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.
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4 The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
Love Letters from God
Reading the Psalms is like reading a love letter and getting a glimpse of God’s grace, which fills the heavens and the earth. Each psalm is a letter of love from God to his universe. Psalms 1 through 41 comprise the first book of the Psalms, and both Psalm 1 and Psalm 41 begin with the Hebrew word for “blessed.” [Altogether, the Book of Psalms contains 150 chapters and is divided into five books.] Psalm 1 is trying to say to us, “Beloved little ones, would you like to know how you can live a truly blessed life?”
Let us look at these precious words.
Verse 1: What not to do if you want to live as a blessed person
Verse 2: The only way to be blessed
Verse 3: The beautiful condition of a blessed person
Verse 4: The end of the wicked
Verses 5-6: Judgment will show there are only two paths, for two kinds of people
God says not to walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor to stand in the way of sinners, nor to sit in the seat of scoffers. These wonderful words are the life-giving breath of God. The “counsel,” the “way,” and the “seat” represent thought, action, and union in ever-deepening degrees. God says not to agree with the thoughts of the wicked, not to imitate their deeds, and not to unite with them. But we can hardly do this, unless we come to verse 2, which reads, “Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
This verse is so very sweet. If we rest our heads day and night on the pillow of God’s Word and study his law, our hearts will become sweet, our lives will be renewed, and we will become strong in our hearts to practice the wisdom of the first verse. We must be sensitive to the fact that, once the thoughts of the wicked invade our lives, we should not allow any opportunity for them to spread, but must drive them away immediately. Sin is a very serious problem that requires confession, sorrowful repentance, and contriteness of heart. Indeed! Once God’s Word has been internalized in our lives, only then does our moral life has the potential to become beautiful. When we delight in God, we become truly blessed and joyful people.
There is nothing sweeter than thinking about God’s Word day and night. Do not be afraid to live this life; it will be the happiest and most blessed life. We know for certain the result of this life: we will be kept like the evergreen tree in verse 3. We also know that, when judgment comes, God will graciously shield us so that we are not like chaff that the wind drives away. Although we deserve to be scattered, Christ has purchased us with his own life. We are now both treasured and honored.
What Matters Is Having Him
Even as I write, guns rumble in Ukraine and bullets shatter the ordinary lives of families and their hopes of eternal happiness. News of nuclear war begins to spread, and the government is even teaching citizens how to take iodine tablets. Violence and persecution continue to hurt brothers and sisters. Heartbreak and desolation occur in every corner of the world. Can our hearts still touch happiness? Yes! Indeed!
When we think about God’s Word day and night; when his Word is internalized into our lives (thus building our character); when God himself becomes our joy in its entirety, then we will smile. Because we know there is One who loves us so, so much, let us love him, too, and live for him. It does not matter where he puts us or what circumstances he puts us in: what matters is to have him. That is the only way to be blessed.
If you are in a house church in China; if you are in Kyiv, Ukraine; if you are in Afghanistan; if you are in Iran: I would like to be there with you, but I am not with you. That is why I admire you so much. You are writing a beautiful poem –more than I can write – so I envy you very much.
In the meantime, let us think together about the Word of God day and night, until our hearts become sweet. Let us think on his Word until we begin to smile happily, until we become strong in our hearts, until the day we see him again.
Wen Dao is a pseudonym for a Chinese Christian now living overseas. She was born in the 1970s, and in 2001, was rescued to faith in Christ amidst the desolation and ruin of life.
You are our all in all. When you came, you brought us life, you brought us love, you changed us. Because you changed us and gave us new life, we became completely different people. Because of you, we became people with the oil of joy instead of sadness, and the garment of praise instead of the spirit of sorrow. How incredible this is! Lord, in this world there are wars, there are loved ones separated from each other, there are children who have lost their parents; there are viruses that have taken away our beloved ones, there are sins that break hearts. Lord, let these problems give people the opportunity to come to you. Let your Word come into this broken world. Let the brokenhearted be comforted by you, just as you have comforted us. Please let those who have lost loved ones have you, just as you have given us access to you. Please let children who have lost their parents have you, just as we who are children have you. Please let people know you, and please let those of us who know you be willing to suffer for you and to work with you, so that those who do not know you may know you.
I pray this in the name of Christ. Amen.