Blessed Through a Portrait of a Blessed Man
Psalm 1:1-6 (KJV)
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 3 4 5 6 1
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
What does a blessed man look like? What does a blessed woman look like? Can we recognize a blessed person when we see one? Would we know if we were in the company of a blessed person? Do we know if we are blessed? We don't really know a person until we find out what that person is like. That's why God gives us so many parables describing Himself when He says what the kingdom of heaven is like. Matthew 25:14 (KJV) says, "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods." Luke 15:4-6 says, "The kingdom of heaven is like a shepherd that leaves the ninety-nine and goes to look for the one that is lost." Luke 15:8-9 says, "The kingdom of heaven is like a woman who has ten coins and loses one then searches the house diligently for it." Luke 15:10-32 says, "The kingdom of heaven is like a father with two sons, one a prodigal and one an elder son." God wants us to know what a blessed person is like and so God, through the psalmist, paints a picture of a blessed man. We cannot really be blessed until we know what a blessed person is like. We need a model of whatever we're striving to be. If we are trying to be a basketball player, we need a Michael Jordan for our model. The word "blessed" here means to be happy. Without question, God is saying "happy is the man." So, a blessed person looks happy.
A Picture from Which to Choose
The psalmist paints a picture of a double image. The psalmist seems to be gifted with trick photography, modern split image technology because he puts two pictures on the screen: one of a blessed man and one of a man that is not blessed; one of a happy man and one of an unhappy man; one of a good man and one of a wicked man. The good man is blessed, but the ungodly is not. The ungodly are like chaff driven away by the wind. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish. The righteous shall prosper, but the unrighteous shall perish. The choice is ours. Many of us are not blessed because we're walking on the wrong side of the road. We took the wrong exit off life's highway. The blessing exit was the next exit down the road. We need to turn around on life's highway and go back and take the next exit marked 111—one for the Father, one for the Son, and one for the Holy Ghost. The choice is ours.
Get on the Good Foot
We're not happy and blessed because we're out of step with God. God is calling cadence on the right foot but we're keeping time on the left foot. God is saying, "Right foot, right foot, right foot," and we're saying, "Left foot, left foot, left foot." We're out of step. God is saying, "Good foot, good foot, good foot," and we're saying, "Wrong foot, wrong foot, wrong foot." However, God is calling us to get on the good foot. If we're out of step, then skip, turn right, and go straight. God wants those of us who are on the wrong foot to get on the good foot, skip, turn right, and go straight.
Color Him Blessed
Freely Shared What is a blessed man like? We should look at the picture. God does not tell us anything about this man except that he's blessed. We don't even know his name. We don't know whether he's a black man or a white man. We don't know whether he's an old man or a young man. We don't know if he's educated or uneducated, whether he has a degree or does not have a degree. We don't know whether he's tall or short. We don't know whether he's handsome or ugly. God just paints him blessed. God simply colors him blessed.
Characteristics of a Blessed Man
As we look at the mirror of reflection, we see three characteristics of a blessed man. First, a blessed man does not willfully, progressively sin. The text says, "Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful." The term "walking" in the Bible is a symbol of behavior. Scripture continuously tells us how to walk and how not to walk (Romans 8:1 — KJV). One way to define a man who walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly is to picture a man who does. Picture the man in Psalm 1:1 as an unblessed, unhappy, unrighteous man. He walks after the counsel of the ungodly. He walks, meaning he begins to act the way they do. He starts buying into the world's way of thinking. He thinks nothing is wrong with smoking a little joint; it won't cause anything but cancer. After all, cigarettes will do that. The ungodly may say we are consenting adults and fornication and adultery does not apply to consenting adults. Or they agree that using condoms rather than abstinence is a solution to safe sex; or anger is a natural emotion so it's all right if we go berserk on our children or our spouse when they make a mistake. These are descriptions of walking after the ungodly. God is not in the mess-blessing business. God does not bless sin. God will not bless our mess. A blessed man walketh not with the ungodly nor stands in the path of the sinner. When we walk like they do, we begin to act and think like they do; when we stand in the path of the sinner, we feel comfortable in sin. A blessed man is never comfortable in sin. A blessed man walketh not after the ungodly nor standeth in the path of sinners nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. Sitting in the seat of the scornful means we become a leading component of wicked ways. In other words, we're leading others to sin. In other words, we're preaching sin. When we're walking, we're acting in sin. When we're standing, we're feeling comfortable in sin. When we're sitting, we are promoting sin. But a blessed man walketh not, standeth not, and sitteth not in sin. A blessed man walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly nor standeth in the path of sinners. Second, a man becomes blessed not by seeking prosperity but by seeking righteousness. "But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night." Many biblical scholars contribute this psalm to Solomon and not to David. Some people say it's David. I concur with the many who say the writer is Solomon, the son of David. Remember that Solomon was one of the richest men in the world. But in the Bible, we find that Solomon did not ask for riches. Solomon asked for wisdom and God made him rich. We don't prosper by seeking prosperity; we prosper by seeking after righteousness. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these [other] things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33 — KJV). Third, a blessed man is like a tree. Why a tree? Why not the sun that is the king of the day? Why not the moon that is the queen of the night? Why not the stars that are like twinkling fresh-cut diamonds in the middle of the blue night sky? Why not the mountains that stand so majestic? Why not the ocean blue? But God said a blessed man is like a tree. I'm reminded of the poet who wrote, "I think that I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree. Poems are made by fools like me but only God can make a tree."
