Psalm 1

There is a comment that has grown in popularity in recent years, and it always makes me smile when I hear it. Instead of the standard “Have a nice day,” many people say, “Have a blessed day.” I’m not always sure exactly what is meant by that, but I know that “blessed” is exactly what I desire to be every moment of every day. And I know that the giver of blessings is God. And I know that God’s Word tells me how to live a blessed life.

The book of Psalms begins with the word “blessed,” which translates the Hebrew esher, meaning “truly happy.” The psalmist (the God-inspired human author of a psalm) paints a picture of the blessed person in verse 3. To be blessed is to live a life of stability, like a tree on a riverbank. It has deep roots, it has all it needs to flourish, it is productive, and it is vibrant and healthy in every way. Additionally, to be blessed is to succeed in every endeavor. What a way to live!

But the blessed life does not happen by accident. it comes as a result of decisions: what a person determines to pursue and what a person determines to avoid.

Verse 1 says that the blessed person avoids the influence of people and attitudes that reject God’s way and promote sin and selfishness. The blessed life is incompatible with the counsel of wicked people, the conduct of sinners, and the companionship of scoffers (“scornful” people who arrogantly mock what is good and right).

Verse 2 says that the blessed person loves to seek the Lord and always considers how to align his or her life with God’s Word. (You, my reader, have made that choice today…God will bless your efforts in meditating on His Word!)

The alternative to the tree-like stability of the blessed life is the tumbleweed insecurity of the wicked, those who disregard God and His Word and follow their own cravings and lusts. That kind of person “will not stand” (v.5) and will not last (v.6).

The choice is clear and the way is well-marked. You can live the blessed life if you choose to live by God’s guidelines and for God’s glory. And by the way, “blessed” doesn’t mean “perfect” or “hassle-free.” Even the great, tall trees on the riverbank have to endure storms and woodpeckers, floods and droughts, and seasons of cold and dormancy. So hang in there. Put your roots deep down in God’s Word and trust His promise.

Have a blessed day!