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Psalm:1(last updated: Fri February 28 2020)
Psalms 1: kjv
Today's Audio Commentary: "The Happy Happy"
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| Psalm:1 "The Happy Happy" (commentary as one file)
- Happiness. What is it? Why are more and more of us not more of it? How do we get it back?
- Individual? Everyone going off their own direction looking to find it?
- Collective? I would be a whole lot more happy if everyone else could be more happy?
- Interesting picture of what it ends up being like when one has it presented in kjv@Psalms:1:3 "he shall be like"
- Tree planted planted by the rivers (small channels) of water.
- Bringeth forth his fruit in his season.
- His leaf shall not wither.
- Whatsoever he doeth prospers.
- (Shall we take a vote? Who would be up for that if they could get themselves into that happy place?)
- Question is "how does one get themselves into that happy place"? and stay there?
- kjv@Psalms:1:4-6 also suggests that there is an element of eternity and eternal judgment to it.
- Ungodly not so (like chaff in the wind driven away)
- Ungodly shall not stand in the judgment
- Neither sinners in the congregation of the righteous
- the way of the ungodly shall perish
- (shall we take a vote? Would anything we could do temporally to be happy be worth risk of eternally becoming this?)
- Question is "how does one keep themselves from being cast out from any resemblance of that eternal happy place"?
- kjv@Psalms:1:1 puts it as a matter of avoiding three very negative influences
- The counsel of the ungodly (there is a lot of counsel being given out there) (how does one discern what counsel is ungodly and which is not?)
- The way of sinners (there are a lot of schemes and methods and ulterior motives and power grabs being practiced out there) (how does one discern which ways are the ways of sinners and which ones are not)
- The seat of the scornful (there are a lot of prejudices and judgments and opinions and intolerance being presented out there) (how does one keep themselves from not being influenced or effected?)
- (Shall we take a vote "is there anyone of us that doesn't think that this list of negative people and influences do not have any effect on our perceptions of happiness and our pursuit of it?" Without a proper discernment of what is and what isn't, who is and who isn't, when is it, to what extent is it, etc... how could we ever hope to ever get to this "rivers of water" type of happiness and have it fit into this even larger picture of eternal happiness as well?)
- Question is "who do we get ourselves into this kind of discernment?"
- kjv@Psalms:1:2 points the type person that is serious about finding the means of this happiness producing discernment.
- His delight is in the Law of the Lord
- In His law he doeth meditate day and night
- (Shall we take a vote? How many of us expected that would have been the psalmist's answer?) (What? if I had delighted and meditated in the law of the Lord all of this time I would have been this "rivers of water" kind of happy?)
- No. The answer is really quite simple. Had all of this time I delighted and meditated in the law of the Lord, I would have been able to exercise better discernment as to the negative influences placed all around me that effect my valid pursuit of happiness, plus I would likely be in a better position of assurance towards my eternal future with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- Our duty to one another today is to consider each others happiness, in the light of our own, in the light of a much cleared discernment helping us to not walk or stand or sit in the counsels/ways/judgment seats of these other harmful influences, in the light of pursuing a much broader happiness, in the light of God's final judgment and eternity.
- Will you promise me to sincerely consider this?
- Happiness. Again I ask: What is it? Why are more and more of us not more of it? How do we get it back?
- Is it for the lack of effort? (I don't think so)
- Is it that none of us really desire it enough?
- Do any of us really even know what happiness is anymore? or have we ever known?
- Could it really be something along the lines of what the psalmist is saying? Discern and keep yourself from these negative influences?
- How hard would it be for us to discern and keep ourselves from this?
- Here is the first problem as I see it: we already think that we discern enough to keep ourselves from this.
- Surely, anyone can discern who is the ungodly and what he/she is counseling us.
- Surely, any one can discern who the sinner is and keep out of his/her way to get hurt, or not join along with it.
- Surely, anyone can discern the scornful person is so as to not concur with their duplicitous judgments.
- You would think that surely we could do this, surely we already have done this and are doing this. Why then is it still a problem?
- Might it be then that we are not correctly discerning who the ungodly/sinner/scronful are and what they are saying/doing so to avoid it?
- Scary thought isn't it... all this time our discernment of them very well have been dead wrong.
- I can hear it said by many "who are any of us to judge"? "Who is ungodly"? "Who is the sinner"? "Who is the scornful"?
- They make it sound as if the pathway to happiness is to walk/stand/sit totally oblivious and unconcerned by these judgmental labels.
- They say "how can you place yourself above any other? Let me make it simple for you... we are all ungodly/sinners/scornful. What I see at work within myself I also see at work within others.
