The Blessed Man

Title: The Blessed Man

Bible Book: Psalms 1 : 1-3

Author: J. Gerald Harris

Subject: Men; Fathers; Father's Day



In this message I want to address the men who are here, for our text tells us how we can be God's men. And I know this - we need men who are sold out to God; fathers and husbands who are  spiritual men. In Isaiah 46:8, God says, "Remember this, and shew yourselves men." God says, "Stand up and be men." Fathers, you need to stand up so that your children, so that other young people, will have you as an example. We need some strong, sturdy, spiritual men to set before our youth so that we can say, "Here is an example of how the Christian life is to be lived." Now, in Psalm 1 we have a disclosure of two kinds of men. In verses 1 through 3 we read about the spiritual man. In verses 4 through 6 we read about the sinner man. In the first three verses we read about a godly man. In the last three verses we read about an ungodly man.

The Psalm reminds me of the parable told by Jesus about the wise man and the foolish man. The wise man built his house upon a rock. When the house stood firm, his destiny was secure. The foolish man built his house upon the sand. When the storms and the adversities of life came, the house on the sand was swept away. What I want to do this morning is emphasize the positive. We're going to lift up a standard. And so we're just going to look at the first three verses as we think about the spiritual man.

I. The Denials of the Spiritual Man

Look in verse 1 of our text (read). In this verse you see that the blessed man, the spiritual man, intentionally avoided being with the wrong crowd. In Exodus 23:1-2, God says, "put not thine hand with the wicked...thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil." Notice in this verse that sinners are described by three words. The first word is "ungodly." This word comes from the Hebrew word "rasha" and means "unrest." It is a general term used to describe the person who is out of touch with God. The spiritual man will not listen to the advice of those who are out of touch with God.

Have you ever thought about the fact that even the Lord Jesus Christ never referred to His own reason or His own mind as a basis for a decision? Whatever He did was based on the will of God. He never said to His disciples, "Men, we're going to Galilee. I have been thinking this over and I believe I know what is right, and this is the best thing to do. We're going to Galilee." That is not the way He approached His disciples. He always said, "Men, we're going to Galilee. I have been praying about this thing. I've been spending time with the Father, and we need to go to Galilee because it is the will of my Father in heaven." Dear friend, if Jesus Christ depended upon the counsel of the heavenly Father, you and I certainly do not need to listen to the counsel of ungodly men.

Now, I want you to notice that the blessed man, the spiritual man, does not stand in the way of sinners. This word that is translated "sinners" refers to those who habitually miss the mark. They have strayed far away from God. They have become established as vile offenders of God's law. These are the transgressors; these are the commandment breakers and the promise breakers.

The third word used is translated "scorners." A scorner is not just out of touch with God, he is worse than the sinner who is the vile offender of God's law. He is a cynical, free-thinker with pride and a self- sufficient spirit. He treats with ridicule that which is holy and good and sacred. They're contemptuous in their thought and speech concerning God. They are headed for divine judgment and condemnation.

Now, I just want you to notice the progression that is evident in this first verse. If you walk long enough and then stand around for a while, you will soon need a comfortable seat. Look where the person who walks in the counsel of the ungodly and stands in the way of sinners finds himself: "in the seat of the scornful." These folks scoff at any suggestion that God is real. They scorn any standards that come from God's law. They minimize the efforts of God's people to bring a message of hope to the hopeless and comfort to the troubled. The spiritual man just absolutely refuses to walk in the atmosphere created by these wicked men. He will not walk; he will not stand; he will not sit in    the company of those who are the enemies of God. He denies himself fellowship with those who would drag him down spiritually.

Men, it is one thing to go into a den of sinners on a Christian mission. The Lord did that. But don't put your hat on their hat rack. Don't hobnob with the ungodly. Don't back-slap with sinners. Don't waste your time debating scorners. The spiritual man denies himself fellowship with such. You cannot run with the hare and the hounds at the same time. The Christian must make a clean break with the world. And let me tell you why you need to make that clean break with the world. I'll tell you why by sharing two letters, which are written in poetic form.

“Dear Daddy,

When I'm a great big man like you,

I want to do just like you do.

I’m going to go just where you go,

I want to know all that you know.

I’m just a growin' awful big,

And walkin' in the tracks you dig.

I think it won't be very long,

I’m growin' fast and getting strong.

And soon I'll go to town with you,

And be your partner all day through.

I'm just a little great big man,

A gettin' like you fast as I can.”

