Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1:1–6)
I thought we might spend three or four days in the first Psalm, which might be seen as serving as an introduction to the whole Psalter. It’s not long, but the themes it deals with are worked out as you go on through the rest of the Psalms.
Before we go through the psalm in the days to come, it’s just worth pausing on that first word: blessed. Like the Sermon on the Mount, being blessed lies at the beginning of this great book of praise. To be blessed is the fulfilment of the Christians faith, and is the great desire God has for his people. Some caricature Christianity as a great list of rules, as an oppressive, joy-killing religion.
Not so! Yes, there are commands of God but their aim is bring blessing and a deepness of joy. They are there to enable the individual to grow in an ever-deepening relationship with God. They are the signposts on the road to glory, guides to lead us safely home. The aim is blessedness, not joyless obedience. In the end true, enduring joy and fulfilment is only to be found in the one who created you in the first place.
So as we go on to continue through this psalm during the remainder of this week keep that word in mind: blessed. That is the goal of all this, that is what God desires to give you. Blessed - what a happy word that is!