- In order for me not to walk/stand/sit with these natures within these many others I must also at the same time find a way to not walk/stand/sit with my own fallen nature as well.
- Oblivious is not synonymous with happiness, no. Neither is unconcerned and non-discerning.
- How do I know this about myself? The law in which I delight and meditate in day and night. How do I know this about all others? The very same law.
- Now what most people will do is they will change the language or the labels put on these things; especially when it comes to themselves or people in their inner circle of confidence.
- See: This is not being ungodly, this is being humanist. This isn't being sinful, it is being open and experimental. This isn't being scronful, this is being an elightened skeptic.
- The language flips our society eventually to the point where it's the ones not walking/standing/sitting with all the rest of them those are the ones who are the ungodly/sinners/scornful. The roles have reversed then and not one person is any the happier because of it.
- Without the law of God all that is left for mankind to chase after it's own itchy tail trying to bite the nasty sores off of it.
- Consider: If not for the Law of the LORD how impossible would this not walking/not standing/not sitting be? Who is not ungodly? Who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly?
Quoted resource: strongs 'H7563'
- kjv@Psalms:10:4 @ The wicked H7563, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
- kjv@Psalms:10:13 @ Wherefore doth the wicked H7563 contemn God? he hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it.
- kjv@Psalms:36:1 @ The transgression of the wicked H7563 saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes.
- Who is not a sinner? Who does not stand right alongside all other sinners?
Quoted resource: strongs 'H2400'
- kjv@Psalms:51:5 @ Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.
- kjv@Ecclesiastes:7:20 @ For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.
- kjv@Galatians:3:22 @ But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
- Who is not scornful? Who has not sat in the seat of the scornful?
Quoted resource: strongs 'H3887'
- kjv@Proverbs:21:24 @ Proud and haughty scorner is his name, who dealeth in proud wrath.
- kjv@Proverbs:14:9 @ Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.
- kjv@Proverbs:15:12 @ A scorner loveth not one that reproveth him: neither will he go unto the wise.
- Who among us is not precisely these things? Where would one ever go to escape these worldly influences? Degrees of discernment
- We move now to a much needed consideration of the Law. (there is a whole lot of confusion surrounding it - especially where it stands with the Doctrine of Grace)
- First thing - the psalmist does not state in anyway that one's strict obedience to the law directly brings about happiness. His words are "delight" and "meditation"
- For centuries zealot legalists have attempted to legalize their way into happiness, with very little additional success.
- Deuteronomy:28-31 there is a conditional covenant God makes with the nation of Israel, if they obeyed HIS commandments they would be doubly blessed, it they failed doubly cursed; they did not have to swear themselves to this covenant but, they willingly did, convinced that they were going to be able to keep it. It was proven to them several times over that they were not able to keep HIS commandments despite having every intention. It is not that the commandments are too hard, it is that man's will cannot keep itself to it. In other words, at least in the case of the nation of Israel, obedience could have garnered a double blessing had they been able but, they could not, therefore obedience in and of itself is not a valid option (not for them, not for any of us). If you were to swear yourself to the same exact covenant, you would actually be covenanting yourself to the same exact outcome as they had or worse.
- This is not to say that obedience does not bring about some personal and societal benefits. In this sense it does bring about a more down to earth relative form of happiness. It is to say that big picture big scale "tree planted by rivers of water" happiness is much bigger. Delight and meditate, obey it to every extent that you can by all means, repent when you have failed it, let it awaken your powers of discernment but, know that Christ's atoning sacrifice and sprinkling is still going to be required just as much as if no obedience had been performed on your part at all.
- What value then does the Law have in regards to big picture happiness?
- Most English readers when they read the word "Law" are bound to think "Ten Commandments" and or Levitical law. The word is actually pointing to "Torah" which means the first five canonized books of Moses which contains much more than just moral law and ritual. This Torah text is rich with the history of fallen mankind and the many interpersonal dealings of God with a very particular chosen people. It contains the very seed elements of Jewish and Christian and in part Islamic faiths. To meditate in it is to navigate the pristine head waters that feed down into three massive religious lakes.
- Morality? sure that is part of it. Legal code? it's there too. Stone tablet "do and do not" essentials? oh ya. It's so much more than that though. Torah is beginnings, it is firsts, it is promises, it is covenants, it is patriarchs, it is families and tribes and nations, it is exoduses, and wildernesses and promised lands, it is words from God and meetings, it is shadows and types and doctrinal first mentions.
- To delight in Torah means to pleasure in it, desire and value it.
- To meditate means to ponder.
