Blessings and Curses, Part 1of4, Pastor Phil Sessa

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Psalm 1:1–2, “BLESSED is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law does he meditate day and night.”

In Psalm 1 two lives are contrasted, the blessed life and the cursed (ungodly life). Many people think that they can stay on the fence, having one foot in the church and one foot in the world. If a soldier did that in war, stood in between both sides, he would surely be killed by the crossfire of both sides firing at him. Yet, many still try to blend in with both the world as well as the church. Jesus came to earth and split time in half from BC to AD, and his position in your life or lack of position in your life has the same effect spiritually. Either you are living life as a blessed godly person, or you are living life as a cursed ungodly person, which one are you? Why, because outside of God’s blessing, man is “cursed” and ultimately leads a meaningless life (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

Psalm 1 instructs us that a blessed man does not take counsel from the ungodly. There are many advice givers, but is that advice coming from a godly source? One that is blessed will take life counsel from spiritually mature Christians. A blessed man also will not stand in the way or will not flow in the thinking of sinners. Sinners are the ungodly, enemies of God, while saints are the godly, righteous, redeemed children of God, and again you are either one or the other. Yes saints sometimes struggle with sin, but if they are a saint, that is the identity given to them by Christ. A blessed person will not sit in the seat of the scornful, those that mock God. The “mockers” have no regard for God and his commandments. The mocker is a fool in the language of wisdom (Proverbs 9:8; 14:6). He does not respond to instruction (9:7; 15:12) but stirs up strife by his insults (22:10). He delights in mocking (1:22). The blessed life takes delight in, God and His Word.

The blessed life is the one that responds to God’s commands begrudgingly, by gritting their teeth and sheer will power, kicking and screaming. No way, the blessed life delights in God’s Word so much so that he meditates on it day and night. (Josh 1:8).

In his book “What in the World is God Doing”, Dr. Ted Engstrom, former president of World Vision, relates a story told by a Korean believer. The story concerns three Korean workmen who found jobs in China in the 1880s. While in China they heard the gospel and embraced Christ as Savior and Lord. They were now determined to find a way to bring the gospel to their own country of Korea, even though evangelizing was illegal. They decided to try and smuggle a copy of the Chinese Bible, because the Korean alphabet was so similar. The first man buried the Bible in his luggage and walked many days to the border. His bags were searched, the Bible was found and he was executed. Word got back to the two friends, and the second friend tore pages from his Bible, stuffed them throughout his luggage, made the long journey, only to be searched and beheaded. The third friend determined to do what his friends did not succeed in, ingeniously tore his Bible apart page by page. He them folded each page into tiny strips and wove the strips into a rope. He tied the homemade rope around his bag, made his journey, was searched, and succeeded in passing over the border. The man arrived home, untied the rope, and ironed each page. He reassembled the Bible and began to preach Christ wherever he went. Now that is delighting in God’s Word. Charles Spurgeon said, “Some of you have enough dust on your Bible that you can write the word ‘damnation’ in the dust with your finger.” Ouch, hopefully that’s not you!

Application: Are you living the blessed or cursed life? Who do you take counsel from? Do you stand in the flow of sinners and mockers? How much do you delight in his word? By Pastor Phil

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