The Life of Blessing
In Psalm 1, the Blessed Man is pictured as a tree by water. Why is this tree healthy and able to bear fruit? It has access to the water. The Word of God is the living water for our soul.
Blessed is the person who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the Law of the LORD,
And on His Law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree planted by [b]streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season,
And its [c]leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind blows away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD [e]knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.
What does it mean to be blessed? In Psalm 1, this tree is strong and can endure any storm because it is connected to the streams of water. The strength of the tree is totally dependent on the water source. It’s constantly being nourished with life-giving water.
The word blessed is a plural word – this is not a one-time blessing. This is the blessing of salvation and an eternal inheritance. However, sometimes we lose out on our blessings when we walk in sin or when we don’t’ saturate our souls daily in the word. My heart for you is that you would walk daily in the Word to experience the blessings of the Father.
The word, ‘blessed’ is used 27 times in the Old Testament. Let’s look at how it’s used – it means to be full of joy and full of happiness. This is an internal state of being. God blesses us with external possessions like houses, clothing, and food. This blessing, however, is an internal thing. We are promised a plurality of these blessings.
A more accurate translation is “happinesses”. It’s a plurality of happiness. We have, for instance, the joy of being saved. We have the happiness of being able to celebrate our salvation daily. We have the happiness of the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of us. We have the happiness to be able to go into the Holy of Holies and speak to the King of King and Lord of Lords. We get access to God because of the work of Jesus on the cross. We have the “happinesses” of the Holy Spirit conforming us into the image of the Son. We have the happiness that God would choose us to draw people that we know and we love, out of darkness into light.
We’ve got the happiness that when we fail, we’re not left in our failure, but Jesus, as the High Priest, stands before God Almighty making intercession on our behalf. Even in the ages to come, there are an infinite number of blessings we’ll receive.
If you’ve never experienced the happiness of the Holy Spirit daily, speaking to you and speaking through you and bearing fruit in you, my heart hurts for you. When you saturate your soul in the Word, the Holy Spirit will speak to your heart daily. That’s the hope we can experience as God’s blessed people.
On the other hand, those who are unbelievers are like the chaff. The chaff is the part of the wheat that is easily separated and is blown away by the wind onto the threshing floor. The wheat is then either thrown out, trampled underfoot, or burned in the fire. That is the picture of what God will do with the wicked.
The wicked try to convince you that sin is pleasurable, but this kind of fleeting joy and fake promises will ultimately lead to your ruin and your misery. In Psalm 1, we can recognize a progression of sin in our lives.
When it says, “walk in the counsel of the wicked,” it means to have a casual relationship with sin. When it says, “stand in the way of the sinner”, this is the idea of taking allegiance and alliance with people who have sinful thoughts and sinful actions. And then finally, there’s the picture of sitting and reclining on a couch with those who are opposed to the will of God. This seems to be the progression of walking away from God and conforming to the world.
Paul warns us against this in Romans 12:2:
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
How do we renew our minds? By daily, getting in the word of God. It’s simple. God daily renews us so that we might discern what is His good and perfect will.
So first, the righteous will not walk in the counsel of the ungodly. The CSB translation says, “The blessed man does not follow the counsel of the wicked”.
While there’s no shortage of advice in the world, we must discern what is ungodly counsel. There’s just a flurry of information and much of it claims to be Christian. We are called to take every thought captive. Discernment is wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge applied.
It’s learning about God in the Word and then applying that knowledge to the things around you. We discern the counsel of the ungodly based on whether or not it stands up against the straight edge of Scripture. So, you must know the scripture. You must digest the scripture and sit with Him long enough, praying that the Holy Spirit would illuminate your eyes and lead you into understanding.
You also must be aware of your own thoughts. Jeremiah tells us that the heart is deceitful and wicked. We paint narratives full of fear and anxiety and depression. We paint the world in a way that’s totally not true. We must take every thought captive and put it in submission to the Holy Spirit and submission to the Word.
The ways of the world are not the ways of God, and they will lead to destruction. And when we align ourselves with the world, trying to posture ourselves as if we’re showing love by not saying anything, we’re leading them down the road of destruction.
We are called to be a voice crying out in a wilderness. Walking in the way of peace and not taking allegiance with the world will bring persecution but it also brings blessings. The righteous person meditates on the law, which shapes your thoughts, your life, how you spend your time and where your heart dwells.
If we were to say how we think a person would be blessed, most likely it would look like some sort of like Christian productivity, but this blessing comes from the one who meditates on the Bible. The Bible is available by God’s grace. By saturating your soul in the Word, His Holy Spirit will transform you into the image of the Son.
The Blessed Man is pictured as a tree by the water. Why is this tree healthy and able to bear fruit? It has access to the water. The Word of God is the living water for our soul. Our souls can be saturated by the word and delight in the word and thoughts of God. That soul will experience the manifest presence of the Holy Spirit in their life.