SBS Sermon Notes Note 07/09
The Secret of Happiness
||: 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
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:
- Many believe that the more money they can lay their hands
on the happier they will be: so they exhaust themselves making money.
But rich people are not the happiest folk on earth.
- Others believe that fame will bring happiness; so they put
forth giant efforts to become famous. But famous people are by no
means the happiest people either.
- Still others believe that beauty will bring happiness; so
they spend fortunes on looking beautiful. But beautiful people are not
happier than ugly people.
- Others think possessions, position, authority, power or
knowledge will bring happiness. But they too fail to obtain
'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:
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:
- He will not walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
words in moral matters he will not follow the advice of those who
knowingly and blatantly disobey the Almighty's commandments.
- He will not stand in the way of sinners. In other words, he
will not just refuse to walk in the counsel of sinners; but will not
make friends with them.
- He will not sit in the seat of the scornful. In other words
he will never take part in mocking sacred things.
|| 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:
The Apostle Paul writes:
- Delight in the law of the Almighty. This implies that the
law of the Almighty is a gateway to true happiness. The happy man will
search it out and enter in. He will take delight in studying
Jehovah's commandments, and in obeying them as best he can. This is the
pathway to true happiness. This is the first spiritual clue to finding
true happiness. Remember it!
- The happy (blessed) man or woman will meditate on Yahweh's law
day and night. In other words he/she will ponder and think about
the deep truths hidden in the Almighty's commandments: truths which
can only be understood with spiritual assistance from on high.
The happy person will think about these things and continually request
understanding and wisdom from God Himself. The Apostle
||If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth
to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given
||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
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:
- Have an everlasting source of spiritual refreshment. He/she
will be like an evergreen, river-side tree; which produces a constant
supply of delicious fruit.
- Prosper in everything he/she does. In other words, whatever
he attempts will meet with success. It will produce lasting and
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.
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.
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
- Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor
sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
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.
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:
|| 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:
- Psalm 144:15 "... yea, happy is that people, whose God is the
- Proverbs 16:20 "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find
good: and whoso trusteth in the LORD, happy is he."
- Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision, the people perish:
but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
- John 13:17 "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do
- Isaiah 51:11 "Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return,
and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon
their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and
mourning shall flee away."
SBS Sermon Notes More Sermons about the Psalms
Elder: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
November 1997 ... Updated September 1999