Title: Walk the Path of the Righteous!
Scripture: Psalm 1:1-6
“Blessed is the man who a walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 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. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in o the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (ESV Study Bible by Crossway Bibles)
Walk the path of the righteous and be blessed!
We are already blessed people because we believe Jesus. However, we don’t automatically get to live the blessed lives because we believe Jesus. Keep in mind that we have to walk the path of the righteous to live the blessed lives! There are always two paths in front of us. One path leads us to the way of the wicked. The other path leads us to the way of righteousness. We must choose the way of righteous to be on the path of blessed lives. The first verse of Psalm Chapter 1 tells us the whole chapter. The first verse can be titled, “The Way of the Righteous and the Wicked.” The whole chapter shows us the comparison between the blessed righteous and the cursed wicked. In other words, everyone is either a blessed righteous or a cursed wicked. There is no one in the middle.
Jesus talked about these two ways as well. He talked about the path of life, the narrow road. He talked about the path of death, the wide road. There is no middle path.
In the book of Psalm Chapter 1, the blessed ones are not referred to the ones who are wealthy living comfortable lives. The blessing that the Bible is referring to is not the kinds of blessings the modern world refers to. The blessing Bible is referring to here is the blessing of your soul.
Believing Jesus is a blessing
Being saved is a blessing
Receiving eternal life is a blessing
Receiving a position is a blessing
Being faithful is a blessing
Receiving rewards from God in heaven is a blessing
The Bible starts out with God blessing us and ends with God blessing us. God wants to bless us. God wants us to live as blessed people. The book of Psalm starts with “Blessed is the man,” in Chapter 1 and ends with, “Hallelujah,” in the very end of the last book of Psalm Chapter 150.
Now, I want to talk to you about the path of the blessed people.
1. The blessed ones do not walk the path of the wicked
Verse 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.” (ESV)
Wicked, sinners, and scoffers are very similar. Wicked are the ones who do no fear God. They despise God and they work against God. Sinners are the ones who knowingly and willingly commit sins. Scoffers are the ones who say that there is no God, and they lift themselves like God.
It said that the steps of falling into sin are “chasing,” “standing,” and then “sitting.” The cursed ones fall deep into sin. At first, he follows the schemes of the wicked. He follows the path of wicked because it’s interesting. Then he finds himself in the path of sinners. He is following the steps of the sinners. Then he is seated in the seat of a scoffer. He becomes one of the scoffers.
For an example, you hear someone saying something negative. At first, you just hear it. Before you know it, you are saying the same thing. Before you realize it, you become like one of the negative people.
The blesses ones do not walk the path of the wicked.
2. The blessed ones walk the path of righteous
“But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (ESV)
In verse 1, it talks about the passive path of the blessed people. In verse 2, it talks about the positive and proactive path of the blessed people.
*Blesses ones rejoice the laws of the LORD.
The laws of the LORD is referring to all Words of God. It means enjoying and loving to live the lives according to the Law of the LORD. Blessed ones love and rejoice the Word. We love and rejoice the Word because we love the LORD and the Word is a blessing to us. God told us His Law because He wants to bless us. The Bible said that the ones who carefully listen to the Word will receive good things.
*King David received the good things God promised.
David loved and long for the Word more than pure gold. David said that God Word is sweeter than honey.
“More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; a sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.” (Psalm 19:10, ESV)
In other words, David loved and longed for the Word more than money or wealth. He loved the Word more than any things that gave him any pleasure or joy. Likewise, the blessed ones love and rejoice the Word.
*The blessed ones meditate the Law of the LORD days and nights.
Meditate days and nights means “to mumble with a low voice" and "to sing.” When you love and long for the Word that much, you live with the Word as if you are constantly mumbling the Word. The blesses ones meditate the Word days and night so they can live according to the Word. The blessed ones do not live according to their own wills. The blessed ones do not live according to what other people want. The blessed one lives according to the Word of the LORD.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105, ESV)
The blessed ones live according to the Word as if the Word is a lamp in the darkness of this world. Happiness is not given to the ones who seek happiness. Happiness is given to those who live faithfully obeying the Word of the LORD.
At first, we willfully have to read and meditate the Word before we can experience the joy of reading the Word. Some of you may need an extra effort to force yourselves to read the Word especially if you are not used to reading the Word. In time, you’ll get to experience how sweet the Word really is. You’ll get to love and rejoice the time you read the Word. When you love the Word, you do not want to walk the path of wicked. When you fall in love with the LORD, you can’t love the world at the same time.
The ones who loved and lived by the Word live blessed lives.
