T H E K I N G ’ S B U S I N E S S
I NT E RNAT I ONA L L ESSON Commentary Outline and Exposition Blackboard Lesson Children s Division Object Lesson Golden Text Illustration By B. B. S u ' tcliffe By G retchen S ibley By G race W . K ellogg By E lmer L. W ilder By A lan S. P earce Points and Problems B y A lva J. M c C lain , President of Grace Theological Seminary, Winona Lake, Ind.
AUGUST 4 1940 THE TWO WAYS P salm 1; M atthew 7 :24-27
The closing verses of the Psalm (vs. 4-6) present a striking contrast between the blessed man and the wicked man. n . T he W ay of the W ise (M att . 7:24-27) The man who is truly wise is the one who hears and responds with action— he does something (vs. 24, 25). Hearing by itself is purposeless, and doing by itself will lead to disaster. But the two activities together win result in stabil ity of life, permanency of the build ing, and satisfaction for the builder. In contrast to the wise are those who are hearers but not doers (vs. 26, 27). They hear« aright, but refuse to act, that is, in reality they manifest rebellion against the authority of the Lord. They choose to make their own laws and fol low their own devices. It were better for them never to hear because, apart from the doing, the hearing works in calculable harm (cf. 2 Pet. 2 : 21 * 1 . Each person is in one or the other of the two classes. He is either wise or foolish. There is no neutral ground, no ’middle path. It is true that other classifications may be suggested, but those who suggest them consider only the outward appearance, not the inner heart of the matter. As viewed by what man sees, a life may compare favora bly with the best on earth, and yet that life may be built on shifting sand. It is in times of stress and sudden crises that true stability, or lack of it, is dis covered. When the storm comes, it is not the superstructure that is important, but the unseen foundation. For the building of a wise life, there is only one foundation that will stand through every storm of the future, that is, Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 3:11). The downward course of the man without God is set forth yividly in Psalm 1:1 in three series of terms, each series made up of three words, and each series indicating a descent. First, there are three verbs which tell how the man acts: “walketh . . . standeth . . . sit teth.” He begins by walking with sin ners, then takes his stand with them, and finally sits down with them. Sec ond, there are three words which tell us where the man lands himself by thus acting: “counsel . . . way . . . seat.” Here we find the man starting by merely listening to the counsel of Points and Problems 1.
Psa. 10:4; Jer. 10:23). Furthermore, the blessed man does not “stand in the way of sinners.” Finally, the blessed man does not sit in the seat of the scorn ful. The scornful are those who open ly oppose God’s way, even after it is known to them. They become like Pharoah when he asked, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” (Ex. 5:2). Speaking positively, the blessed man is the one who goes on to positive liv ing. That is, he delights in the law of the Lord, and in that law he meditates day and night. Because the law of the Lord contains God’s will, the blessed man delights in that will, and in doing so he becomes like the Lord Jesus Him self in this respect (cf. John 4:34; 1 John 5:3; Psa. 40:8; Psa. 19:10). The way of these blessed ones leads to blessed results (vs. 3-6). First, they are like trees, living and growing, with life in themselves, having something within rather than something put on. The distinction between the real Chris tian and the one who merely professes to be religious is this element of inner life. Second, the blessed ones are plant ed; they are not wild, grown from na ture. They are God’s planting, as trees of righteousness, in this dispensation rooted and build up in Christ Jesus (cf. John 1:12, 13; Isa. 61:3; Col. 2:7). Third, they are planted by rivers of water; having abundance of moisture, they are unafraid in times of drought (cf. Jer. 17:8). Fourth, they bring forth fruit in season; they are not filled with anx iety about the fruit, because they com mit that matter to the Lord (cf. Psa. 37:5). Fifth, their leaf does not wither, that is, their testimony is continuously fresh. It is always the season for testi mony with the blessed man (cf. 2 Tim. 4:1, 2). And lastly, the blessed man prospers in all he does (v. 3, R.V., marg.). BLACKBOARD LESSON
P salm 1:1 B lessed Is th e m an th at w alk eth not In the counsel o f the u n go d ly , nor standeth in the w a y o f sin ners, n or sitteth in th e seat o f the scorn fu l. 2 B ut his deligh t is in th e law o f the Lord} and in his law doth he m editate day and n igh t. 3 A n d he sh a ll be lik e a tree planted by the rivers o f w ater, th at bringeth fo rth his fru it in his seaso n ; his lea f also sh all not w ith er; and w h atsoever he doeth sh a ll prosper. 4 T h e u n god ly are not sot but are lik e the ch a ff w hich the w ind driveth aw ay. 5 T h erefore the u n god ly sh a ll not stand in the ju d gm en t, nor sinners in the con gregation o f the righteous. 6 F o r the Lord kn ow eth the w ay o f the rig h teo u s: but the w ay o f the u n g o d ly sh a ll perish. w hosoever heareth these sayin g s o f m ine, and doeth th em , I w ill lik en him unto a w ise m an, w h ich bu ilt his house upon a rock ; 25 A n d the rain descended, and the flood s cam e, and the w inds blew , and beat upon th at h ou se; and it fe ll n o t; fo r it w a s foun ded upon a rock. 26 A n d every one th a t heareth these sa y in g s o f m ine, and doeth them n ot, shall be lik ened unto a foolish m an, w hich built his house upon the san d : 27 A n d th e rain descended, and the flood s cam e, and the w inds blew , and beat upon th at h o u se; and it fe ll; and g re a t w a s the fa ll o f it. G O L D E N T E X T : “ F o r th e Lord k n o w - eth the w ay o f the righ teo u s;, but the w a y o f th ev u n god ly sh a ll perish” (Psa. 1 : 6 ). D E V O T IO N A L R E A D IN G : P rov. 2 :1 -7 . M atth ew 7 :24 T h erefore Outline and Exposition ' I. T he W ay of the B lessed (P sa . 1) B OTH THE negative and the posi in the Revised Version is “happy,” Speaking negatively, the blessed man is one who doss not walk in the coun sel of the ungodly. The ungodly are those who leave God out of their calcu lations. They do. what is right in their own eyes, hence they actually do what' is wrong in God’s sight (cf. Rom. 3:18; [ These lessons are developed from outlines prepared by the Committee on Improved Uniform Lessons of the In ternational Council. The outlines are copyrighted by the International Coun cil of Religious Education and used by permission. Scripture portions quoted are from the King James Version un less otherwise stated .]
tive aspects of -the life of the “blessed” man are given (vs. 1, 2). The marginal reading of “blessed”
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