Sunday School Lessons

Action & Reaction

Wrapping up a series of articles on Psalm 1, in the end, a man reaps what he sows (see Galatians 6:7-10).  (And, ladies, I’m pretty sure that a woman reaps what she sows, too.)

When the judgment comes, the wicked won’t be able to stand up and successfully make their case.  In the same way, sinners aren’t going to be welcomed into the company of the righteous.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

Psalms 1:5 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.1.5.NIV

When you think about it, if blessing comes from the righteous behavior that results from delighting in God’s law, who wants to mess that up by bringing in sinners?  Of course, Jesus spent time with sinners, including those who knew that they sinned (and who everyone else knew had sinned), so this isn’t an excuse to reject them.  However, when it comes to those who are pronounced righteous (i.e., justified), the wicked are not part of that group.

Now, we might get a little concerned here, and remember that we have been unrighteous ourselves.  In fact, we might fear that we’ve been downright wicked at times.  This is the beauty of atonement, though: when we accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, bringing Him into our lives as Savior and Lord, we are looked upon as if we were perfectly righteous.  Our eternal destiny in the presence of God is no longer a reflection on what we did on earth, but rather a reflection of what Jesus did while He walked this earth as a divine human being.

In verse 6, there are some different possible translations as to how God sees the way (or path) of the righteous, but regardless of how we translate this first part of the verse, it’s a good thing for the righteous people.  Conversely, though, the path of wicked (and unrepentant) people is going downhill.

For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Psalms 1:6 NIV
https://bible.com/bible/111/psa.1.6.NIV

While that is just – it is fair for those who reject God’s instructions to receive punishment for their behavior – praise be to God that He loved the human race enough to offer us an alternative, where God the Son accepted the punishment so that we could receive the blessings of His righteousness.  In return, we should delight in God’s law, and practice righteousness (while keeping ourselves from being contaminated by the company of the wicked), out of respect, obedience, and gratitude to Him.  He is just, but He also justifies us (see Romans 3:21-26).

Do you want to thrive and be blessed in life?  Start with the word of God.  Do you want to learn about what it means to be blessed by God and to praise Him?  Start by reading Psalm 1, and keep reading from there.  Do you want to run headlong into destruction, wasting your life and the resources that God has given you?  I hope not (of course), but if that’s your goal, Psalm 1 will tell you about that, too!


From Sunday School lesson prepared for October 2, 2022

References:

  • The Lookout, October 2, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
  • Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • The College Press NIV Commentary, Psalms, Volume 1, S. Edward Tesh and Walter D. Zorn, © 1999, College Press Publishing Co., Joplin, MO.

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