Queen Victoria of England promised to reign according to the Bible, and during the 62 years she ruled, she was able to establish a brilliant British Empire.
In Germany, when Martin Luther translated the Bible into German and let the ordinary people read the Bible, people’s minds began to open up. Many big figures came out of Germany as a result.
There is no one who rejoiced and obeyed according to the Word and not be blessed.
Let us all walk the path of the Blessed One this year!
3. The blessed ones prosper forever
“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.” (Psalm 1:3, ESV)
*The blessed people prosper like the tree planted by streams of water.
The trees planted by streams of water are the trees purposely planted.
We are the trees God purposely planted.
We are the trees planted to glorify God.
We are the trees God planted to bless.
“…that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, a that he may be glorified.” (Isaiah 61:3, ESV)
The image of the trees planted in the streams is indeed the most appropriate and complete poetic expression of happiness in the Palestinian of wilderness and desert.
*The blessed people enjoy the prosperity of the present.
“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.” (Psalm 92:12-13, ESV)
Believe that you are the trees that God planted himself!
Believe that you are the trees that are planted in the house of the LORD!
Believe that you are the trees that are planted by streams of water.
The stream is where the water is. Especially in Palestine like the wilderness, it is a very reasonable and appropriate expression to say that a blessed person is "a tree planted in streams”. We are the trees planted in the presence of the Word of God and the living water of the Spirit.
Those whose lives are rooted in the Word live blessed lives. They bear fruits according to the seasons of God. God let them bear fruits according to God’s timing and circumstances. God gives us the fruits of wisdom when we need wisdom. God gives us the fruits of endurance when we need endurance. God gives us the fruits of power when we need His power. God’s Word is the everlasting original source of all blessing.
The blessed ones do not let the leaves of God to be withered. The leaves are the external surface of the tree that shows the tree. A healthy tree has green leaves. The blessed people have visual signs of the blessings. They live lively and refreshing lives.
The blessed people do not worry about the heat and drought of lives.
“ ‘Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.’ ” (Jeremiah 17:7-8, ESV)
For those who trust and obey the Word of the LORD, no heat and no drought can stop them from bearing fruits. Can you imagine a tree standing strong while the surrounding trees are withering and dying? Likewise, the ones who love and obey the Word are blessed.
Let’s say it together with the love of the Word!
"The one who relies on upon and trusts in the LORD will be blessed. He is like a tree firmly planted by streams of water whose root is stretched out to the riverbank. He will not be afraid of heat. It will have plenty of green leaves and the leaves will not wither. He will bear fruits even during drought.”
* All events will be peaceful.
God will bless him and prosper in all things. This does not mean there will not be a hardship. Despite any hardship or challenges, if you live holding on to the Word, God will prosper you! Joseph was sold as a slave to Egypt and ended up in a prison. God was with him and God prospered him.
Wicked is not so.
“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.”
(Psalm 1:4, ESV)
The blessed righteous is like a tree planted by streams of water. The cursed wicked is like chaff that is blown away by the wind. Chaff only has the surface but do not have the grain inside. This chaff flies away when troubles come. This chaff is burned on the day of judgment.
*The blessed ones get to enjoy the blessing forever
Verse 6: “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (ESV)
The LORD knows the way of blessed righteous. However, the cursed wicked will not be known by the LORD. Jesus said that he will separate sheep and goats.
“And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’ ” (Matthew 25:46, ESV)
The path of the righteous and the way of the wicked become more apparent as the time passes by. At the end of life, the eternal rest and eternal punishment are separated. Deuteronomy is Moses' farewell preaching. He finished his last three sermons and said, "Now there are two ways before you. One is the way of life and blessing. The other one is the way of death and curse. I pled you to choose the path of life and blessing. Choosing the path of life is loving and obeying God and His Word.”
“ ‘I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying His voice and holding fast to Him, for He is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.’ ” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20, ESV)
We must choose one of two ways. We can choose the life and blessing. We can choose the death and curse. We can either choose the eternal blessing or eternal curse. When we started to believe Jesus, the choice is already made. We chose the path of life and blessing.
We must live our lives rejoicing and meditating the Word days and night.
Now, let me ask you.
Are you blessed righteous?
Have you decided to walk the path of righteousness?
Have you decided to not to walk the path of wicked?
Let us walk the path of righteous!
Additional Bible Verses
“‘ Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. ‘Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. ‘Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. ‘Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. ‘Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ‘Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.’ ” (Matthew 5:3-11, ESV Study Bible by Crossway Bibles)
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:12, ESV Study Bible)