Tuesday, March 19, 2024

The Key to Happiness: A Study of Psalm 1 (Part 4)

By: Rebekah Hargraves 

Photo Courtesy Of: Aaron Burden

"The wicked are not like this; instead, they are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand up in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to ruin."

~Psalm 1:4-6

Over the past three weeks, we have been taking an in-depth look at Psalm 1. We have studied verses 1-3 and discovered just how well they apply to our everyday lives. In verse 1 we discovered that those who do not walk with sinners, mockers, or the wicked are those who are truly happy. In verse 2 we were taught the importance of meditating on the law of God day and night as opposed to meditating on the voices of the world. Finally, in verse 3, we read that everything that the righteous one does will prosper and produce fruit in its season. Today, we are concluding our study of Psalm 1 by going over verses 4-6.

Verses 4-6 are a striking contrast to the three verses which had come before in this psalm. In the first 3 verses of Psalm 1 we are encouraged by the fruitful lives of the righteous and the promise we have that if we delight in the law of God and walk according to His ways, we will bear good fruit. Now, in verse 4 we are told, "The wicked are not like this."

With that phrase begins a most sobering portion of this psalm. The psalmist goes on to write that while the work of the righteous produces good and lasting fruit, the wicked are blown away like chaff. He then goes  even further and says the wicked will not stand up in the day of judgement, for while the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, the way of the wicked leads only to ruin. We are being told here unequivocally that the wicked will perish, but the righteous will live forever - as will the fruit of their hands and the legacy which comes from that good fruit. 

This is a sobering passage that is worth keeping in mind. Though we do not have to fear the future as the wicked do for we are secure in Christ, we nevertheless would do well to remember all 6 verses of this psalm, including these last 3. Because while our eternity is safe and secure if we are one of Christ's own, the same can not be said for the wicked. It is our job, therefore (also known as the Great Commission!) to make disciples of those who do not yet know the Lord. Our hearts should break as we read Psalm 1:4-6, and this passage should be one that lights a fire in us with a burning passion to reach the lost so that they, too, might look forward to the eternal destiny of the righteous. This is our purpose on this earth, friends, and it is not one to take lightly. 

It is not enough to rejoice that we get to count ourselves among the righteous in this passage thanks to Christ saving our once-lost souls. We must be heartbroken over the condition of those who are still lost. Happiness comes from not walking in the path of the scoffers and instead meditating on the law of God day and night. But part of that means that we are meditating on the portions of Scripture which speak to our mission on this earth, as well. And great happiness is also waiting for us when we live as Christ's ambassadors daily fulfilling the Great Commission.

Reflection Questions:

1) With what group do you find yourself in Psalm 1? Have you placed saving faith in Christ? If not, why not? If so, praise God for the beautiful eternity you have awaiting you.

2) Do you have a heart for the lost?

3) What are you currently doing to reach the lost with the good news of Jesus?

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