Step, Stand, & Sit – Psalm 1

It is so good to be back. Oh how we missed gathering together!

I hope and pray that our volunteers feel rested and ready to go, that you’re all in a better state of mind because of the summer. Of course we know that not everyone’s summer is restful or fun, some of you had terrible summers. I get it. For that, I am very sorry, and pray you have a better fall season. However, whatever your summer looked like, maybe you can look at Labour Day, or at September, as a reset.

I polled a few people regarding this question: what do they want to “reset” in their life this September? As you might have guessed, EXERCISE was the #1 answer.
– health plan, run, gym, 5:30 yoga, etc.
– I did get one ‘bible study’ as a response;)

We recognize that during the summer, things can get a little out of whack. Or simply put, we get out of sink, out of our routines, we’ve ceased doing the things that feed our soul or help our bodies. And then a day on the calendar kicks us in the butt and we think about hitting the reset button.

I love seasons like this, where we re-set, re-purpose, re-imagine, re-start, re-organize (my garage for example), re-focus, re-engage.

We tend ask identity questions (with actual words or deep in our hearts)
– Who do I want to be?
– What am I known for?
– What do you want to be known for in the future, and what do I do to get there?

This school year, this work season, this stage in your family’s life, this decade – who will you be, and what will you do to become the person you want to be?

– – – – – – – – –

I have Radio problems…No matter what station I left my car radio on, it often goes to 530 on the AM dial. Anyone know what station this is? Me either. Unidentified. That’s right, a non-station. Here’s the crazy or funny thing: it’s always a different station when it comes on…or it changes as you drive: Rock, Country, Classical, News, Punjabi, Gospel. From a gospel tune, to news, to ‘baby you’re all that I want’ to ‘we will rock you’. Never a clear signal I might add.

Who are you 530AM? Who are you???

So what do I do? I have to choose what station I actually want to listen to. EVERY TIME I SIT IN MY CAR. The fan 590. 680 news. JazzFM. 104.5. What’s more amazing is that I get to choose, it’s my privilege to choose. My car doesn’t choose for me. It may want to, but that’s my decision, not my VW’s decision.

What music, what voice, what information, what style, do I want in my ear that day. CLICK. My fingers, my choice.

Sounds simple, almost silly, but these are the decisions we face daily in regards to who we want to be. Will we be what others want us to be, or do we choose? Will we become what others are leaning us towards, or do we choose? What do we allow to be the voice in our ear, the voice in our heart, the influence in our mind and lives?

– – – – –

Before we took a break in August, we were walking through the Psalms. Village Songs? Remember? YES!
Who’s been reading the Psalms daily? Anyone done? Anyone started and didn’t through single digits? NO judging here!

You may have noticed that during our worship time we read Psalm 150. Very purposeful, as today we wanted to end with the bookends of the Psalms.

  • We read Psalm 150 during worship
  • We’ll talking about and teaching through Psalm 1

Psalm 1 is considered a wisdom Psalm. You’ll notice that as we read it.
It’s also what they call a didactic Psalm. A poem that instructs and was used to teach.
It seems to be placed at the right spot, #1 of 150 Psalms…it gets us started in the right direction.

Psalm 1 gets to the heart of hitting the reset button in ones life…purpose & identity.

It asks the questions: Who do you wanna be? What do you wanna be known for?

Psalm 1
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.

Read the first few verses slowly again…

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither…

The writer, who is unknown, is setting the stage for the rest of the Psalms. They go on to tell us what a blessed and wise person looks like.

The word ‘blessed’ is important here. The Psalmist is telling us that this is the kind of person they are about to describe.

Blessed isn’t necessarily happy, but wise…and discerning…and a person of peace & joy, no matter that circumstance. Blessed is someone who knows who they want to be, and takes steps toward that end. According the writer, the end goal is one who delights in and meditates on, God’s words & God’s instruction.

Two groups of three words are key…

STEP, STAND, SIT
vs
DELIGHT, MEDITATE, PLANTED

What’s the instruction?

Don’t move in the direction of the wicked
Don’t stand in the same place where sin is prevalent
Don’t sit where mocking is the main activity

The choice is ours of where we step, of where we stand, of where we sit.

It’s easy to blame others for my outcomes and consequences, but this Psalmist is saying…

  • it’s my feet that got me there
  • it’s my legs that kept me there
  • it’s my butt that sat me down

What a vivid metaphor of our choices – a stark reminder of our decisions.

Of course, then, the writer contrasts this with other actions:

DELIGHTING in God’s words
MEDITATIING on God’s ways
PLANTING ourselves by a life giving stream (God)

As this collection of poems and songs begins, the writer gives us an introduction or a foundation to all the other Psalms – CHOOSE today what kind of person you want to be, WISE or foolish, BLESSED or not blessed.


It is your choice where you step, stand, and sit.


Step towards God.

Stand in God’s presence.
Sit in God’s grace.

Let God’s words feed you, inspire you, guide you.

And…be planted be his life giving presence.

 

Not sure of your opinion of McDs coffee? I’ve been stuck drinking it twice in the last two weeks. Both times I thought the same thing: this is terrible (you can insert your own disliked drink into this story). Funny thing is that it starts bad, but you then get used to its taste. Either it gets better…or…you slowly become ok with its mediocrity. This is opposite to experiencing a BIG MAC, which starts amazing, but then, just wait, a few minutes, an hour or so, and…you start to feel horrible.

Here’s the thing: we have a choice, of what goes into our bodies. Every time. No body forces us to stand in line, to eat fast food, to purchase unhealthy meals – that’s us. It’s all on us.

The same is true in our lives. The Psalmist lays it out plainly for us. If you want to be Blessed, if you want to be a person of Joy, if you want to be strong enough to handle or embrace the uncertainties of life…then delight in God, think about his instruction, and be planted beside him.

– – – – – –

Jesus, and the NT writers are very consistent with this

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
(Matthew 7:24-27)

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7)

As we reset this school year, this work season, this fall season, our family season…may we be encouraged and challenged to build our lives on Jesus, plant our selves in God’s soil, dig our roots deep in this love, mercy, integrity, grace, goodness.

As you hit the reset or restart button, be purposeful of where you step, where you stand, where you sit – because where you are eventually effects who you are.