2011-03-04 - Sit, Stand, or Walk
Originally Preached 2005-02-20
How many want to be happy this morning? Raise your hand. How many want contentment? How many want God's blessing? How many want God to strike you down this morning? OK that last one was a trick to see who was paying attention but it looks like all of us want happiness, contentment, and blessings in our life.
In fact, often we spend our lives chasing after these things at a rapid pace. The kids are rushed from school to one activity after another. People buy all sorts of conveniences from fast food to cell phones to make life better. They work more hours and harder each hour than ever before. We do all this chasing the American dream. We are caught up in the pursuit of happiness, contentment, and blessing through prosperity, prestige, and power but all this is only physical. Spiritual wellness cannot come from the physical realm. Internal happiness, contentment, and blessing will never result form external things. We are going about it all wrong. It's no wonder we so often aren't content, happy, and blessed. But David reveals the secret in the first two verses of Psalms
Look at Psalms 1:1-2. It says, "Blessed is the man that climbs to the highest rung on the ladder of success, pushes to do more and more, and sits in the finest cars, restaurants, and houses." Is that what your Bible says? No so let's read it together...
Blessed in the Hebrew is plural perhaps indicating a super blessing or an overly abundant blessing. Blessed is the man, that is to say wonderfully happy and super content is the man, who does not do these three things: "Walketh not... nor standeth... nor sitteth". Sir Richard Baker points out, "Negative precepts are in some cases more absolute and peremptory than affirmatives; for to say, 'that hath walketh in the counsel of the godly,' might not be sufficient; for, he might walk in the counsel of the godly, and yet walk in the counsel of the ungodly too; not both indeed at once, but both at several times; where now, this negative clears him at all times."
Don't walk in the counsel of the ungodly. Don't stand in the way of the sinners. Don't sit in the seat of mockers.
Look at the objects of the prepositional phrases in those sentences - counsel, way, seat. Those words outline a path of destruction. First, you listen to the wicked; then you go along with them; and then, you are the wicked. You are in their seat because you are one of them. Have you ever heard a parent say, "He's a good kid but he started hanging with the wrong crowd." What they really mean if they were to be honest is, "He used to be good but then he listened to the wrong crowd and went along with them until he became one of them."
Look at the verbs as well - walk, stand, sit. They also show a path of destruction. You walk by a sin or a temptation to sin. You might think to yourself, "I can handle walking past the sin." And so you do; you walk by it back and forth. But it just takes once for your eye to stray and your mind to wander and then you are standing there - standing and dwelling on the sin. And eventually you are sitting smack down in the middle of sin. Do not walk through sin - run away. I can guarantee I won't fall into the Grand Canyon because I will likely never go to the Grand Canyon. But if I did and I stood teetering on the edge just one unexpected nudge would find me sitting at the bottom - dead in sin at the bottom. The best thing to do is stay away.
Happiness and blessing is in not going down those paths, in not doing those things, or in doing the opposite so let's reverse it all starting at the bottom with sit
Don't sit in the seat of the scornful or the mockers. If you are sitting in the mocker's seat then you are the mocker. Sitting there represents having never accepted God, mocking him - blaspheming the Holy Spirit. This is the one and only unforgivable sin. In Matthew 12:31 Jesus says, "Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men." The only sin that will not be forgiven is the sin of never asking for forgiveness. You can't remain sitting.
Next time we will conclude with Stand and Walk. Until then...
All verses are from the King James Version unless otherwise specified.