Exciting phrases, easy acronyms, and memorable lists formed from dense works of systematic theology can be helpful for the everyday Christian. While these reductions of God’s Word and His nature help us understand general frameworks, they are unable to help us understand everything the Bible teaches. It is one thing...
I’ve never met a single person who wants to live a bad life.
That’s because everyone wants to live the good life. We all long to be blessed.
The problem is, people in our world have very different perceptions of what exactly the good life is. Is the good life the wealthy life? Is the good life the famous life? Is the good life the quiet and peaceful life?
What is the good life?
How would you answer that question? Think carefully. How you respond will have massive implications on the entirety of your life. Because whatever you think the answer is, that is what you will live for.
No matter what your response, one thing is certain: God created life, so he should be the one to tell us what the good life is. He does this for us in Psalm 1, where we see that every life fits into one of two categories: the righteous life or the wicked life.
And God makes it absolutely clear that the good life, the blessed life, is the righteous life in Christ.
Here are two observations about the person God blesses:
Observation 1: The person God blesses does not conform to patterns of evil.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers (v. 1).
Here we see specifically that there is counsel that the world gives that does not square with God. The people God blesses do not walk in it. And there is a way, a lifestyle, that this world follows that is sinful and offensive to God. The people God blesses do not stand in it. And there are people in this world who scoff and slander, but the people God blesses do not get involved in it.
The above verse is the Old Testament equivalent of Romans 12:2: “Do not be conformed to the pattern of this world.”
So if you want to be the type of person God blesses, understand that you will at times live in opposition to the world around you. There will wisdom that everyone else seems to ascribe to that you will have to reject. There will be lifestyles that everyone else has said are acceptable that you will have to say are wrong. There will be groups of people that mock God whom you will have to avoid.
As a Christian you will find yourself going against the flow of the world around you, and that’s not always going to be easy. But God says that those who do it are blessed!
Observation 2: The person God blesses is affectionately preoccupied with the Word of God.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night (v. 2).
What is the power that keeps you moving against the flow of the world around you? It’s the law of the Lord! It’s the Word of God. That’s where you find the strength not to conform to the pattern of this world.
The blessing of God flows out of the word of God. The person God blesses has an affection for God’s Word, as well as a preoccupation with God’s Word.
And so, if we want to be blessed, we need to develop affection for God’s word: “Blessed is the man whose delight in the law of the Lord.” Hearing and reading the words of God should not be a chore for us. They should be a delight.
In Psalm 119:103, David says, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Many of you know what this is like. You love your Bibles. You love hearing God speak. The Word of God has been an enormous blessing to you. It is your delight.
But some of you would admit, if you’re honest, that reading the Bible feels more like a chore than a delight. Let me encourage you to pray what David prayed in Psalm 119:18: “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” God will answer that prayer, and you will find increasing delight in his Word.
Also notice that the person God blesses has a preoccupation with the Word of God: “And on his law he meditates day and night.” D.A. Carson writes, “This is much more than having a Bible verse handy or mechanically making sure that you have your ‘devotions.’ It is a love affair with all that God says.”
When you fall in love, that person preoccupies your mind. You can’t stop thinking about him or her. In your daydreams and in your real dreams, that person continually comes to mind.
In the same way, the person God blesses has a growing preoccupation with the Word of God. It’s on your mind, and it’s affecting your life throughout your day. There is great blessing in that!
If You Want to Be the Person God Blesses…
Psalm 1:5-6 says, “Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, not sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” In the end we will all come before the judgment seat of Christ and give an account for our lives. The wicked will not stand, but the Lord knows the righteous, and they will live forever.
You may be wondering, “So how do I become the person God blesses? How do I become righteous?”
That is what Jesus came to accomplish. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16). We all began our lives as wicked rebels against God.
But Jesus, God’s own Son, came to this earth and lived the perfectly righteous life. He never walked in the counsel of the wicked. He never stood in the way of the sinner. He never sat in the seat of the scoffer. He delighted perfectly in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditated day and night.
And yet Jesus, the righteous one, stood in the place of the wicked and died on a cross for our sin. He perished to give us life. And in his resurrection he opened the way for all who call on his name in faith and repentance to be made righteous.
And so today those two ways stand before you. Which is your way?
Will you walk forward in the way of wickedness and ultimately perish? Or will you take the righteous way, clinging to your Savior, delighting in his word, and receiving the blessing of God in Jesus Christ now and forever?