How many of you wear glasses or contacts? Why do you wear them? It is because something is lacking in your vision and the glasses, with the lenses in them, corrects the problem. Without those glasses you see blobs. You don’t see rightly.
We have worked our way through Psalm 1. I realize that it has taken us until April to get through 6 verses. I guess you could say, it is about time we made through the whole Psalm. I like to think of it more like making haste slowly.
What I would like to do with the few chapels that we have remaining is to step back and review the big ideas from Psalm 1. I would like us to hold Psalm 1 up and put it on like a pair of glasses to look at the world through its lens. To correctly see the world around us. Let’s look through the lens of Psalm 1 and let’s see how it views the culture that we live in today. For each chapel coming up, I will give one or two statements that summarize truth from Psalm 1. Today is statement #1. Here it is:
You and I live in a world of right and wrong, good and bad, true and false.
We do not live in a world of relativism. I know that’s a big fancy word so here is what I mean. Relativism is an idea that what I believe to be true for me and what you believe to be true for you can both be true, even if those ideas do not agree. It is an idea that nothing is for sure. Nothing is absolutely true. It just depends on what you think is right. It’s relative. For example, if I decide to cross the street anywhere I want, and you decide to cross the street only at the crosswalk, it is fine, we both are OK. No one got ran over. You are right and so am I. It is relative to each person. How about this example? When a teacher asks for quiet, most people are quiet but some whisper, both are basically doing the right thing. Right? Or saying you have read a book when you have read most of the book, or glancing at someone else’s paper on a test but answering most of the questions on your own, or not saying the bad word, but only thinking it in your head or mouthing it without any sound, or looking at something inappropriate on a device but just real quick, and on and on.
We see the world around us telling us that there is no absolute truth, no real right, and wrong. You can decide. If a lot of people are doing it, it is fine. The teacher steps out of the room and tells everyone to be quiet, what sometimes happens? A few people start talking and then more and more people join in. If someone else is doing it then it must be Ok. Right? It is relative.
Psalm 1 annihilates relativism.
You would only have to read Psalm 1 to know that the idea that nothing is absolutely true and it just depends on what you think is right, is absolutely wrong. Here is why.
First, Psalm 1 tells us there is a God. We all have come to a Christian school because we all believe that right? So that is really not that big of a deal, right? Psalm 1 tells us, not so fast. There is a difference between knowing that there is a God and actually believing that there is a God. One is knowing the facts in your head and the other is having it in your heart. If this was no big deal then why do the first two commandments talk about it? No other gods but God, commandment 1 and don’t have idols, commandment 2. Those commandments tell us don’t replace God with anything else. God knows our heart and how we so much want to be like God. Wasn’t that the temptation of Adam and Eve? The sneaky snake said, eat this and you will be like God. We all must admit, we are all tempted in that same way. We all want to be kings and queens of our lives. We want the control to say, or think or do whatever we want and have it be totally fine. No problems. Guess what that is? Relativism. Truth depends on me and how I want things to be. So relativism isn’t just out there in Hollywood or in news reports or the world outside of these walls. No, it is a very real struggle that you and I face every day. Here is the point,
there is a God and it’s not you.
Second, Psalm 1 tells us that God is the one who created everything. There is a mom that comes to school every Thursday to the kitchen and makes goodies for a program called Fed by Bread. That’s why it smells so good on Thursday. She is the creator of that bread. She takes the ingredients in just the right amounts and follows precise steps so that she gets delicious bread. It would not be that way if she grabbed a bunch of flour and threw in sugar and oil and water and dumped in yeast mixed it up and threw it in the oven. Same ingredients but very different results. The one who creates it defines how it is made and what it can and cannot do. The bread can’t stand up and say, “hey, I wanted to be a steak”. God created us which means he has defined how we are to live and when we follow His design, we can enjoy life. If we try to be something we are not, for example, try to be God, its like bread trying to be steak, it is absurd and a complete waste. We are to obey our creator and follow Him as He has told us how to live.
Third, since God created everything, it means He decides what is truth. In fact, He is the truth. As much as we want truth to depend on us, it cannot because we are not the creator. God tells us what is true. What is right. What is wrong. It does not depend on what people think. Or how popular it is. There is a right way to use the mind God gave you and a wrong way, right way to respond to a parent and a disobedient way, a right way to use your time and a wasteful way, a good use your energy and a bad use, a right way to use your money and a wrong way.
When I talk back to my parents, roll my eyes at my teacher, gossip about a classmate, that is wrong. Even if it makes me feel good. Or no one sees me do it. Or others think its funny. None of that matters. What is wrong and what is right is defined by God. Not you. Not me. Again, we must all be honest and realize that we don’t like that. We want right and wrong to depend on what we think. How others react. If we get caught or not.
Relativism is everywhere. The idea that there is no absolute truth is everywhere. Including your heart and mine. Let us not forget truth #1 of Psalm 1, You and I live in a world of right and wrong, good and bad, true and false. We must see the world around us and our hearts through the lens of Psalm 1. Otherwise, we see distortions and can believe them to be the real thing. In order to know the truth, we must be lead by our great guide who gives us the Bible to be a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.