salms 1 is a foundational passage of Scripture for anyone who follows the man who hung between two criminals. Known for its poetic proclamation of the blessed life, it’s constant reassurance for those who turn to God’s Word in times of need satisfies every thirsty spirit.
Today, our aim is to walk through the meaning of this profound passage of scripture in the book of Psalms verse by verse, offering contextual framework that provides connecting points to the Holy Spirit. Our goal is for you to turn this blog post into a personal prayer between you and our Heavenly Father. As you pray through the meaning of this Psalms, know that God will bless your life through your partnership with his Word.
The Blessed Walk
“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..” (Psalms 1:1)
The Psalmist proclaims that the person who walks according to God’s Way is on a path of blessing. Today, if you are on the road of life with God, know that your path is heading towards blessing. Navigating life is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. God’s Word promises that if you are on the path with him, your life is heading towards blessing.
The word “blessed” in the Old Testament comes from the Hebrew word אֶשֶׁר, which transliterated becomes the word “esher”. Esher means happy. Did you know that happiness is a by-product of one’s relationship with the Lord? Happiness is a promise that God has for his children that follow Him with their whole heart. He wants you to be a happy man or woman.
The verse doesn’t stop there. Instead, it dives deeper into the path of happiness revealing the next steps for the blessed life. The one who walks in happiness does not walk in wickedness. Meaning, they do not have one foot on the path of God and one foot on the path of wickedness. On the contrary, they have two feet on the path of blessings and are fully committed to walking with God. Their “way” is God’s way.
The path of happiness is deeply connected to walking with God. In fact, the word for happiness, “esher”, is rooted in another word. The word is “ashar”. This word literally means “to go straight, go on, advance”. What God’s Word is telling us is very clear. The path of happiness belongs to God and God only. It is reserved for those who advance through life fully committed to walking the journey with God.
Delighting In God’s Word
“but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalms 1:2)
The path of blessing is reserved for those who are fully committed to the path of God. On point, the psalmist reveals the tangible steps one must take in order to say on the path. That step is a relationship with God’s Law/Word. A relationship with God’s Word means a life that is on track to blessing.
Meditating on Scripture is the foundational piece for living a blessed life. Notice, the writer declares that the meditation is a daily practice, not just a one time experience. Another example of this type of blessing is found in the book of Joshua, where God declares to Joshua, “Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:7) God reveals the same truth as Psalms 1. The blessed life is reserved for righteous man or woman who meditate on His Word. God gave Joshua a promise, “you will have good success wherever you go.” This success is what marks believers who have found the joy of abiding in God’s Word on their journey of life.
Connected To The Source
“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.” (Psalms 1:3)
The path of blessing is one that is found by meditating on God’s Word. In order to understand the measure of the blessing, the psalmist provides an illustration from nature. He compares the person who meditates on God’s Word as a tree that cannot be shaken. In fact, it’s leaf never fades or dies no matter the season. To go deeper, because the tree is connected to the correct source, its fruit is yielded at the right time during the right season.
This is prophetic language for those who walk with God. Scripture promises that if you stay connected to God through His Word when difficult seasons comes your way, your resources will not fade but instead yield good fruit. In fact, your fruit will yield at exactly the right timing. This statement resembles another passage of Scripture in the New Testament found in Romans 8:28, which states, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
When you abide in God’s Word, all things will work together for your good. Even when difficult seasons come your way, your fruit will remain untouched. Actually, the trails that come your way will allow your fruit to be yielded, increase your life in prosperity.
“The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous..” (Psalms 1:4-5)
Staying consistent with the theme of the passage of Scripture, the psalmist again compares the path of the blessed person against the way of the wicked. He declares that those who do not walk with God experience blessing, but only temporarily. In fact, the blessing they enjoy only lasts for a season, compared to the everlasting season of blessing reserved for those who are connected to God’s Word.
If you have ever lived outside of God’s Word, then you can testify that this is true. Worldly happiness is temporal. Because it is found outside of God’s Word, it can only last for so long. God’s Word, on the other hand, is connected to unlimited resources. This supply of resources is made available to every believer who walks with God.
The Path of Blessing
“..for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” (Psalms 1:6)
The psalmist ends this passage by drawing a distinct line between those who are connected to God’s Word and those who are not. Because God has never sinned and is completely good and holy, His path is full of blessings. By contrast, the path that is outside of the law of the Lord is not a path that He “knows”, meaning, he never created it. God never created disease. God never created poverty. God never created loneliness. Man did by going outside of God’s Word (see Genesis 3).
Those who walk outside of a relationship with God are not connected to His blessing because God never created a path outside of it. Those who are connected to a blessed life are those who are connected to His Word. Those who are connected to His Word are connected to unlimited resources.
God intends for every person on the planted to walk in a blessed life. For this reason, he sent His Son Jesus Christ as a sacrifice for all mankind (see John 3:16). A life without a blessing is not what God wants for you, that’s why he never created. He has a purpose and a plan for you to reach that blessing. Psalms 1 is the path for you to reach the blessing.