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The Two Roads of Life

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Psalms Sermon Series, “Before the Baptist Hymnal”

Pastor Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Center Point, Alabama

 TEXT:  Psalm 1

TOPIC:  The Two Roads of Life

Message 1 – September 2, 2007

1 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;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall 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 ungodly shall perish.

            John Oxenham, British author and hymn writer once wrote,

To every man there openeth

A Way, and Ways, and a Way,

And the High Soul climbs the High way,

And the Low Soul gropes the Low,

And in between, on the misty flats,

The rest drift to and fro.

But to every man there openeth

A High way and a Low,

And every man decideth

The Way his soul shall go.

            What Oxenham is saying is the same as the author of the first Psalm, that there are many different paths in life.  Every person has a choice to make. 

            In reality, there are only two paths in life, a “High way and a Low.”  Our lives and ultimately, our destinies are marked by the road we choose.  Decisions determine destinies. 

            Psalm 1 marks clearly the two roads of life.  One road leads to blessing, the other to cursing.  One leads to salvation, the other to damnation;-----one to life, the other to death.  Psalm 1 calls these two roads the way of the Godly and the way of the ungodly.

           

I.                   THE WAY OF THE GODLY, 1-3

1 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;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

  1. He is Satisfied in the Lord, 1a

1 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;

  1. Favored by God, 1a “Blessed” is happy.  In the Hebrew, “blessed” is plural and repeated for emphasis, meaning “very happy.” 

      Jesus used this word in the Beatitudes.  

3  "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Matt 5:3-6 (ESV)

  1. Fulfilled in God, 1a – John 10:10 Life abundant, full and meaningful, fully satisfied, content

Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord, and again, I say rejoice.”

  1. He is Separated from the World, 1b,c,d Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

     

–        stated more negatively, what he does not do.

  1. Refusing Secular Beliefs, 1b – he refuses the secular philosophy and humanistic values of the godless, walks not in the counsel of the ungodly.
  2. Refusing Sensual Behavior, 1c - Nor stands in the path of sinners.  His lifestyle choices refuses the lure of the crowds to participate in their carnal activities and sensual living.  (Example of today’s athletes who continue to make stupid decisions.)
  3. Refusing Shameful Belongings, 1d - Nor sits in the seat of the scornful.  He refuses to associate with those who scoff at God.  Unbelievers, blasphemers, and atheists are not to be the closest of friends for the person who walks with God.

Notice the digression of the one who chooses the wrong path in life.  First, he walks with the ungodly, then he stands and finally he sits with the scornful.

So the Godly is satisfied with the Lord, separated from the world and saturated with the Word, vs. 2-3

  1. He is Saturated with the Word, 2-3

2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.

  1. Delighting in the Word, 2a his delight is in the law of the Lord
  2. Dwelling upon the Word, 2b, in His law he meditates day and night -
  3. Digging into the Word, 3a He shall be like a tree, with roots that go down deep
  4. Drawing from the Word, 3b-e

a.       Stablility, 3b a tree Planted by the rivers of water – sets down roots deep into a reservoir that will never run dry.

b.      Productivity, 3c That brings forth its fruit in its season, - continual fruitfulness in every season of life.

c.       Constancy, 3d Whose leaf also shall not wither - all that he does has value and eternal results.

d.      Prosperity, 3e And whatever he does shall prosper – he will enjoy a spiritually enriched life.

II.                THE WAY OF THE UNGODLY, 4-6

4 The ungodly are not so, But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall 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 ungodly shall perish.

 

  1. He is Corrupted Internally, 4 The ungodly are not so – not blessed, not happy, not fulfilled
  2. The Wicked are Useless, like chaff, 4a But are like the chaff – chaff was considered that part of the harvest that was useless, and unusable, fit only for the fire.
  3. The Wicked are Unstable, life chaff, 4b like the chaff which the wind drives away

  1. He is Condemned Judicially, 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

      They will not have God’s acceptance when they stand before Him in the last day.

  1. He will not Stand in the Judgment, 5a the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, - They will be exposed for what they are…

-          They will be guilty, condemned and sentenced to an eternity in Hell. 

  1. He will not Stand with the Righteous, 5b Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. – They will be banished from the presence of the Godly forever.

  1. He is Damned Eternally, 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

     

      This last verse is a summary verse of the two roads once again. 

  1. The Righteous will Prosper, 6a For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, - to say the Lord “knows” the way of the righteous is to say that He has a close, intimate and personal relationship with them.  He blesses them with His guidance, guards and protects them and graces them with His continual presence!

  1. The Wicked will Perish, 6b But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

“perish” is the future of the condemned wicked, they will suffer throughout eternity in a very real place called Hell, forever perishing, forever suffering the absence of God’s holy presence.

            So every person must ask the soul-stirring question, “which road am I on?”  Am I on the path of the narrow way that leads to life, or am I on the broad and easy road that leads to destruction? 

            These are the spiritual diagnostic questions we each must ask ourselves thoughtfully and honestly.  If you say you are walking the road of righteousness then that leads to another series of questions to determine the genuineness of your profession of faith.

            Is there clear evidence of a transformed life that authenticates such a claim?  Are you experiencing the blessedness of God’s favor?  Are you living a separated life, distinct from the beliefs and the behavior of the ungodly?  Is your delight in the law of the Lord?

            The answer you give to these questions reveal which path you travel. 

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