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.