- In place of blindly walking/standing/sitting alongside the others, one delights in and meditates on Torah scripture and thereby is better able to discern the counsels/ways/seats of ungodly/sinners/scornful of which we all have been apart of and from whom we have all partaken.
- How are we better able to discern ungodly counsel? Because we have example after example of it being given. Moses for instance is met time after time by people who were telling him that he couldn't do that, he was taking too much upon himself, accusing him of leading them out to the wilderness so that they would die. HE had barely left the camp a couple days and they were already pressuring Aaron into making them a Golden Calf.
- How are we better able to discern the ways of sinners? Because we have example after example of it being given. We have entire nations of sinners listed, so much sin that the ground cries out with blood, sins that aren't fully completed for hundreds of years, sins passed down from generation to generation. Even our most cherished patriarchs sin, we see the consequences of it upon them, how they are held accountable. He see how much easier it is to sin than to stand out or stand against it. We see personal sins, community sins, national sins, table of nations sins, mankind sins, neighborly sins, brotherly sins, sins amongst supposed allies. And we see God's judgment on sin, not always immediate but, always in good time, always most throughout, sometimes commuted upon the next generations.
- How are we better able to discern the seats of scoffers? Because we have example after example of it. In the time of Noah the people scoffed and belittled Noah for obediently building a boat. In the time of Joseph his brother's scoffed at his dreams and his coat. In the time of Sampson the crowds of cheering captors scoffed. Scoffers always seem to be in the majority, they are like a pack or a herd on a stampede.
- The people to whom God promises something seem to be the lowly few being placed into some impossible situation where only God can see them back out. It takes them continued trust and faithfulness, courage and more courage. Some don't see their promise fulfilled in their lifetimes, it is to their children or their children's children but, still they hope, still they sojourn, still they worship and build their alters and lay their memorial stones.
- The ungodly and sinners and scornful don't have this Torah to go by. As far as they are concerned, they think this ploy and tactic all new and invented by them. Well they have Torah but, they think themselves above all of it else they use it cunningly to further weave their nets and craft. Many of them can quote Torah, they can make their scheme sound a lot like God's scheme but, the man who has reverently soaked himself in Torah day and night can see that their twisting of words has a more sinister intention.
- One doesn't have to be a scholar to be able to discern all of this, one only has to be sincere and devoted and truly take pleasure in it, then be willing to stand out because of it and be prepared to stand up even when not personally convenient for it.
- kjv@Psalms:1:6 "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous.."
- The Lord knows the road that the just/lawful person has to take. HE knows because HE is the one that put the road there.
- Now it is said to be a narrow road... and few there be that find it ( kjv@Matthew:7:14). Opposite of what most people of this world think.
- There is also a road traveled by the ungodly. That road is wide and well traveled. It has been laid down by the ungodly themselves, doing as they saw right and just and lawful in their own eyes. That road it is said here one day shall perish.
- Can you imagine walking down the road alongside nearly everyone else when suddenly that well trodden road crumbles and falls out beneath your feet?
- Notice the psalmist doesn't say here that the ungodly person perishes, it says their road does.
- You've seen pictures of bridges when they've collapsed haven't you? I picture this something similar to that. What was once a sturdy express way becomes a pile of rubble down below.
- The question often comes up "why would a loving God allow for that"?
- Is that to question why God would allow people to design and build their own road? Is it a loving God that wouldn't allow a rebellious people to build and travel down the road of their own making in the first place?
- Or is it to question why a loving God would allow what this rebellious people have built to collapse upon them?
- The obvious answer is that a loving God would allow them for a short time to attempt to build this faulty structure but, would warn them that it will not be the final structure that will ever take them as far as they need to go, that they will at some point either have to get back onto HIS road or else suffer the impending consequence of their own rebellion.
- See the love isn't just in the allowing, it is in the warning and in the providing a much better way.
- kjv@Psalms:1:6 "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous.."
- The Lord knows the way of the righteous which HE has constructed will not be easy. Justice and lawfulness never are. It often requires standing against the majority opinion, walking against the common flow.
- The way of the ungodly is easy. One just stays on the course they are already on, the course the rest of the world has set out for them. All they have to do is fit in with the herd, join in on the mob, goggle over the sight and the spectical.
- This is not to say that these many are simply bad bad people. No it is much more complicated than that, the majority of them are good people. It is not going to be their goodness however that keeps this road they are on from collapsing.
- See one is not righteous regardless of which road they are on, they a righteous only because of which road they are on. The same exact person put upon the opposite roadway inherits the title/direction of that roadway.
