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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

PLANTED BY THE RIVERS OF WATER

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season: his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth, shall prosper.

The word blessed generally has the same meaning as happy. Psalms 128:1-2 indicates that those that fear the Lord are blessed and happy. The text for this lesson tells us, not only where blessed happiness can befound, but also were it cannot be found.

I truly believe that blessed happiness is the desire of everyone. All want to avoid misery and find this happy state of being. The problem many of us have is that we are looking for it in the wrong places. In this particular text, many looked for happiness by following the example of the wrong people. That state of blessed happiness cannot be found in the ungodly persons, the sinners, or scornful mankind.

Ungodly men and women are those that do not accept God as their creator. They are not necessarily wicked, but God has no place in their lives. The ungodly are not interested in religion or salvation. Their counsel is for everyone around them to be as they are. There is no need to worship God by attendingchurch services. There is no need to pray or study the bible. Their advice may be to live honest lives and everything else will work itself out. The Psalmist says, Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.

Sinful mankind seems to be worse than those that are ungodly. Not only do they do no good, but instead they do evil. These persons have a sinful heart that manifests itself in outward transgression. These people are not generally guilty of all types of sin. Just as an example, they may be guilty of stealing. It may have started out as petty theft. Once they saw how to get away with it, it expanded to major thievery. Those guilty of this soon found a ways to justify this sinful act. Taking this stand, they demonstrate to others that stealing is socially acceptable. This example could be the same for adultery, hate, or even murder. Blessed is the man that does not stand in the wayof sinners.

The scornful appear to be even worse. Not only are they ungodly sinners, but they seem to delight in their transgressions. They even ridicule those that accept God as their creator - those that try tolive righteous lives. They deride all that do not emulate their life style. The scornful will try to influence others to join with them and scoff at Christians. The writer says, Blessed is the man that does not sit in the seat of the scornful.

The strongest, most fruitful trees are those that are planted near a good, unending source of water. These strong, fruitful trees, the text indicates, are like people that are happily blessed. We are blessed if we do not walk with the ungodly, or stand with sinners, or sit with the scornful. We are not to act like, or accept the ways of, these people if we are seeking happiness. There are things we are told not to do, but there are things we are told to do to be happy. We are blessed if we read and meditate on God's word. We are blessed further if we obey the commandments of God that we read about in His Holy Word.

Happiness, or blessedness, is found by being influenced by God's ways as opposed to the ways of the ungodly, the sinner, and the scornful. Happiness is being like a strong tree - a tree that does not wither but is fruitful. What this world needs is more people that are like trees planted by the rivers of water.