Reflections on the Word: What does ‘blessed’ mean?
Psalm 1:1-3 “Blessed is the man (person) 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 Psalms start by telling us; the blessed person is the one who does not do some things and does some other things. But what does “blessed” mean? The word blessed in this context could be translated; “O how happy”. But what does this blessed person do or not do?
First, they won’t walk in the counsel of the wicked. They choose their counsel wisely, when someone mocks God, when someone claims wisdom but does not follow God’s word, the blessed person says; “I’m not going to heed that counsel.”
Secondly, they will not stand in the way of sinners. While the bibles says; “all have sinned”, here it speaks of those who blatantly defy God. They say; “what the Bible calls sin is acceptable.” The blessed person won’t stand around listening to their rap or be influenced by their defiance.
Thirdly, the blessed person will not sit in the seat of the scoffers. A scoffer is one who makes fun of God and his word. They say things like; “the Bible is outdated, there is no God, or Jesus never said those things.”
That’s where the Psalm turns and tells us what the blessed person does. They have a love for God’s law, in other words, the Bible is something they read and allow to speak to their heart. The blessed person reveres the word of God and meditates on it all the time. When facing decisions they think of what God’s word has to say about the issue. When facing trials they consider all the Bible says about hardships. When tempted, they look to the word of God and understand that God has equipped them with His Armor to overcome.
Finally, the blessed person is like a tree planted by water. A tree is strong, so the blessed person is strong in the Lord’s power. A tree is enduring, so the blessed person endures through storms, through drought and is steady even in times of prosperity, because their roots go deep. They yield much fruit because they are led by the Holy Spirit, showing themselves to be followers of Jesus.
Our Psalm ends saying, the blessed person prospers in all they do. The word “prosper” means; “to push forward or break out”. They push through whatever life tosses their way, they overcome and make good out of what could have been bad or ugly.
Are you a blessed person? Where are you walking, standing or sitting? It makes a difference because your happiness is based more on a right relationship with God than on chasing after things that are not pleasing to God.
Pastor Rich Lammay of High Sierra Fellowship is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.