Table of Contents
- The Psalms: blessings
- Blessed (happy) people avoid certain things.
- Strength during the storm
- God wants to bless everyone
The Psalms: blessings
Blessed. Who doesn’t want that? Can anyone be blessed? How are we blessed?
The Psalms are a powerful source of guidance for finding true happiness and learning how to live the Christian life. They are beautifully written. Sometimes they are achingly real.
Psalm one begins much like the Beatitudes found in …… Or maybe we should say the Beatitudes begin like this first Psalm. But who is blessed? It’s the person who does not listen to or walk in the way of the wicked. A blessed person is one who knows God’s word and meditates on it.
The Hebrew word for happiness is “esher” and is translated here as the idea of happiness or contentment. “Esher” is a derivation of the word “ashar” and at its root means “to be right”. So we can translate this as the blessed person is the person who is right with God.
Anyone can be blessed.
You notice it doesn’t mention kings, leaders, prophets or the wealthy or the well-known. Anyone can be blessed if they are right with God. Being right with God is achieved by the way we think and behave, and to whom we belong. These same principles are taught throughout scripture using different examples. Very often, the examples are from nature, seeds, figs, and in this case, a tree.
To be a tree that flourishes means we are planted in the right soil, fed and watered for our growth. A tree, or any plant, will not flourish if planted in the wrong place which is what these beginning verses.
Blessed (happy) people avoid certain things.
Blessed people do not do certain things not necessarily because they are wrong in themselves but where they can lead. For example, having a glass of wine is not wrong, but if it leads you to drink excessively, you are putting yourselves in harm’s way. Blessed is the man who does not, walk in the counsel of the godly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.
The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about avoiding sin, by avoiding people and places that can tempt us to do just that. Certain people and places can have a negative effect on us. That’s what this portion of scripture is teaching us. We are not to stand or sit with scoffers meaning we don’t spend much time with those who don’t believe as we do.
Make good choices to be blessed
This does not suggest we avoid these people but that we remain aware that hanging out with certain people, especially those who ridicule faith (scoffers), can never be good for us.
As much as possible,we need to avoid those people and places that can bring us down.
We need to make intelligent choices about where we go and who we hang around with. Certainly, if you struggle with depression, this is even more important. We can’t be depressed and happy at the same time. For the most part, these choices are ours to make.
There might be times we can’t avoid destructive situations or people. This is where having deep roots like a tree comes into play. We have to know God’s word so we can meditate (think about) on these verses to garner strength during these times.
Strength during the storm
Think of two trees, one with shallow roots and one with deep roots. What happens in a tornado? The one with shallow roots is ripped right out of the ground. The deep-rooted ones, while maybe damaged, eventually stands tall again. We are blessed when our roots are deep.
Sometimes when I write about meditation I think a lot of readers might think it’s something far more lofty and ethereal than it really is. The early followers of Jesus were simple people. I don’t mean they weren’t intelligent but that they weren’t formally educated. So Jesus kept it simple. If Jesus taught meditation, it’s because he knew his followers could do it. So, obviously, you can too
Meditation, in light of Psalm 1:2, can be accomplished by reminding ourselves throughout the day that we are strong like the tree in Psalm one. We might picture a tree in our minds and remind ourselves we are planted deep. Or, we might envision a fruit tree heavily laden with fruit and see ourselves as fruitful which will encourage us.
Meditating, thinking about scripture, leads to personal growth and abundance. The more we read and study God’s word, the more we grow and prosper, the happier we are, and the more we are blessed. Remember, though, we can’t meditate on something we don’t know.
God wants to bless everyone
What does verse six mean? When God knows the righteous, it means he is more intimately connected to his children. Aren’t most parents more connected with their own children than anyone else’s? Let’s be clear though, that doesn’t make us special; it makes us accountable. We are accountable to love those who have yet to become God’s children.
It also doesn’t mean God loves us more because we are blessed. “God so loved the whole world that He gave His only begotten soon , that whosoever, believes in Him, won’t perish, but will have everlasting life.” John 3:16. God’s love extends to everyone.
This is such a great Psalm to memorize. It’s short, sweet and easily pictured in our minds, Why not give it a try?
God bless and have a great day.