Why a Tree?
God said a blessed man is like a tree because a tree is planted. If we want to be blessed, we must be planted. We must be positioned in the body of Christ. We have to be planted so we can bloom where we are planted. If we want to be blessed, we have to be planted in the family. We have to be planted in the church. We have to be planted in the body. Many of us are not blessed because we are not planted and positioned right. Some plants and trees grow better in sunlight and others in the shade. Some trees grow better in cold weather, and others in hot weather. Some require much water, and some require very little water. We must be planted in the right position in the body of Christ to be truly blessed right. We are never planted accidentally in the family of God. A blessed person has been intentionally planted in the family of God. A blessed person shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, fertilized and irrigated by Him who is the living water that bringeth forth fruit in his season. So, a blessed person is like a tree that's not only planted but is also productive because he produces fruit in his season. If we are planted right and if
Freely Shared we are watered right, we will produce right. If we don't feel blessed, maybe it's not our season. The text says the blessed man will be fruitful in his season. We must not give up. Our season is coming. This might be my season. This might be his season. This might be her season. But your season is coming. We need to understand that all God's righteous children have a season. Hold on until your season comes. Keep walking by faith. Walk not with the ungodly. Stand not with sinners. Sit not with the scornful. But delight in the Lord and you shall be planted like a tree by the rivers of water that bringeth forth fruit in his season. Hold on for your season. Not only is a blessed man like a tree because he is planted and productive but also because he is preserved. God said he will be like a tree. He's planted, productive and preserved. He'll be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that shall bring forth fruit and his leaf shall not wither. He's preserved. He'll be blessed eternally. If we are blessed like a tree, we are not just blessed for a little while, but blessed forever. Do we remember when mama or maybe grandmama used to make preserves? She would pick apples, peaches or pears off the tree and make preserves. She would put up the preserves so we could eat them later. God says a blessed man's fruit will be preserved for later and forever. We are like a tree now, but there is a crown laid up for us. We can say, like Paul, "I have fought a good fight, I finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness" (2 Timothy 4:7-8a — KJV). Therefore, "whatsoever he doeth he shall prosper." If we are planted, if we are productive, and if we are preserved, whatever our vocational choice is, we shall prosper. Whether we choose to be a school teacher, CPA, lawyer, doctor or janitor, we will prosper if we are planted, productive and preserved. On a personal note, I'm glad God told me I can be like a tree. For it was a tree that delivered me. It was on a tree that my sins were washed away. I'm glad I can be like a tree because when I messed up it was on a tree that I got cleaned up. It's interesting how God works. Some of the same things that mess you up can clean you up. It was a tree that messed me up and it was a tree that cleaned me up. It was a woman, a man and a tree that messed me up. The woman was named Eve, and the man was named Adam and it was a tree in the Garden of Eden. I got messed up in the Garden by a tree, but I'm glad there was yet another tree, another woman and another man. This woman was named Mary and she had a baby that grew up like in stature that found favor with man and God, and the tree was the old rugged cross. I'm glad there was a tree that cleaned me up. Jesus hung on a tree on Golgotha's hill. He bled on a tree. He died on a tree. But I'm glad the story doesn't stop there. The Bible says early Sunday morning He got up with all power in His hands. I love that old tree. Was it for crimes that I had done? He groaned upon the tree. Amazing pity, grace unknown and love beyond degree. At the cross (at the tree) where I first saw the light and the burden of my heart rolled away. It was there by faith I received my sight and now I am blessed, now I am happy!
In Psalm 1, God shows us a picture, a double image of what a blessed and unblessed person looks like so we can make the right choice and be blessed. The major thrust is on a model blessed man. The image of a model blessed man is shown as 1) one who does not willfully, progressively sin; 2) one who does not seek prosperity, but rather seeks righteousness; and 3) one who is blessed like a tree. A tree that is intentionally planted in the family and body of Christ. A tree that, in season, is nurtured, and in due season is productive and fruitful. Also, a tree that is preserved and eternally blessed. Like a tree, we who are planted and nurtured, productive, fruitful and preserved will prosper (be blessed) regardless of our place in life.