True Blessedness in a #Blessed WorldFebruary 8, 2023 God's Word
In a world that pastes “#blessed” all over shirts and coffee mugs, how are we to really think about blessedness? Where and who does blessing come from? What does it really mean to be blessed? Should we strive for blessing, and if so, how do we do that?
Let’s take a look at Psalm 1…
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. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
This Psalm is strategically placed at the front of the Psalter, and for good reason. Psalm 1 is frequently called the “gateway Psalm” because it introduces themes that are carried out throughout the rest of the Psalter, such as blessing, wisdom, and the Law of the Lord.
Psalm 1 begins with the words “blessed is the man…” (v. 1), which should catch our attention. We all want to be blessed, right? But what does it really mean? The word for “blessed” in the original language (Hebrew) is constantly used throughout Scripture with the meaning of “being happy” or “happiness.” Thus, we could rephrase Psalm 1:1 to say, “How happy is the man…”.
So where does this blessing and happiness come from? The Psalm goes on to describe the type of man who is called blessed: “who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers,” but it does not stop there. It’s not just a list of things not to do, but a list of what to do. The man who is happy “delights in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night” (v. 2). This list in verse 2 is what the man does in order to keep from doing what is listed in verse 1. He delights in the Word of God and meditates on it day and night. To meditate means to “moan, growl, utter, speak, muse.” Seems like a strange meaning, right? In the context of the Word of God, to meditate means to constantly be speaking it, whether that is out loud or in your head. Meditating day and night means the words are always on your tongue, from sunrise to sunset. It might not mean that you are literally speaking it at every moment, but that the Scriptures are what guide you in your day and as you think about your circumstances.
This is where the blessed man receives his blessing from - his delight and meditation on the Word of God. Joshua 1:7-8 also lays this out when it says,
Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success (c.f., Deut. 28:1-2; 30:16)
Blessing comes from meditating on Scripture, and not only that but Joshua says that following the law of the Lord leads to good success. So not only should we meditate on the Word of God, but we should meditate on it in order to know it and follow it. Meditating and following the law leads to good success because it produces wisdom in us. We will become steadfast, unmovable, and rooted. Let’s continue on to see what the verse 3 has to say:
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
The man who meditates on and delights in the law of the Lord is not only blessed or happy, but is also firmly rooted. He is like a fruit-bearing tree planted by streams. He is able to produce fruit and be successful because his blessing and happiness come from an underlying source (“streams of water”), not from himself. His source is the Word of God. Thus, in whatever he does, he prospers - just like Joshua told us he would!
May this drive us to read and study the Word of God more. May it challenge us to memorize more Scripture. May it move us to talk about the Lord and His Word more in our day to day conversations. Find joy and happiness in the Lord and what He has said in His Word for you rather than what the world promotes as providing joy and happiness. Delight yourself by thanking God for the blessing of parenting (Ps. 127:3), amid the many struggles that tend to lead your heart towards complaint (Phil. 2:14). Delight yourself by viewing your body the way God does (made in His image and good [Gen. 1:27, 31]), amid the temptation of trying to become what the world defines a “perfect body” as (Rom. 12:2). Meditate on and internalize God’s words rather than the words of the evil one, who is the father of lies, or the world, who does not understand the blessing of the Lord’s words.
Let us become women who delight in and meditate on the Word of God so that we may come to know the Lord more and become more like Him - having wisdom and happiness beyond what the world has to offer. May the world see us and see that we are indeed “blessed,” but in a much greater regard than what the world might define blessing as. May we be firmly planted in the Word of God so that when the wind comes, we are not blown away (Psalm 1:4; c.f., Job 21:18) but instead are bearing fruit of wisdom and prospering in our ways. Blessing comes from delighting in the Words of the Lord because He alone is where delight is found. May you be blessed all the days of your life.