The Exceedingly Happy Man – 5

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Scripture References: Psalm 1

IV. The Contrast to the Happy Man – Continued

From last lesson: Verse 5 makes it plain that the ungodly person is under condemnation. “Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” . . . The ungodly will stand before God, and will be condemned without reprieve. There is no mercy for the person who lives without God. Flimsy excuses and pious rhetoric will not help in the judgment.

Continuing on, we see that verse 5 also declares: “nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.” That has puzzled many interpreters over the years. To me however, this is rather clear. If you’ve lived long enough trying to abide in the Lord, you will see that in every congregation there are hypocrites who try to act the part but whose hearts are not committed to the Lord. Pretenders. Play actors. We can’t look into hearts. We can only see their fruit. It is neither for you nor me to sentence or condemn. In the final judgment, sinners will not be able to identify with the congregation of the righteous. The genuine heart condition of an individual will be manifest in the judgment. People know what we do. God knows why we do it. Here is a solemn warning to the person who thinks he can associate with godly people, and that is all God requires. What God requires is a heart that is turned toward Him and a life under His control. Even though it is commendable to surround ourselves with Christian people, what matters most of all is committing our lives to the Lord. At the final judgment sinners will not be in the congregation of the righteous, no goats will be with the sheep; no chaff with the flourishing, vibrant trees of God.

“For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.” The person who excludes God from his life, whatever else he may think, and whatever else he may do, is headed inevitably toward destruction. No good conclusion can come from that kind of life. There is inevitable separation from God. You can “be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23). “The soul who sins shall die.” – Ezekiel 18:4. Don’t be deceived, God is not mocked. What a man sows, that he will reap (see Galatians 6:7). The end result of a life lived without God is eternity without God, no light, no love, nothing but torment, eternal hell.

pd happy man 5

Notice the Psalmist’s conclusion about the righteous, a contrast that is beautiful. “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous.” The word “know” here means more than that God is simply informed or merely aware. The core of this message is: God cares about the righteous! The word “knows” is in a Hebrew tense that speaks of continuous action. God is continually watching over the way of the righteous. The way of the godly is one watched by, guarded by, approved by, and blessed by God.

Isn’t that wonderful to know? That should be a great source of assurance and confidence. God watches our lives. When we cry out through our experiences, and devastating things happen to all of us, God cares deeply. In the midst of every experience, as you cry out to God, sometimes you cry in bewilderment, sometimes in doubt, sometimes in fear. You may cry from discouragement and despair. There may be times of happiness, or there may be times of sadness. There may be any number of experiences, but through those experiences of life we reach out for God, and we can be confident that He is there!

The truly happy person is one who recognizes there are some things he can’t do. He can’t associate with people who, however innocent they may appear, have no time for or contact with God. He will not associate and link his life with those who are habitual sinners and those who laugh at and ridicule the things of God. Rather, he will spend his life delighting in the law of the Lord, meditating upon it, letting it express itself in his life. And he will be like a tree, tall, sturdy, flourishing, planted by rivers of water. But the person who has no time for God is like chaff, dry, dead, worthless trash, absolutely no hope for him, only the wind driving him away to be burned, to be swept away without a glimmer of hope! “For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” What a tremendous source of strength and blessing. How deep and immense should be our total commitment to God!

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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