I was invited to do Psalm 1 with the young people in my old church and it has been brewing in my head for awhile what I wanted to do with them. The group was small what with some of them in school (it was a replacement school day for some) and some of them helping their parents at home to get prepared for the Chinese New Year.
I started them off by breaking them into 2 groups, gave them a big piece of paper and some crayons, and gave them 20 minutes for a depiction of Psalm 1 in pictures and colours. They had fun drawing the good man, the bad man, trees, sun and moon, flowing rivers and floating chaff. I hope they will certainly remember the beautiful psalm for life.
1 How blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows (protects) the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.
I highlighted that this psalms spend more time expounding on the righteous man than the wicked. Several points I brought up:
1. The righteous is presented in what he does not do - walk, stand and sit with the evil. The verbs are given in a progressive manner. First, one would walk and get in the flow and rhythm of the wicked. In time, he will get the wicked to stop and talk about their wicked intentions and finally to really sit down to discuss how to bring them through. This is not what the righteous do.
2. The righteous are the ones that delight in the Word of God. Not merely read or study or look through or even adore as an object - but delight in. A delight that will result in meditation of the Word all the time, to ponder and to put into practice.
3. The righteous is like a tree planted by streams of water - not a puddle, or pond or even a lake. It is not just planted in fertile ground but by flowing streams of water. The sustenance given by God is everlasting. The life that God gives is eternal, if we believe in him and stay true to him.
4. The righteous will yield fruits in season - not all the time, but produce fruits they will- after times of testing and trials.
5. The righteous will prospers - which may not be in the eyes of the world but in the eyes of God, as we prosper in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
6. There is only one thing to be said of the wicked. They are like chaff. Chaff are the seed coverings and small pieces of stem or leaves that have been separated from the seeds - they are lightweight and has no substance. This shows that even those who proclaim Jesus as their Lord can be lightweight and with no substance - as long as they do not delight in the Word and do not meditate and apply it, they are indeed wicked.
We need to choose right as we live our lives. It is one of the another - there are no two ways about it. Which would you choose?