- It is best for us not to think in terms of easy and good, neither comfortable and natural in this evaluation, it is best for us to think in terms of God and which direction will take us back to HIM.
- I find it interesting that so many people have convinced themselves that they are their own person, they are blazing their own trail apart from the rest. It seems to be the majority opinion among those walking the road that will perish.
- Perhaps that is part of the reason that that road is so wide and frequently traveled, not just the numbers but the directs they are wandering to go. Blazing a new trail must mean marching in lock step but with a different colored hats.
- There are also those that say "all paths lead to heaven". Well I don't know if mean for them heaven but, it all paths certainly will lead them to the judgment throne of God.
- In the grand scheme there really aren't that many other directions for anybody to go. One is either compressing inward toward the justification of self or expanding their outlook outward toward the justification mercifully placed upon us by God. All paths are either one path or else the other.
- kjv@Psalms:1:6 "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous.."
- The Lord knows the way because it has been the same way all along.
- From the fall of Adam and Eve it hasn't been about us hiding ourselves behind fig leaves that we've sewn together, no, it was going to have to be something that God did for us through HIS own sacrifice of something near and dear to HIM, us being covered in the remembrance of that. When God then looked upon Adam and Eve HE could look upon the what HE had done to cover them instead of what they had done to cover themselves. That has been the way of the righteous ever since.
- The way of the ungodly, while it might for the moment hide our shame and nakedness from each other, is nothing more than the sewing together of fig leaves, it cannot hide us from the shame and nakedness we feel when in the presence of God. Therefore, if we are to ever come back to into God's presence, the way of sewing for ourselves fig leaves will have to perish.
- In the context of this Psalm:1 "Happiness" this aspect of covering is most important.
- On the one hand we are naked and ashamed before each other. On the other hand we are naked and ashamed before God. We can go about doing something about that ourselves or allow God to do HIS thing upon us. Naked and ashamed is not the same place where we are ultimately going to find happiness.
- So the man and the women go about urgently doing something about it. Their first attempt was likely just to ignore or suppress this new and foreign feeling. That attempt having failed, they moved on to clothing themselves in something other to appear to each other that they something different than they truly are. There is somewhat of a happiness to be found in this remedy, maybe not happiness per se but a slight relief of shame and nakedness (or happier-ness).
- This is the remedy most people would choose to leave this at: happier-ness. With happier-ness if one will stick to it long enough one will become more and more numb to the shame and nakedness, one will see others for what they have dressed themselves up to be, the competition becomes who can dress themselves up to be something other than they are the very best.
- This is not the only remedy however.... God has HIS. The long range effect of God's remedy will be "happiness". The difference is that the man and women are no longer engaged in hiding themselves behind what they are dressing themselves up to be, they see each other as covered by the heart felt sacrifice made for them by God. It's no longer trying to be what they are not, it is excepting each other for all that they are in the light of HIS magnificent offering. Despite their mutual fallen nature, despite what they now bluntly know about themselves, God's plan for them and action on their behalf still holds strong and is moving forward. It is a happiness along the pathway towards God's goal, it is a happiness especially when HIS goal is finally reached.
- kjv@Psalms:1:6 "For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous.."
- Eventually the two paths will no longer need to cohabitate. The one will be achieved, the other will out live it's usefulness.
- One might think that the wide road laid out by man is held together and upright by man's will and self determination; as long as man wills it will hold itself together. I rather think that road would have crumbled under it's own weight and the expense of maintaining a long time ago had God not also somehow supported; there have been signs of it's crunching and crackeling under our foot throughout all history. God's support though should not be misinterpreted as HIS tacit agreement however, nor should it be considered by us to be perpetual.
- kjv@Psalms:1:1 "Blessed is the man" - Who is this man?
- I propose for the jury's immediate consideration that first and foremost this is a psalm about Messiah. Messiah is the only one ultimately that finally kept himself from the counsel of the ungodly, from the way of sinners and from the seat of the scornful. Though truly God, He condescended down into human form, made a little lower than the angels to suffer death so that He could once and for all taste death for every man ( kjv@Hebrews:2:9). He was able to achieve this as a man might have having delighted in the Law of the LORD and by day and night meditating in it.
- The risen Christ is the tree planted by rivers of eternal waters that brings forth His fruit (us) in season, His leaf never withers and everything He does forevermore will mightily prosper.
- Because Christ is all of this, each of us then can share in His bountiful overwhelming blessing/happiness. Because He is immeasurably blessed, His blessings can also be shared with me.
