It is Good to Live for the King of Glory–Psalm 1
I recently had the opportunity to preach on Psalm 1 at Ransom City Church. If you want to listen to it, go here: http://www.ransomcitychurch.org/kingofglory
Below is my outline:
Psalm 1: The Blessed Life Living under God’s Care (2 Ways to Live)
Intro: New Series “The King of Glory”—10 weeks looking at the attributes of God ‘Wrath of God, Power of God, Provision of God’:
Today we consider Psalm 1 and I hope you will see this, ‘It is good to live for the King of Glory!” Read, pray, intro.
MAIN IDEA: “There are only two ways to live—living for God or living against God; it much better to live for God (godliness).” 2 Ways in Scripture: Deut 30:15-20; Prov 14:12; Matt 7:13; 1 John, (1st Commandment).
CONTEXT: Psalm 1 introduces the whole book of Psalms (150). It is a Psalm of wisdom, meant to instill knowledge & wisdom. Meant to learn from &be moved.
STRUCTURE- 3 Couplets: 1-2 3-4 5-6
1. The Blessed Life (1-2): What makes life worth living? What’s best way to live our lives?=Happiness/joy. Where? Possessions? Status? Relationships? Wealth?
The blessed life is not found in the ways or wisdom of this world, but in a refusal of what is evil and an active decision to delight in God and obey His Word.
Refusal: Exegesis: v1 “Blessed”=favored, in a desirable state/joyful (Jesus in Beatitudes); “Man”=person, male or female
#1 “Counsel of the wicked”=counsel is wisdom/philosophy/morality/ideology, ‘Wicked’ are those who reject or ignore God’s standards for living (To break God’s Law or ignore it), TODAY=‘follow your heart’ (follow your feelings over what is right), ‘look out for #1’ (selfishness over selfless love), Economical over honorable, Pragmatic over holy, fashionable above truth, “Walks not” chooses to live differently. REFUSAL TO SUBMIT TO WISDOM CONTRARY TO BIBLE
#2 “stands not in the way of sinners”=refuses to go on the path of sinners, sinners=wicked=those who ignore God’s standards or rebel against them; “way” path of godlessness= different in every generation (indifference or rejection of God’s standards.)=REFUSAL TO GO ALONG WITH THE CROWD.
#3“Sits in seat of scoffers”=Scoffer is one who mocks God and God’s ways. This is to join in ridiculing God. “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.” ― Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion”) REFUSAL TO RIDICULE/MOCK GOD’S WORD/TRUTH.
3 actions REJECTED (walking, standing, sitting), maybe a progression, but taken in whole: BLESSED MAN REFUSES way of life contrary 2 God/God’s ways.
Active Decision: v2 “But”=contrast, now: Active decision to delight in God’s Word & let that delight express itself in godly action.
“Delight”=delight shows worship/joy/pleasure/finding hope; Blessed life is a life of delight: made to find joy in God and God’s ways. “law of the LORD”=all of the OT (commands, promises, history, instructions, warnings, actions of God). “meditates on it day and night”=metaphoric for constantly dwelling upon and considering God’s Word in mind and heart. *Meditation is different for Christian and Eastern Mysticism; Christian loves, treasures and believes (fills his mind) with God’s Word, Eastern empties. *Meditation like Tea Bag in a Cup of Water*
PROCESS IS THIS: 1 ACTIVE DECISION TO DELIGHT IN GOD. 2 DELIGHT ENABLES REFUSALS OF V1àPersonal Note
APPLICATION: 1.‘The blessed life’ (godliness) is better than the ways of the world.—Do we believe this? How have we forgotten this? How has the world drawn us away from Christ (it has me)? What counsels of the wicked do we find compelling (me)? How are we swayed by the popular ‘way’ of the ungodly (me)? How are we drawn to mock/disbelieve God’s Word (me)? àIf we’re honest with ourselves, we all have chosen what is evil; Bible says WE ARE ALL SINNERS. We are only Christians because of God’s kind favor and mercy to rescue us.
2. Are you taking pleasure in God’s Word and allowing that to strengthen you to resist the way of the ungodly? Do you regularly meditate on God’s Word?
2. 2 Symbols for 2 Realities (v3-4) Picture worth 1,000 words. Here, Bible uses symbolic pictures to describe 2 different types of people: godly and the ungodly. IMAGERY COMMUNICATES INFORMATION: The blessed person of v1-2 is compared to a healthy tree v3, while the ungodly is compared to chaff v4.
