The opening words of the Book of Psalms are: “Blessed is the man…” Who is this prototype of a blessed man? What traits does he possess? And is it possible for each of us to be such a person?
First, there is the negative side. This blessed man does not walk “in the counsel of the ungodly.” There are plenty of people in this world who will give you bad advice on how to live your life. But the only correct way to live is to follow the Creator’s manual, that is, the Bible. Also this blessed man does not stand “in the way of sinners.” He does not follow the bad example of others in their speech, dress, behavior, entertainment, etc. Exodus 23:2 warns, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil.” Proverbs 1:10 offers this advice, “My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.” And further this blessed man does not sit “in the seat of the scornful.” Today’s English Version translates it: “join those who make fun of God.” It’s not uncommon at all in our world for people to ridicule God and religion. Of course, we must never condone such. (Psalm 1:1)
Second, there is the positive side. The blessed man delights in God’s word – “But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (Psalm 1:2) In stark contrast to following the counsel of the ungodly he lets God’s word be his meditation, counselor and guide. And what’s the result. His will be a fruitful, blessed life. Just as surely as “a tree planted by the rivers of water” is fruitful even so the man who plants his life upon the word of God will enjoy a rewarding life. (Psalm 1:3)
A few weeks ago while visiting another congregation, I heard them encourage the entire congregation to read through the New Testament in the upcoming year. I thought that’s a good idea. Of course, if you are in the habit of reading through the entire Bible in a year, reading through the New Testament is not much. However, if you are not a regular Bible reader, than reading through the New Testament in 2016 would be a good start. Try for one chapter a day and even if you miss a few, you’ll make it through in a year.