SBS Sermon Notes

SBS     Sermon Notes     Note 07/09

The Secret of Happiness

Psalm 1

Psalm 1:1 : 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.
2: But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3: 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.
4: The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5: Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6: For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

1. Psalm 1

To be blessed is to enjoy divine grace and favour, which alone brings true happiness. Happiness is the goal of every soul on earth. Sad to say, more often than not, people look for happiness in the wrong places. Not surprisingly therefore, comparatively few find true happiness. We see this all around - in every country - people possessing all these desirable things and still being unhappy: or rather they are no happier than those without these things. And so we ask:

'Where and how can one find happiness? What does one have to do or not do to obtain this illusive thing called happiness?

Psalm 1 gives us the answer to these vital questions.

2. Where Happiness is not Found

To begin with this psalm lists three places where happiness is not found. The man (or woman) who finds true happiness will certainly not do these three things:

Verse 1

Note the progression: first walking, then standing, and finally sitting with evil associates and their ways. True happiness is never found in such company or behaviour. The Bible says:
Isaiah 57:20 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.
21: There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.

3. Where then is Happiness Found?

The psalm then goes on to tell us where true happiness (blessing) is found. The blessed man will:

Verse 2

The Apostle Paul writes:
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

3. The Results

The results of this simple yet profound spiritual formula - of meditating on Yahweh's law and putting it into practice - will produce blessing and happiness on an ever-increasing scale. Note that these blessings produce true happiness. They are not dependent on material wealth, possessions, power or fame, but on faithful obedience to God. The blessed (happy) man or woman, as the Psalmist goes on to say will:

Verse 3

4. The Unhappy Man

By contrast the ungodly cannot be truly happy. They may be rich. They may be powerful or famous. They may possess an abundance of material things, but in the hidden arena of the soul, in the currency of blessing, they are bankrupt! The psalmist describes the wicked as worthless, weightless chaff.

Verse 4

The wicked are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
They are without substance, without happiness and spiritually dead. Oh what a terrible picture is here presented.

5. The Fate of the Wicked

Psalm 1 is not just a Treasure Map pointing the way to eternal blessing, happiness and life. It also predicts the terrible outcome of all who choose to ignore its priceless directions. It tells us that the ungodly face a fearsome future. Consider this awesome verse.

Verse 5

In other words the ungodly will be condemned on the Day of Judgement and, what is more, they will lose their eternal inheritance when the righteous enter the Kingdom of God. Oh what a fearsome day that will be, when millions of souls come to understand the value of the eternal treasures they have foolishly rejected.

6. The Almighty Knows Everything

We must never delude ourselves into thinking that the Almighty is unaware of what we do: and that our good (and bad) deeds somehow escape His notice. The Bible makes it abundantly clear that the Most High can - if He wants to - become acquainted with every detail of our lives. Nothing is beyond His investigative powers. If He chose He could break into every sensitive and private area of your soul and examine every detail of your life. But He doesn't do this. He respects our privacy and doesn't barge into our private lives. On the great Day of Judgement all the facts will be unveiled. If we do not ask forgiveness now and accept salvation through His only begotten Son Yeshua now, we will be condemned on that appointed day.

Verse 6

The Lord knoweth the way of the righteous.

This means He knows the course the righteous are following. He not only knows their course, but He knows their destination. Did not the Saviour say in John 14:6, "...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

It is absolutely impossible to exaggerate the importance of this truth: that Jesus Christ (Yeshua the Messiah) is the way to true happiness and everlasting life.

Sad to say, eternal life will not be given to the ungodly. In the end, at the judgement they will be sentenced to eternal death!

The way of the ungodly shall perish

In other words, those living outside God's will shall perish. As the prophet Malachi wrote:
Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
2: But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.
3: And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

7. The Perfect Psalm

Psalm 1 has been called the Perfect Psalm, because in many ways it is the foundation on which all the other psalms rest. It tells of how faith and obedience is the only path to true and lasting happiness. Believers should try to memorise this psalm. It has only six verses! Remember it contains a spiritual formula for everlasting happiness and true success. No one can afford to ignore it? Other verses that spell out the way to true happiness in this and the life to come are:

SBS     Sermon Notes     More Sermons about the Psalms

Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
November 1997 ... Updated September 1999