Summary: Who you FOLLOW, and who LISTEN TO, will determine where you go… and where you end up. Psalm 1 is telling us to listen to God and trust Him... because the alternative is listening to the wicked, sinful and scoffers of this world.

In the book of Numbers (13th chapter) we’re told that Moses - after leading Israel out of captivity in Egypt - had finally brought the people to edge of the Promised Land. And before they go it, God tells Moses to send 12 spies into the promised land. So they select 12 men to slip into Canaan, and when they come back – the land was everything God had promised. Numbers 13:27 tells us it was literally a land that “flows with milk and honey.”

But there was a problem. Ten of the 12 spies told the people: "We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are…. The land, through which we have gone… is a land that devours its inhabitants… there we saw the Nephilim (giants), and we seemed to ourselves like grasshoppers, and so we seemed to them."

Then all the congregation raised a loud cry, and the people wept that night. And all the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become a prey. Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to one another, "Let us choose a leader and go back to Egypt." Numbers 13:31-14:4

And God said – Fine. You don’t want to go into the Land I promised you don’t have to. You’ll wander in the wilderness for 40 years and NOT ONE OF YOU will live to see the Promised Land. Only Joshua and Caleb would be allowed that privilege because they believed God’s promise.

There’s a children’s song that tells that story: “Twelve men went to spy out Canaan, Ten were bad, two were good. What do you think they saw in Canaan? Ten were bad, two were good. Some saw giants, big and strong! Some saw grapes with clusters long. Some saw God was in it all. Ten were bad, two were good.”

This story was all about - who did the people listen to, and who did they follow? The Bible repeatedly warns us: Who you FOLLOW, and who LISTEN TO, will determine where you go… and where you end up.

Proverbs 13:20 warns that “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”

And 1 Corinthians 15:33 tells us “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’”

And THAT is what Psalm 1 is all about: Bad company WILL ruin good morals. Psalm 1:1 says “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers.”

I got to thinking about that and I began to realize what God is saying here. God was saying that He’s giving us choice. We can listen to the wicked, the sinners and the scoffers… or we can listen to Him! We get a choice, but we can’t do both those things.

“Blessed is the man who walks NOT in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; BUT his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on HIS law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2


But, listen to God OR you’ll end up listening to the wicked and you won’t like the outcome.

Then then I got to thinking: Why on earth would I listen to the wicked, and the sinful and the scoffers. They’re not nice people! Why listen to them to begin with? But you know… we have listened to such people. A lot of times, the folks you and I end up listening to might not SEEM to us as being sinful or wicked or scoffers. They are often people we even respect.

ILLUS: Back when I was a boy, many of the people I respected (even some people in Church) told me that the Bible was a boring book filled with errors. The delight of those who told me those things was NOT in the Law of the LORD. They didn’t meditate upon it day and night. They didn’t trust God’s word and weren’t encouraging me to do that either. They trusted their own understanding more than they trusted God. They didn’t understand the words of Proverbs 3:5 which tells us “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

But, what is wrong with leaning on our own understanding? Well, there’s a verse in Jeremiah 17 that says: “the heart is deceitful above all things.” That’s telling us that we can’t trust our own understanding because our hearts are inherently deceitful.

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