'Blessed is the Man'
When we studied the Beatitudes last year, one word that we saw Jesus use repeatedly in Matthew 5:1-12 was “blessed,” which means happy. And we determined that our happiness — true happiness — is not wrapped up in circumstances. Our happiness shouldn’t be dependent on what’s happening around us because we have little control over our circumstances. We can’t control the weather, traffic, health, sports outcomes. If our happiness is totally dependent on the circumstances around us, we’ll likely be miserable most of the time. Happiness is not about outward circumstances, but inward character.
In Psalm 1:1, “blessed” in the Hebrew also means happy. It means to have a fullness of life. Blessed, or happy, is the man who does the things that God says. And specifically to v. 1, what the blessed man does not do. He does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. He does not stand in the path of sinners. He does not sit in the seat of the scornful. Notice the progression that the writer describes in regards to the nature of sin. Step #1: Walking in the proximity of the ungodly. Step #2: Stopping and standing with the sinners. Step #3: Taking a seat with them. To sit with them suggests you are one of them; to have fellowship. If we’re going to grow, be blessed by God and be what God wants us to be, then the Bible says we need to remove negative influences in our life.
In Psalm 1:2, the psalmist describes for us what the one who is blessed by God is doing. For starters, he’s delighting in the law of the Lord. The blessed take pleasure in the law of the Lord. It’s the source of his joy and true happiness. The child of God doesn’t look at the scriptures as a burden, but as a benefit as we navigate through this life. Additionally, the blessed man “meditates day and night.” To meditate is to have a focused mind (Phil. 4:8). How do the scriptures apply to my life? How does it apply on this day in this very moment? The Godly person finds deep enjoyment in the things of God.
In Psalm 1:6, we’re told we live our life one of two ways — Godly or ungodly. We all have a choice, and there are only two choices. But only one way leads to God (Matt. 7:13-14). Which path are you on? Is God’s Word the influence in your life — shaping your behavior, your attitudes, your actions?