- If this is not the simplest interpretation then tell me: why didn't the psalmist better explain himself, saying blessed are "they" (as if we each had a equal claim on individual pools of happiness with or without Christ) instead of blessed is "the man" and "he" (as if it is His and for His brethren He is willing to share it)?
- If my ultimate happiness is incumbent upon me myself being able to discern the ungodly/sinners/scornful so as to avoid their negative influence and to delight in the Law of the Lord meditating in it day and night, then my ultimate happiness is already in serious jeopardy.
- However, if my ultimate happiness is incumbent upon Christ having already achieved all of this and then me in grateful adoration for His gracious work on my behalf attempting best I can to imitate His accomplishment, then my ultimate happiness is not at all in jeopardy (even though at times inevitably I will humanly have difficulties attempting accurately to emulate this). I am like a tree then planted in His rivers of living waters, just as He is in His Father's. A similar way Jesus put it once was:
John 15:5 kjv
- Where the psalmist tells us that the LORD knows the way of the righteous, Jesus tells us "I am the Way", the Father certainly knows HIS beloved Son just as the Son knows His most Holy Father; they've known each other from eternity past to eternity future.
- The Apostle Paul tells us that among other important things Jesus has been "made unto us" righteousness ( kjv@1Corinthians:1:30). So not only is Jesus "the Way", the "Way" has been made unto us our righteousness. By the means of Christ imputing His righteousness to us, you and I have been made as if we were just and lawful, not that we actually yet are, we are seen as being right with God only because He/Christ is.
- Now there are those that would strongly disagree with this interpretation. They would say that I am putting words in the psalmists mouth, doctrines that this palmist would not have known of and likely would have also strongly disagreed with.
- The Apostle Peter tell us:
2Peter 1:20-21 kjv
- The prophets of old did not nearly have all of this figured out and thus projected into the future to tell us how they envisioned things finally being played out. That is not prophecy that is prognostication. Prophecy was not an intellectual process for them. They were simply given something by the Holy Spirit to write down, so they did write it according to Peter. How much they actually did or didn't know and understand about what had been given them to record is irrelevant. In many cases God actually hid the prophecy from our understanding for several generations. This is one of the strengths of the vehicle of prophecy, it is not until one can look back upon what now has been fulfilled that anyone of us including the original prophet can say for certain that this is how God meant it to be understood.
- Now that the messianic prophecy has been fulfilled and more widely developed we can trace it back to it's roots to the prophet and even further back into the Torah to see the consistent meaning and method of God. Not only does my proposal line up with the prophecy of this psalm, it lines up with several other scriptural check points going as far back as the Garden of Eden and as far forward as the Book of Revelations. It is broad enough and verifiable enough and cohesive enough to be considered sound doctrine.
- This is not to say that those of a differing view are ungodly. That would depend on what other form of doctrine they held. This is not to say that they are sinners or scornful, not unless they were to act as such.
- As an example: The dispute between the Church of Rome and the early European Reformers of the 15-16th century became quite scornful on both sides. It erupted with certain members committing horrific sins upon the others. For a Church that was supposed to have not walked in the counsel, not stood in the path, not sat in the seat of these ugly influences we all behaved ourselves in fact most ungodly.
- It very well could have been that for some of these key actors that they were imposters all along. It would have been good to expose them for what they are and flush them out. For others it very well could have been that they allowed themselves to get swept up in the tide and the moment, to have not thought this through as clearly. For many it was simply a case of religious patriotism, this is how we were brought up, this is always how we've worshiped, doesn't matter how many scriptures you can string together to make your point, the only important point is that this is how our church does this and this is what our leaders have told us to do.
- This is but one example to show the psalmist's words in a fuller light having to do with the Church of all places. If this were ever to happen again might I suggest that we all heed this psalmists advice: walk not/stand not/sit not/delight in Torah/meditate. If this can be true in the Church, just think how true it can play out in the remainder of our daily activities.
- The problem I see today is that there are churches out there that no longer emphasize reading Old Testament let alone Torah.
- There are churches that consider Torah as fictional morality plays and not as actual history or divine communication.
- They are like a cactus planted in a dried up river bed, sucking up every ounce of moisture blown by them or like moss that has grown up on a stump. Else they are like nothing planted at all that drift wherever the winds of change shall blow them. Some call that being set free, I call it being blown by and never rooted.
- I shall conclude by restating the psalmist complete Psalm:1 text.
- You tell me if this psalm doesn't bring out much more than it first did:
Psalms 1: kjv
- I hope that this psalm now does say more to us and I hope that you will return to join us again in the consideration of many more!
Happiness Counsel Ungodly Fruit
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