How can we be happy? Isn’t this the pervading question of the culture. Everyone tries to pursue happiness. I can remember my first Christmas. The beaming sun was just coming up over the horizon. The radiating beams of light penetrated the thick, glassy windows. Ho! ho! ho! He’s here! I jumped out of my bed and ran down stairs; I suspected there was a treasure or something down there. Something good. I remember asking for pokemon cards. To my surprise, there were tons of presents! Rushing in anticipation, I opened every single one of them. Paper scattered everywhere in a hurry. The unveiling of what I had received was finally here. It was……..Monopoly. I had never played monopoly and was frankly pretty bummed out. I mean isn’t monopoly for the older kids? My point is that our happiness can come and fade. Sometimes it’s based on what we receive. Sometimes it’s based on our circumstances. But true happiness is found in the Lord and the word of God.
Psalm 1 is the first book of Psalms; Pslams is divided into 5 “books” although the book of Psalms is considered one book of the Bible. Psalm 1 is important. Chronologically speaking, Psalm 1 was not the first Psalm written; it was intentionally placed there. So we what can we learn about Psalm 1 and the truths presented? It is important! We can learn about happiness, our way of life, and the outcome of our way of life.
Psalm 1 starts with the word blessed. The Hebrew is Ashre meaning joy, contentment, happiness. I believe reading somewhere that the term is doubled. The Psalm starts out Ashre, Ashre. Doubly blessed. So how can we be happy in this life? The Psalm goes on to list three negatives and one verb of commission.
The three negatives
The three negatives outline what the Blessed man should not do. He should not
- Walk in the counsel of the Wicked
- Stand in the way of Sinners
- Sit in the seat of Scoffer
There is a progression of evil here; gradations of evil. Walking is not as bad as standing. Standing is not as bad as sitting with scoffers.
You are a relationship manager
What are the implications from this passage? I believe our closest friends should be those that can help us conform to Christ’s image in deed and thought. People that spur us on to holiness which is essentially pursuing the Person of Christ. Christ in us. We are all busy. I’m not saying that we should avoid the world. We are called to engage the world with the Gospel. And show love to them. But our fellowship with others that are pursuing Christ is our choice. We can only be super close with a limited number of people. And we have to make decisions on who we want to spend a lot of our time with. As steer our ship in the waves of life, we need to make informed decisions on who our friends are. Our relationships are part of communing with Christ along with the Word and prayer. Pursuing the right friends is a blessing and you will be thankful
What does the Blessed man do?
The blessed man delights in the Law of the Lord. And this makes sense. God has a plan for us. He has a plan for you. He has a plan for me. As we read the Word of God, we are expressing our union with Christ by communing with Christ. Fellowshipping with him. Getting direction for his heart, his purposes, and how we should live.
How is the Blessed person described?
The blessed man is described like a tree yielding fruit. They are stable, nourished, prosperous, fruitful. They are productive, spiritually maturing and conforming to Christ. He has Union with Christ. He is communing with Christ. And the fruits of the Spirit are evidently displayed in his life by producing the fruit of the Spirit.
The wicked are described as the opposite of the blessed man. “The wicked are not so.” They are chaff. We can either follow the way of the wicked or the way of the righteous. Follow Christ or not follow Christ.
The Lord knows the way of the righteous. He has saved them. They are going to Heaven. The Lord also knows the way of the wicked. They will perish.
We really can be happy by delighting in the Law of the Lord. The Gospel is the power of salvation to whoever believes accompanied by faith and repentance. It is the happy man that love the Word of God. In fact, it is the mark of a true believer. As we Abide in Christ and follow His Word, we can be happy. Following the way of life God has planned for us, following his purposes for His Glory.