As we begin to look at the Psalms this year, I was struck by the first words of the first Psalm. “How blessed.” God desires to bless us. God blesses people not programs. Yet, we also learn that God’s blessing is is conditional. The psalmist begins by telling us what not to do in order to enjoy God’s blessing. Basically, it boils down to limiting the influence of those not being blessed by God and reducing the impact they have on our lives. The primary influence in our lives should be the Word of God (v.2). The word “meditate” in verse 2 is a key concept. It means to allow one’s mind to become saturated and shaped by God’s Word. The Bible should be always in the “play” position in my life; not on “pause” or in the “off” position. When we welcome the Bible having that much influence on our lives, the psalmist guarantees we will make progress in our spiritual life and be blessed.
By the way, how do we know we are in that blessed condition in our lives? Well, the word “blessed” means happy and content. We know we are in that sweet spot with God when, regardless of our external circumstances, we can lay our head on the pillow at night knowing that we are right with God. There is no greater feeling than that!
The psalmist makes another important distinction of being blessed. Those blessed by God are described as being “planted” in verse 3. This word speaks of a root system that goes down deep. There is stability there. There is a solid foundation there. There is security there and continual refreshment by the “flowing streams.”
“Not so, the wicked!” In verse 4, he begins to describe those not blessed by God and says their lives are like wind-driven chaff. Their lives are anything but stable. They are always being driven by outside forces and influences. The don’t really know what they are looking for. They jump from one thing to another or from one church to another, always latching on to the next big thing. They are “experience oriented” so they are continually seeking the next great experience. They wonder why their lives feels like a roller coaster. They are never happy and never satisfied; their lives are unstable.
The psalmist reminds us at the end of Psalm 1 that these two representative individuals will also experience very different destinies. The choice is ours. Which of these people will represent us? The choices we make, especially at the beginning of a new year, can send our lives on such different trajectories.
If you are not satisfied where your life is heading, ask God to give you the strength and courage you need to make some hard yet necessary choices. Remember God’s desire is to bless your life and God wants to bless your life beginning today.
For His glory,