Psalm 1:1 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.
The simplest idea behind this word ‘Blessed’ is the notion of ‘happy.’ Everyone wants to be happy, non-believer and believer alike. The primary contrast between those two kinds of people, however, is where each believes happiness is truly to be found. Oh, humanity searches high and low for happiness. Just consider all the ways humanity collectively looks for happiness. We search for it in financial security; we hope to find it in success; we grasp for it in some kind of pleasure; we’re told, and many believe, we can find it within ourselves if we eat right, exercise often, think proper self-congratulating thoughts about ourselves; we explore for it in our kids’ love for us and their success or in our spouse. The point being, there is a myriad of earthy ways we look for happiness. But if we’re honest, in the end none of those things bring about a lasting happiness in the deepest part of who we are. It is why humanity is constantly on the search for it. And if we are satisfied with those earthy things for happiness, then we are far too easily satisfied. Consider something which C.S. Lewis wrote:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
So where can we find true joy? How can we cultivate and flourish in the happiness which we desire? Psalm 1 says, “Blessed is the man who…his delight is in the law of the Lord…” ‘The law of the Lord’ here is referring to the Torah of the Lord; the instruction of the Lord; the teaching of the Lord; the word of God. And the psalmist indicates that the happy man ‘delights’ in it which can literally mean ‘to pleasure in’ or ‘to joy in.’ So, what is it to pleasure in or to joy in the word of the Lord? Well, it is to delight in the Lord Himself since what you are delighting in are the very words which He inspired. Think of it this way: Why do or would you find pleasure in a love letter? Think about it. Certainly, it is not the piece of paper or the card that you delight in nor is it the ink used to create the words; it isn’t really even the expression of the words themselves though they are kind. No, it is the very person who wrote them that you enjoy in your reading since the words are an expression of his or her personhood, their heart and soul. When you open the Scriptures reading them and exploring them in prayerful communication with the One who inspired them, you are not worshiping the Book He inspired but finding joy in the One who wrote the Book. The psalmist teaches that the truly happy person is one who ultimately finds his or her happiness in the One who alone truly satisfies. Saint, think of it. Here happiness is a grand opportunity for you and it is a joy which ultimately will never dissipate. This is loving Him through loving His word which leads to an obedience born from delighting in the Lord Jesus Himself, who is the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1). Draw near to the Lord Jesus by delighting in and contemplating His Word! When we do this, we’ll begin to find and experience a happiness which is unshakeable because the joy is found in the unshakeable Savior, Jesus.