is found in its object. The object is not doing bad things. It is not the law, but the LORD of the law. Notice verse 2, “His delight is in the Law of the LORD…” The emphasis is on whose Law it is. He finds no delight in just any law. He is not keeping law for law sake, but because it is pleasing unto God and the law is what God has declared good and blessed.
D. His delight is so strong; he wants to meditate on it, not just on Sundays or Wednesdays or a little here and a little there. He wants to meditate on it day and night. What fills your day? Does reading and reading and thinking and thinking on the Scriptures? Do you ponder these things?
E. And look at the results in verse three and six: He is like a tree planted by the rivers of water. One river might fail, but not many. Charles Spurgeon said these “rivers of pardon and rivers of grace, rivers of the promise and rivers of the communion with Christ, are never-failing sources of supply.” The water gives life to man and causes him to grow and bring forth fruit in his season. There is no unseasonable grace or untimely patience in times of suffering, faith is sufficient in the day of trial and joy comes at the hour of prosperity. “Whatsoever he does shall prosper!” He is full of life, abundant life! Now that is Happiness!