THOUGHTS FROM THE PSALMS

BLESSED IS THE MAN ...

The book of Psalms begins with the phrase 'Blessed is the man who ...'.

This phrase, in its essence, is repeated about twenty-one times in the Psalms. When we study these descriptions of the person who is 'blessed' we find that:

The people God considers blessed have a right relationship to God's word:

      • They delight in God's word [Psalm 1:2].
      • They meditate on God's word day and night [1:2]
      • They find great delight in his commands [112:1] 
      • They are taught [disciplined by God] from God's word [94:12]
      • They live according to God's law [119:1,2]
      • This commitment to the word of God is in contrast to the choices, attitudes and actions of the godless [1:1]

The people God considers blessed have a positive relationship with God:

      • They take refuge in him [2:12; 34:8]
      • They acknowledge the Lord as their God [33:12]
      • They make the Lord their trust [40:4; 84:12]
      • This trust in the Lord is the opposite of trusting in 'the proud' who turn to 'false gods' [40:4]
      • They dwell in God's house, praising God [84:4]
      • Their strength is in God [84:5; 89:17]
      • They are on a pilgrimage [84:5-7] the goal of which is God himself.
      • They fear the Lord [112:1; 128:1,4]
      • They seek the Lord with all their heart [119:2]

The people God considers blessed have been chosen by him:

      • For his inheritance [33:12]
      • To live in his courts [65:4]
      • To be filled with the good things of his holy temple [65:4]

The people God considers blessed are people whom he has forgiven:

      • their transgressions are forgiven [32:1]
      • their sins are covered [32:1]
      • their sin is not counted against them [32:2]

The people God considers blessed express their faith in action:

      • They do not follow the advice of the wicked [1:1]
      • They do not imitate the lifestyle of sinners [1:1]
      • They do not identify with the mockers [1:1]
      • They are not two-faced [32:2]
      • They are compassionate to the weak [41:1]
      • They have learned to acclaim the Lord [89:15]
      • They walk in the light of the Lord's presence [89:15]
      • They rejoice in God's name continually [89:16]
      • They exult in God's righteousness [89:16]
      • They maintain justice [106:3]
      • They constantly do what is right [106:3]
      • Their ways are blameless [119:1]
      • They walk in his ways [128:1]

It is, for the most part, this real and rational relationship with the living God that is, in itself, the blessing.