How Blessed Are You?

apple_3149cHow blessed are you? And how do you measure being blessed? Is it a good job, a wonderful family? Are you blessed when you have just received a pink slip, or when your family life is less than idea? Psalm 1 calls you blessed if you, united with your Redeemer, walk in the way of the righteous.

Live in the richness of God’s blessing. Blessing involves avoiding evil. This Psalm sets up a contrast between the righteous man and the wicked one. But the contrast is not just between individuals. Two groups are represented. Ultimately there are two kingdoms doing battle. Don’t loose sight of the corporate character of the Psalms. Sing them as the body of Christ! Shun evil! Note the progression in verse 1: avoid walking in the counsel (advice, plans) of the wicked; don’t stand in the path of the sinners; and avoid sitting in the seat of the mockers. Sitting (as Lot did in the gate of Sodom) involves taking part in their plans and attitudes. Guard your daily life. As God’s people you may not, you must not, be conformed to the sinfulness of the world around him.

Instead, delight in God’s law. God’s gave you his law to rejoice in. We tend to think of the law as a burden., but God views his law as something so good that you delight in it. Look at where cultures end up without God’s law, and you can begin to appreciate it as something that is sweet and good. So, meditate on it. Focus on it. Keep it central in your thoughts at all times. Appreciate that the law is a revelation of God’s own character. It not only points out your sin, but even the law as it existed in David’s day laid out the way of forgiveness: a substitute was sacrificed, propitiating the wrath of God against the sinner.

Enjoy the blessings of God’s redemption. Enjoy your position like a tree beside the river. Notice how this imagery runs through the Scriptures from beginning to end. The theme of the life-giving waters recur in the book, Psalm 46:4; 65:9. Water is life. You, as a son of Adam, or a daughter of Eve, have lost the right to your place by the stream. Yet the Bible concludes with the restoration of that river. How do you get from Genesis 3 to Revelation 22? You can enjoy the streams of water only as you experience the saving grace of God in Jesus Christ. Does everything you do prosper? That prosperity is there only as you fully delight in God’s law, as you meditate upon it continually. Ultimately there is only One who can do that. But in him you can delight in God and in his law. “The rivers of pardon and the rivers of grace, the rivers of the promise and the rivers of communion with Christ, are never-fail­ ing sources of supply.” (Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of David, on Psalm 1:3).

Remember that the wicked perish. The wicked blow away like chaff. God’s covenant contains rich blessings for those who are his people, for those who trust the Redeemer he sent, for those who, in him, are the righteous. The same covenant pronounces his curse, his judgment on covenant breakers. Beware if you rebel against him. Psalms 1 and 2 are and likely belong together. The second picks up where the first leaves off. The Messianic King is active in judgment. Judgment, no less than salvation, is his work.

Rejoice that the Lord watches over you. He truly knows you. “Watches over” conveys something of the idea, but the word the Psalmist uses is “knows.” That is not mere intellectual awareness, but the rich relationship of God knowing you through and through. God is not just aware of your path, of the direction of your daily walk. Rather, he knows it in the sense of planning it out, watching over you, directing you in it. As you experience the redemption the Lord provides, as you rejoice in the salvation he gives, sing his praise. And use the Psalms to praise him!

Choose the way of the Lord. This is not just a choice between morality and immorality. It is a choice between two totally different ways of living. It is a choice between a life of fellowship with God and one of rebellion against him. Two paths (and there are only two, not three) diverge with eternal consequences.

Chose to respond to God’s rich grace in Christ by living in trusting fellowship and obedience to your God. Rejoice, praise him, and live to his glory, because then you are truly blessed.

About jwm

I serve as pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Newberg, Oregon.
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