“Dear Son,

I'm glad you want like me to be,

Yet I must change some things I see.

If you will do just what I do,

And follow me the whole length through.

Then I will pray for strength and power

To walk the Christ-life every hour,

And leave tracks all along the way

Which lead to joy and endless day.”

I think you get the idea. The spiritual man denies himself fellowship with those who would besmirch and blemish his character. But we go from considering the denials of the spiritual man to consider,

II. The Delights of the Spiritual Man

Look in verse 2 (read). The spiritual man loves the Word of God. Not just in theory, but in practice. He meditates in the Word. He has a daily quiet time. Listen, if you want to measure someone's spirituality, you just find out how much time he spends feeding upon God's Word. Someone has said that there are three stages of Bible study. First, the cod liver oil stage when you take it like medicine because it is good for you. Second, the shredded wheat biscuit stage - dry, but nourishing. Third, the peaches and cream stage. The spiritual man "delights in the law of the Lord." He is at the peaches and cream stage. Have you reached that third stage of Bible study?

Now, I want you to notice that the spiritual man not only delighted in the law of the Lord, but he "meditated in God's law day and night." "Meditate" is a very colorful word. It pictures a cow chewing her cud. I'm told that the cow has several compartments in her stomach. She can go out in the morning, graze on the grass when the dew is on it in the cool of the day, and then when it gets hot in the middle of the day she lies down under a tree and begins to chew the cud. She moves the grass she had in the morning back up, and now she masticates it. She goes over it again. That is what we do when we meditate. We go over what we have read. Thomas A’ Kempis put it rather quaintly. He said, "I have no rest but in a nook with the Book." My, how that is needed today in the lives of believers. If we really want to know the truth, we must be willing to pay the price, which Paul intimated when he wrote to Timothy. "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them." The spiritual man delights, thrills, takes his joy in dwelling deeply in the Word of God.

Now, let me get real specific here on this Father's Day. I believe the spiritual man will delight in those passages of scripture that encourage him to be a faithful Christian husband. You see, the Bible says in I Peter 3:7, "Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them (that is your wives) according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel...." Now, you see, the spiritual man who delights in the law of the Lord will take that passage of scripture to heart. And he will honor his wife and love his wife. And he will not be satisfied with anything less than a marriage that is excellent in every way.

Tom Peters, author of the best-selling book "In Search of Excellence," was once exhorting a group of corporate officers. After speaking to these leaders for several hours, he challenged them to raise their standards. Finally, a top executive interrupted him to voice dissatisfaction. He said, "Peters, I'm tired of hearing all of this stuff on excellence. We don't need this. Our company is no worse than anyone else's." Outwardly Peter passively listened to the corporate leader's tirade, but inwardly his mind was racing. "Now wouldn't that statement make a great byline right under the company logo - 'international widgets...we're no worse than anyone else.'" As men, our attitude can be very similar to that corporate leader's. Exasperated with all the ideas in which we have to provide leadership, we might exclaim, "I'm tired of hearing what I need to be doing, where I'm failing as a husband, and everything that's wrong in our marriage. After all, our marriage is no worse than anyone else's."

Now, you may have felt that way on occasion. But I'm saying that if you are a spiritual man, and if you're a promise keeper, you'll want to do a whole lot better than that. And you're going to delight not only to meditate upon those verses, but obey those verses that challenge you to be a good husband. Furthermore, you're going to delight in those passages that encourage you to be a Christian father. By the way, let me ask you a question. What is the most endearing term by which we refer to God? Is it not the term Father. And in the Bible there is the mention of the term Abba Father. And do you know what that really signifies? It signifies that God is our Daddy. And the first picture that your kids are gonna ever get of God is the picture that they see of Him in you. And you're either going to represent Him well or you're going to misrepresent Him altogether. How well do you represent God to your children? How well do you represent God's love to your children?

