The Truly Blessed Life Part 2
This article is the second in a three-part series on Psalm 1. In this Psalm, the word of God contrasts the righteous man, who is called “blessed” or “happy,” with the unrighteous, who are called “the wicked,” “sinners,” and “scoffers” (v. 1). In the first article, we focused on verse one. And we concluded that the blessed man, that is, the man who receives God’s grace and believes in God actively and continually, does not take ungodly counsel. He also does not participate in ungodly actions or associate himself with those who scoff at God and ridicule others.
In this article, we will focus on verses two and three. In Psalm 1:1-3 the word of God says:
“1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. 3 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.” ESV
The Psalmist, after telling us what the blessed man actively and continually does not do in verse one, reveals to us what the blessed man actively and continuously does in verse two. The word of the Lord says the blessed man’s “delight is in the law of the LORD and on His law he meditates day and night.” This man’s delight is the law of God, not the counsel or activity of the wicked. God’s word is his joy, his pleasure, his most treasured possession, and his delight. It is the object of his affection.
Therefore, he meditates on it day and night. Now, you may ask, how can any man delight in God’s law? But this question, though seemingly legitimate, betrays both the character and law of God, and it demonstrates our sinful ignorance. The law of God is not like the laws of man. The laws of man are tainted by sin, imperfect, partial, unjust, and in some cases selfish, just like their lawmakers. The laws of man are consistent with man’s character.
But the law of God is Holy, Perfectly Righteous, Loving, and True.
In Psalm 19, the law of the Lord is described as “perfect and sure” (v. 7), “right and pure” (v. 8), “clean and true” (v. 9), “more desirable than gold and sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb” (v. 10). You may ask, "How can this be?" The answer is that God’s law is consistent with God’s character. God’s law reveals Who God is. Therefore, the blessed man delights in the law of God because, in the law of God, he grows in his knowledge of God and his experience with God. This is why he delights in and meditates on it.
In the following verses, delight in and meditation on God’s law is emphasized:
Psalm 112:1 says, “Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in his commandments!”
Psalm 119:92 says, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.”
Psalm 119:97 says, “O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.”
What a joy it is to delight in the law of God and meditate on it!
But what does the Psalmist mean when he says the blessed man meditates on the law of the Lord? In the narrow sense, the law of the Lord refers specifically to the first five books of the Bible. But, more broadly, God’s law refers to all of God’s revealed word. In Colossians 3:16a, God instructs us to “let the word of Christ dwell in us richly.” In its broader sense, the law of God is the word of Christ, the word of God, the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.
Just as the blessed man in Psalm 1 meditated on the first five books of the Bible, we must meditate on all the books of the Bible. And we must do so daily.
To meditate on the word of God is to ponder it deeply. Meditating on God’s word is not an exercise in and of itself, but it is a means of spiritual growth for us, resulting in greater obedience to the Lord and deeper communion with Him. And this was the blessed man’s experience as he pondered upon the word of God day and night and sought to obey it.
In verse three, we read that 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.” This is the blessed man’s reward. Here, the word of God likens the blessed man to a tree. One that is firmly planted (the implication is firmly planted by God), rooted, grounded, steady, and stable.
The tree is planted by or next to streams of water. The streams of water figuratively represent the word of God. And as the river flowed out of Eden to nourish the Garden in Genesis 2:10, so the streams of water, the word of God, nourish this tree, the blessed man.
As a result of the nourishment, the tree flourishes and bears fruit in its season. Its leaf also does not wither, not ever, because it is constantly supplied with sustenance. This tree receives all that it needs, and it thrives. In this verse, we have a guaranteed promise from God that those who delight in and meditate upon His word will always bear fruit; they will never be fruitless even in old age, and they will always prosper (see Psalm 92:12-14).
Anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and receives God’s gracious gift of eternal life in Him is planted by the streams of water. And once that person delights in and meditates upon God’s word, they will bear fruit and flourish. For the Lord Jesus Christ is the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14). And all of Scripture reveals and testifies of Him. No man can be blessed and bear fruit apart from Christ. No man or woman can live a truly blessed life apart from Jesus.
Jesus said when He came to the earth that, “he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” John 15:6b.
The question is, will you abide in Jesus? I hope your answer is yes.