1 Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the
counsel of the ungodly,
or stand in the path of sinners,
or sit in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is
in the law of the LORD,
and in his law he meditates
day and night.
3 And he will be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water,
that brings forth its fruit in its season
and whose leaf does not wither.
And whatever he does will prosper.
1:1 The word “blessed” is the translation of a Hebrew word meaning happy or fortunate. For a fuller idea of the meaning of the word in the Psalms see 2:12; 32:1-2; 40:4; 41:1-2; 65:4; 84:4-5; 94:12; 106:3; 119:1-2; 128:1. For other references and notes on God’s blessing or on “blessed” see Gen 12:2-3; Num 6:22-27; Deut 28:3-14; Jer 17:7; Matt 5:3-12; Luke 11:28; Acts 3:26; Gal 3:9, 14; Eph 1:3. God is love (1 John 4:8), and loves to bless men. But the fullness of God’s blessing comes only on a certain kind of person, as described in the words which follow.
This opening verse contains a brief description of what this fallen world is like. On every hand are those who will give evil advice and instruction contrary to the Word of God, men who reject God’s way and abandon themselves to sin, and those who scorn the truth of God. The blessed person will not listen to them or have fellowship with them. Notice a progression of wickedness in this verse – counsel, way, seat – walking, standing, sitting. Following bad advice brings a person into sinful ways, and eventually into scorn for the things of God. (The New Testament sh byows believers where they “sit” and how they are to “stand” and “walk” – Eph 2:6; 6:11, 14; Col 2:6.)
1:2 This verse shows the connection between true blessedness and a love of the truth God has revealed. The blessed person will not merely avoid wrong words and wrong ways. He will be occupied with something else altogether, as the two strong words “delight” and “meditate” reveal. To delight in God’s law is to delight in God and in God’s ways and will that are revealed in it. This will bring joy to the heart as nothing else can. Compare 37:4. For an example of a man delighting in the law of the Lord see Psalm 119.
The Hebrew word translated here “law” could be translated “instruction” or “teaching”, and here means all the revelation God had given up to that time. To us now it would mean the whole Bible. Men can find true blessedness only through the truth of God, and they will learn far more of it in the Bible than in all the writings of wise men, religious teachers, and philosophers put together. And they will experience this blessedness in the measure that they delight in God’s Word, and meditate on it, and obey it.
Notice the words “day and night”. This means to be always occupied with God’s revealed truth, to have it filling our hearts and minds even as we go about the ordinary activities of life. Compare John 15:7; Col 3:16. If we delight in it we will not find this at all impossible.
1:3 Here are the results of delighting in and meditating on God’s instructions – spiritual provision, unceasing fruitfulness, and success. The righteous are trees planted by God – Isa 60:21; 61:3; Jer 17:8; Matt 15:13. They are planted by “streams of water”. In the Bible water is sometimes used as a symbol of God’s Spirit, and God is said to be the “spring of living water” (Jer 2:13; 17:13). Just as water is essential for the life of trees, so God’s Spirit is essential for the life and fruitfulness of God’s people. The believer who delights in God’s truth and meditates on it continually, will find that he is by the source of all blessing, that God’s Spirit is around him and in him. Compare John 7:37-39.
GOD BLESS YOU.