A Study in the Book of Psalms-Lesson Two: January 14, 2017 Written by Billy Redd
Title: Two Ways of Life
Scripture: Psalm 1
Lesson Goal: To identify the distinction of the godly and ungodly characteristics of the believer.
Introduction: The book of Psalms is a book of songs that were written over the course of about fifty years. These songs served many purposes just as our songs today. Some of the Psalms are praise songs to Yahweh, while others offer songs of thanksgiving and tell us about the truth of our God.
In an episode of Duck Dynasty, the boys invited two veterans who had been injured in battle to Louisiana. In the episode, all the guys are fishing around a pond and Phil ask one of the soldiers who had lost his legs, “are you a godly man?” The man responded “well I used to believe but I kind of got away from that.” That term “godly man” has a few different meanings. As we study the lesson today we will look at this term from the Biblical text.
The Character of the godly: In verse 1 it is important to note that the first word in the passage ‘Blessed” is translated as being happy. The writer is giving us a recipe to live an abundant and happy life with these few simple instructions or life lessons. These life lessons guide us to a life of happiness and contentment.
Question: When we evaluate our daily lives, how much time do we spend pursuing happiness? What lengths will we go to in order to achieve happiness in our lives?
Question: How often do we find happiness or contentment in those things?
“The character of a good man is here given by the rules he chooses to walk by and to take his measures from. What we take at our setting out, and at every turn, for the guide of our conversation, whether the course of this world or the word of God, is of material consequence. An error in the choice of our standard and leader is original and fatal; but, if we be right here, we are in a fair way to do well.
1. A godly man, that he may avoid the evil, utterly renounces the companionship of evil-doers, and will not be led by them (v1): He walks not in the council of the ungodly, etc. This part of his character is put first, because those that will reap the commandments of their God must say to evil-doers, Depart from us (Ps. 119:115).” Matthew Henry
In other words, our godly character can be observed by the people we align ourselves with. Understand this is different from building relationships with the lost and hurting people so that we may lead them to Christ. But more so, not allowing the ways of the ungodly to become our lifestyle.
Question: How can we build relationships with lost people but not become influenced by their lifestyle or the
Please read 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
Question: How can we live a life that honors both the passage I Psalm 1 and 1 Corinthians?
The Trail of Tears
Notice the ending of verse 1. He speaks of the ungodly, the sinners, and the scornful. This gives us a progres- sion of evil in our lives. I have heard it said many times, “Sin will take you further than you intended to go, keep you longer than you intended to stay, and cost you far more than you were willing to pay.” In our lives no one arrives at that place over night. It is always a progression. First, you allow cracks to be opened in the various areas of your life, then thoughts give way to actions, and finally actions give way to a lifestyle. It is a downhill progression that often takes control of a person’s life.
Question: What are some ways we can let sin slip into our lives without thinking it is a big deal?
Question: How can we combat this progression of sin? Please read 2 Corinthians 10:5.
The Law of God
But his delight is in the Law of the Lord and he does meditate on it day and night (Psalm 1:2).
“To meditate on God’s word is to discourse with ourselves concerning the great things contained in it, with a close application of mind, a fixedness of thought, till we be suitably affected with those things and experience the savor and power of them in our hearts.” Matthew Henry
To meditate on the word means we must be in it, we must find ourselves getting lost in its words. The more time we spend in God’s Word the more it will weave itself into our daily lives. It will influence the way we raise our kids, conduct our business, treat our spouses, etc. But so often with spiritual things we allow our- selves the excuse that we are busy and have no time for such things.
Question: What are some things that we allow to become the reason we do not spend more time in God’s Word?
The Ungodly: In verses 4-6 the ungodly are the direct opposite of the godly in character and condition. In particular where the righteous are like valuable , useful, fruitful trees, they are like the chaff which the wind drives away, the very lightest of the chaff, the dust which the owner of the floor wants driven away by the wind because it is of no use.
Please look up and read these verses: Isaiah 17:13. Psalm 75:8, and Psalm 112:10.
A final thought, in this passage God gives us some practical wisdom on how to live a God honoring life and we should adhere to His word, understanding that even on our best days we are still evil and wicked at our core. We are sin filled, ungodly, unrighteous people and without the blood of Jesus we would all suffer the fate of the wicked. As we rejoice in His grace and mercy He has bestowed on each of us, our hearts should break for those who do not know Him as their Savior. May our lives each be a testimony of His goodness and undeserved grace as we follow Him that others might come back to know Him just as we have.