I was looking at one of James Dobson's videos the other day. And he was telling about taking his children on a skiing excursion. He said if you've got young children, the first day of skiing can be the most frustrating thing in the world. You have to determine who's going to carry the skies, who's going to carry the boots, who's going to buy the tickets, who's going to get the lockers, who's going to park the car, who's going to get all of those clothes, who's going to take them to the bathroom - all that stuff. It's an enormous task. And Dobson said on this particular day his kids were about to drive him crazy. They were struck by a sudden wave of childish irresponsibility and they were losing keys, and dropping stuff, and forgetting gloves. And he said, "I was on their back. I mean, I was yelling at these kids and riding them. And I violated everything I write about." James Dobson took them up to the ski lodge. His wife was already there. He let the kids out, and said, "Go have a good time." He slammed the car door and drove back down the hill to park it. And all of the way down the hill he was talking to the Lord, and he was saying, "Lord, what am I going to do with these kids that you gave me?" Have you ever asked that question? And Dobson said, "I was just irritated with God for giving me these kids. And God was silent." He parked the car and walked down to a little pick-up area where a flatbed truck was scheduled to come and pick up the people to take them back up the mountain. And when he got to this spot, there were eight or ten people there. And among them was a girl about 17 years old. And she was saying strange things, nonsense things - especially the word "whomever." She was saying, "Whomever, whomever" - this word over and over again. And James Dobson said that he thought she was on a bad drug trip or something - and the other people had pulled away from her, and she was just standing there all by herself saying these words. And then she turned and looked, and Dobson said that he saw the unmistakable look of mental retardation in her eyes. About that time the truck came and everybody got in the back of the truck. And this girl stumbled over there and got up in the truck too. And she stood right in the center of that flatbed truck and looked up the mountain and continued to say, "Whomever." She was standing there with her shoulders back, saying, "Whomever." And there was a visible rejection by the other people who were there. They were young and you could tell by the sneer on their faces. They moved back from her.

They looked at her, and then they looked at each other as if to say, "Here is a crazy." James Dobson said that it was then that I realized that the big man standing near her was her father. And he did an unforgettable thing. He took three steps toward her and just engulfed her in his arms and put his big hand on her head and pressed it gently to his chest. He looked down at her, and he said, "Yeah." Dobson said he had to turn his face away from that crowd to hide the moisture in his eyes, because he realized what the father was saying. That father was not talking to his daughter at all. But he was talking to everybody else who was there. That father had seen the same rejection and the same sneers. He was giving everyone a message. He was saying, "Yeah, it's true. You're right. She's retarded. We can't hide that. I know. She won't write the books. She won't sing the songs. She won't accomplish a whole lot. She's already out of school. We did the best we could. But I want to tell you people something. That's my girl. I love her. I'm not ashamed to be identified with her - whomever." The love of that father for that retarded girl flooded out of his soul and permeated that scene. James Dobson said, "From that moment on I was determined to love my children unconditionally." Two weeks later Dobson was on national television and was given four and a half minutes to answer such questions as "How did the family get into the trouble it's in," and "How do we get out of it?" He said he couldn't have answered the questions in four and a half weeks. But he said, "I knew the answer. It had something to do with what that father was feeling toward this girl - this retarded girl. For what that father felt will heal a home. It will solve parent- child relationships. It will even help you cope with the tragedy of mental retardation."

So, fathers, don't let these years get away from you. If your children are at home, don't let them slide through your fingers. On the other end of life there will be no compensation, no houses or lands, no stocks or bonds, all that good stuff. Nothing will make up for the loss of your kids. For those of you here who are achievement-oriented and you have reached your goal, let me tell you that I admire you. You've worked hard and you've gotten there because of self-discipline and determination and self- control and hard work and long hours. But "so what?" Perhaps even infinitely more important, "Now what?" Fathers who delight in the law of the Lord somehow get their priorities right and show their children love so that they will get a clear picture of God's love. Now, we've considered the denials of the spiritual man and the delights of the spiritual man. Let us now consider,

III. The Description of the Spiritual Man

Verse 3 tells us that "he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water." In other words, he is planted on a solid foundation and cannot be shaken. Paul would say that he is "steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord." So many men are like ships on the stormy sea. They're tossed to and fro by every wind and wave. They go to first one church, and then another. They go from one conference to another, from one denomination to another, one ethic to another, one philosophy to another, one doctrine to another. We need men today who will plant their feet       solidly on the Rock who is Jesus Christ, and stand for something. Somebody has said the man who won't stand for something will fall for anything. That is absolutely right.

Did you hear about the man during the Civil War who was sympathetic to both sides? He lived in Maryland, one of the borderline states. He didn't know whether to fight for the south or the north. Finally he decided he would make a compromise. He put on a mixed uniform, wearing the Confederate gray coat and the Union blue trousers. Everything went along fairly well until he became engaged in a hard fought battle. In that battle the lines were fighting at close range and the Federals shot him in the coat, and the Confederates shot him in the trousers. There is a moral to that story. It's best not to compromise. It's best to stand up for something and be counted.