Exegesis: v3 TREE “Tree” Isaiah 60:21 (Believers like trees)=living and life giving; “Planted”=firm and secure; “by streams of water”=connected to a life-giving source; “bearing fruit”=healthy, beautiful, full of life; “leaves not withering”=enduring the storms and droughts.
CONNECTION OF V 2 AND 3: Tree=Godly person (alive); Planted by streams of water=anchored in God’s Word (which gives life and sustains); bearing fruit and not withering=fruit of the Spirit (fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:22-23) and godliness (rejecting ways of the world in v1).
“Prospers in everything” *Does this mean that the godly person experiences worldly success in everything (wealth, health, comfort)? NO, but that in all the trials and seasons, the godly person will prosper in serving God and displaying godliness (saints of OT suffered: David, Josiah[health], Jeremiah[poverty], Isaiah[comfort]).
v4 Chaff “Chaff driven away”: CONTRAST, WHATS CHAFF? Chaff was the empty kernel around the grain, removed before the grain was used to make flour (worthless, fleeting, and forgotten.) Ungodly are compared to chaff to show the futility of a life lived in rebellion against God, deadness of kernel, the emptiness of sin, and hollowness of seeking one’s own glory. à Eph 2:1-4 ‘dead’: LIFE OF GOD IS ABSENT IN THE UNBELIEVER
APPLICATION: 1. Believer, by God’s grace, you are like a living tree planted by God; Storms and trials don’t change your nature. (U R A New Creation in Christ). Our works didn’t make us a tree, God’s mercy/grace did. We obey because we’ve been saved, not in order to be saved. Comforts when we are cold 2God.
2.Unbeliever, there is a life, freedom and joy found in being forgiven of our sins and made a life in Christ. Will you come to Him today and experience this?
3. 2 Ways in the End: Against the King of Glory or Under His Care (v5-6):Sometimes, there are many right ways/answers to question ‘What’s the best (ice cream, music, fashion)?; Others times only 2 ways: (light switch, intersection, math problem). Here(v5-6), only 2 ways: under God’s care or against God.
Exegesis: v5, 6b Against God: “not stand”= not be acquitted; “Judgment” Judgment on the Last Day, when all will be exposed (in our hearts we want justice, we just can’t believe that we might be guilty ourselves); “nor in the congregation of the righteous”=separation from wicked [Matt 25:31-46], not everyone goes to heaven (we want this, rather than eternity w/who will not hurt/sin/harm us;).“but the way of the wicked will perish”=the way of ungodliness will cease and be destroyed. In the end, 2reject God’s ways = perish & separation. BIBLE TEACHES, ALL OUTSIDE OF CHRIST WILL PERISH FOREVER IN HELL.
v6a Under God’s Care “The LORD knows”= not mere intellectual knowledge, but refers to care and concern for the godly (Ps 37:18)—concern/care which causes the righteous to stand in the Judgment and congregation, leads to prospering. “way of the righteous” God causes their way to prosper in the end: Today and Forever.
Only 2 ways? Isn’t that a bit intolerant to claim that Christ is the only way to God? Isn’t it better to understand there are many ways to God and many religions? COUNTER: 1. To claim a position is false is not intolerant/hateful (you can disagree with a topic and not be ‘intolerant’) 2. We hold our position because we believe God has spoken and revealed this in His Word. 3. Your claim (universalism) is very offense to religions like Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, which all claim to be exclusively true.
APPLICATION: A. Unbeliever: How long will you continue to live against the King of Glory? It is far better to come under His care…
1. Consider Jesus (never succumbed to evil v1, perfect love for God v2, like a tree bearing godly life v3, yet nailed on a tree to pay for our rebellion and treated like chaff by his creation v4, and suffered the judgment of the wicked and separation from the godly on the cross v5; perished for us, in love for us v6.) ALL of us are in the camp of the ungodly, a Christian is someone who recognizes this and places his faith in Jesus. Will u turn from your evil and come to Him today? Gospel is this: God made us, we rebelled, and Jesus died on the cross for our sins, rose and conquered death. All who turn from sin and place their faith in Jesus are made alive.
B. Christian, living for the King is the truly blessed life. BETTER than the fleeting pleasures of sin and more wonderful, gripping, meaningful, and true than the counsel of the wicked, way of the world or the seat of scoffers. JESUS DIED FOR OUR UNBELIEF AND FAITHLESSNESS. Since this is the case:
a. The lies we believed have no power over us—they will perish. b. There is prosperity for us—heaven in the end—as we suffer today.
Deut 30:15-20 (Moses plea to the people as they entered the promised land). CHOOSE LIFE, CHOOSE CHRIST.