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November 15, 2015

"THE PLANTING OF THE LORD"

TEXT: Psalm 1: 1-6
READING:
 Matthew 5: 1-20

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SUBJ: The way of righteousness seen as the result of our identity with the Lord in all the character that is of Him and the fact that it is truly the “way” that is known of Him.

AIM: That we might recognize and be a participant in the way with the Lord and know the precious blessedness described herein.

INTR: Because of its position in the book it is probably the most read of all the Psalms (with the possible exception of Psalm 23) but its message is a reason of its placement.
1. Blessedness (happiness) is a benefit of salvation that is to be treasured and in that it is the design of God that we should enjoy the Lord above all else.
2. Of course, the fact that such a one is identified tells us that the opposite exists and no place is given for any middle ground.
3. By holding to the joy expressed here, the message of the rest of the Divine prayer book and hymnal become all the more precious.

THESIS: The life and apprehension of happiness described here are the result of being planted and we know that our life is from Him who is called the Tree of Life and His seed in incorruptible.

I. The object of the blessed one (vv. 1-2)
1. The way of blessedness expressed in a negative way – what is not done
1) The counsel of the ungodly as
i. Not all who are not of the Lord but especially those given to ungodliness and pressing others to identification with them.
ii. Consider the plight of Lot whose righteous soul was vexed by his associations.
iii. See For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4
2) The way of sinners as
i. In fact we are all sinners but some are delivered by the blood of Christ and experience new life in Him as a result.
ii. These are they (Dr. Gill) who “choose their own ways and delight in their abominations.”
iii. It is in fact the way of darkness and leads to destruction and death.
3) The seat of the scornful
i. These are the proud and haughty in contrast with: Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly. Proverbs 3:34
ii. They are proud of their natural abilities, and hold others in contempt.
iii. Such were the Scribes and Pharisees of our Lord’s time.
2. The way of blessedness expressed in a positive way – what is done
1) His delight is in the Law of the Lord
i. Understanding that in David’s day this reference would have been to the five books of Moses.
ii. But, it was neither the natural law existing by virtue of creation nor the fiery Law in the sense it was presented outwardly – These would be viewed in terms of the will of man rather than the grace of God.
iii. It was rather the spiritual apprehension of the inward man of the scriptures as they were given up to that time and it is the whole that is our delight today.
iv. His delight was in no less than the Gospel of our Lord and the Lord was His Gospel.
2) A matter of continuous meditation, study and reflection.

II. The reason of this blessedness (v. 3)
1. A tree planted
1) And we understand that such was not a happenstance location but was planted as a matter of purpose.
2) That the source has a reference to the Spiritual life upon which it grew and prospered
3) To be noted here is that Robert Hawker saw this tree as Christ and we the branches of John 15 and those bearing the characteristics of Christ in our being and existence
2. A result assured – fruit brought forth at the proper time
1) Repentance and faith are produced
2) The grace of life is enjoyed and such is there to meet every need
3) And especially there is the love of Christ “shed abroad in our hearts.”
3. And because we draw deeply from that water of life their shall be no failure nor withering of the leaf.

III. The contrast of true blessedness (vv. 4-6)
1. The ungodly are held in contrast in every aspect of that described above and have no hope of continued prosperity. This is seen in two ways:
1) There is no value given to their existence and are rather blown away into insignificance
2) There is no ability to survive judgment
3) And they shall have no identity with those who are of the congregation of the righteous: Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. Hebrews 2:12.
2. Special knowledge (v. 6)
1) The Lord knoweth:
i. He is the way
ii. He is identified with and is One with those in that way
iii. Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19.
2) A sad word of finality – thus we sing “rescue the perishing.”