Do you know why so many young people today smoke pot and drink booze and pop pills and speak profanity, go to filthy movies, read trash, spend their weekends in parked cars on deserted roads? Do you know why they do that?

There are not enough men - not enough fathers and parents who live clean, pure, godly lives and will take a stand against the evils of the day.

It was said of Charles Hadden Spurgeon: "The only colors Mr. Spurgeon knew were black and white. In all things he was definite. With Spurgeon you were either up or down, off or on, in our out, for or against, dead or alive."

Men, let's plant our feet firmly on the solid Rock. Let the Lord write His holy word indelibly upon our hearts and stand for cleanliness, godliness, and holiness in our day.

Now, the spiritual man is not only described as one who is solidly planted by the rivers of water, but he is productive. He is planted; he is productive. Look in verse 3 again: "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season...." The spiritual man is productive. He is a fruitful Christian. By him souls are being lifted upward, heavenward, godward. Fruit is the external evidence of internal life. Oranges growing on branches lead one to assume that the branches belong to an orange tree. Apples growing on branches lead one to assume that the branches belong to an apple tree. People rooted in the Spirit of God work in the power of the Spirit, and the fruit shows in their work and in their attitudes. "Love, joy, peace..." begin to pour out all over the place. So, what I am saying is that the spiritual man is planted, and he is productive, and then he is preserved. Do you see what our text says about this man who is planted by the rivers and who is productive? It says, "his leaf also shall not wither." To the best of my knowledge, the only thing Jesus ever cursed was a fig tree that was not producing fruit. I want you to see what happened. Look in Matthew 21:18- 20.(read) The leaves withered. Now, you men have talents, spiritual gifts, opportunities for service, chances to witness. And in all these things, if you don't use them, you lose them.

A preacher went to New York City one time to take a course in a seminary. And on the third Sunday he went to one of those famous churches in the city. He said, "I walked down on Sunday morning to this great church and saw over the entrance, carved in stone, these words, "The Gate of Heaven." Then I saw underneath it a temporary sign, "Closed During July and August." Too often this happens in the lives of individual believers. But it should not happen. We're supposed to be evergreens. Your leaf and my leaf is an outward testimony that we're the children of God. The truth is that the spiritual man doesn't wither. He starts with a fragrant freshness in the spring that doesn't curl up in the heat of the summer and fall in the fall. The spiritual man just keeps on going.

Jesus didn't wither. Even on the cross He didn't wither. He refused the anesthetic offered to Him. He dealt with the needs of his mother and prayed for His enemies. When He was through, He still didn't wither. With a great shout, He dismissed His spirit. Now, perhaps we can't go that far. But we can live a whole lot nearer to it than we do. The spiritual man will not only be preserved, but his gifts will be preserved. His opportunities will not only continue, but they will increase.

Notice the last part in verse 3, "and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." The spiritual man is planted by the rivers of water - he is planted, he is productive, he is preserved, he is prospering. Isn't that great? Many people take this promise as a divine guarantee that if they do things God's way, they will make their fortune. In fact, it is not uncommon to hear some businessmen attribute their wealth to their godliness. This kind of thinking must be treated with care, because the Bible points out that "the love of money is the root of all evil." More money for some people would mean more temptation than they could handle, which would lead to disaster, not prosperity. It is far more beautiful to see that God is promising prosperity of life rather than of bank accounts. He is assuring those who obey Him and honor Him that in their obedience and trust they will find enrichment of life. This will mean far more to their true happiness than any amount of material prosperity.

Now, we have considered the denials, the delights, and the description of the spiritual man. The spiritual man is a man. He is more of a man than any unsaved man, whether that unsaved man is a Hollywood star, a popular recording artist, an astronaut, a baseball hero, or a multi-millionaire. He is a real man.


A teacher asked a class of small boys about ten or eleven years of age this question. Which of the Bible translations do you like the best? One little boy said, "I like the King James Version because that is the kind I got for Christmas." Another little boy said, "I like the Good News For Modern Man because it has cartoons all through it." Another little fellow said, "I like the Living Bible because I can read it easier." The fourth little boy said, "I like my daddy's translation best because he translated it into life and I can see it in him." Dad, be honest. What kind of man are you? Are you God's man for the home? Are you a godly husband and a godly father? Are you truly a spiritual man?

Posted in


Scroll to Top