Psalm 1

 

Today we set off on our climbing expedition doing what many climbers enjoy doing at night, singing songs over a drink and a meal, recalling the days experiences.

On their journey's, the Israelites loved to sing and many a Psalm was written so that they could be sung as the people travelled to Jerusalem for the feast and festivals.

Well, Psalm 1 is the best place for the saints to start singing, as we recall the blessed state the Christian is in, as they recall the many blessings given to us day by day.

The three positions in the opening verse are well documented, walk, stand and sit, with many a book and message coming from them.  

For us today we ask for fresh light to be thrown upon them, so that we may learn from them something that will draw us closer to our beloved Lord Jesus.

The climber, who is going to leave the week-end thrills to join the professional ranks of climbing will set his or her sights on strengthening their weaknesses.

Endurance is gained by long timed fell walking, strength is gained by rock climbing, agility with Alpine climbing across ice and loose rocks.

  

Well, those climbing on Gods holy hill are faced with the spiritual equivalent of these, because our walk is far more important than our talk.

The week end climber will do a good deal of talking, sharing their yarns of close or near misses of some exciting adventure that brought superb snap shots.

The real climber listens with frustration and even embarrassment at the stuff being listened too as they have listened to it many times before.

 

Those climbers from the real mountains keep their counsel, sharing only occasionally with those like minded climbers of the major peaks of the world.

So it is, in the Christian life, so often we listen to testimonies that are exciting and daring, but all they do in the long term is satisfy human natures thirst for something different with little spiritual value.

Let us listen to the word of God. Full contentment is gained by not taking on board the counsel of worldly standards and start living the God given standards in His word.

 

'Counsel' points to the cunning measures that the world gives to us, that Satan uses to turn us away from the truth, the thoughts gained from the lower standard that produces worldly living as against the higher level of Gods standard.

It means the schemes and devices that motivate our life and the standard that we live to, we need to elevate our thinking if we are going to climb up Gods holy mount.

To stand, is easy on solid ground, but to stand on the mountainside is dangerous when confronted with an ice field or on wind swept terrain.

 

Standing still to get ones bearings is vital, in the solitude of mountain climbing, to be still to survey the scenery is one thing, but to be still to get ones position is vital.

Now in the Christian life, as we study Gods word, the words 'be still' occur frequently and spoken by our heavenly Father more often than not.

To 'be still' in His presence is a vital ingredient of the Christian life because it brings us into close communion with Him, our guide and guardian on the holy mountain.

 

To enjoy company with God is the greatest experience that any person can enjoy, but how often to we experience this.

So often we only have company with each other, as Christians, talking about things in general without getting anywhere near the spiritual conversation that we should be having.

When was the last time you opened up to a brother or sister about your spiritual state and the longing to be something more like the standard expected of by our heavenly Father?

 

'Sitting' is something you do in your tent or at the end of a successful days climb, we do not climb a few meters and then sit down as the week end gang do.

At the end of the day it is a terrific feeling to sit down and share the day with someone near to us and then listen to their side of the story of the day.

 

The Christian has a great opportunity each day to spend time with the Lord to share their fears, doubts and worries but at the same time, to spend time listening to their guide giving wisdom, understanding and knowledge for that days climb.

We spend a good deal of time listening to the advice and counsel of the ungodly, when we should be learning to spend time alone with our precious Saviour.

 

Three types of folk are listed here, the 'ungodly' they are folk with living inferior standards to our Father's, then 'sinners' these are folk living with standards that keep missing the mark set by our Father.

The third is 'scornful' those who mock, jest and deride the Lord Jesus and will do the same to the Christian, they cannot discern spiritual things because they are spiritually dead.

As Christian mountaineers we are given clear warning not to walk with, stand with or sit with, such folk as they are pulling us down to their inferior standard.

 

It is far harder to pull a person up a hill side from a lower spot than it is to be pulled down to their position on the lower level.

Here we stop for a while to ponder this opening verse as a practical word to us if we are going to climb higher and walk further along the path of righteousness.

 

We are called to a life of holy living, of pursuing the path of righteousness and to follow the life of purity that brings us close to our heavenly Father and that involves climbing away from the earthly, worldly and human standards of living.

 

In v 2 we are encouraged to get into the habit of communing with God by delighting to study His word and then applying it to our life.

'Day and night' there is plenty of time to study, if our desires are right, plenty of time can be found to meet with our Saviour and Lord if our thoughts are right and there is ample opportunity to share with our Lord if our aims and goals are right.

 

It all hinges on our desire to be the person that He wants us to become, He is looking for the new man in Christ to develop into manhood and not watching the old man fighting to gain mastery once again.

Look at verse 3 the new man in Christ is like a tree planted by the waters edge, that is thriving, producing fruit in its season, a lovely sight in desolate lands of the earth.

 

To see the buds shooting forth followed by the green leaves and later the fruit hanging on the branches, it produces what it was created for.

Now the Christian climber is set out with the guide on a journey that will bring us closer to the Lord day by day, the closer we stay to the guide the safer the journey becomes.

We are called to imitate Christ, to become Christ like, to be Godly, so that others can see the transformation taking place in us is by the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Folk in the valley should be seeing the changes taking place in us, that will produce Christ likeness, so that they may see the Living God dwelling in us.

The 'ungodly are not so' v4 because they have no solid foundation they are likened to chaff, that is the husks of the corn, that are blown away at winnowing time of harvest.

They have no value, only to be thrown on the fire and reduced to ash to be thrown away in the final analysis, the ungodly have no spiritual value at all.

 

The final judgement day will be no place for sinners to shout their mouth off as they are brought low into the dust before the 'bema' or judgement seat of Christ.

The godly are brought into judgement where the earthly deeds and thoughts are consumed in the fire but the spiritual is preserved for Gods glory and eternity with Him.

We can sing the song of the redeemed now, as we traverse up Gods holy hill, rejoicing in our beloved Saviour's love, mercy and grace given to us.

Now there is a thought for you to ponder today.