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Blessed is the Man who Delights in God's Word

The Psalms is an amazing piece of scripture full with imagery that is powerful and emotional and real. Some may find that it can be difficult to engage with because of the poetic element that it brings to the table but the comfort and encouragement and guidance offered through the psalmists can be so strengthening for the Christian heart. By looking to the words of godly men who cried out in all the despair and joy of life to God, we can learn how to interact with God and see more clearly what he is like.

But where do we begin? How do we know how to read the Psalms? Is there any unity to what they say or is it merely the musical ranting of israelite men? Psalm 1 the first psalm in the book opens the way for us:

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;
but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his Law he meditates day and night.

A blessing proclaimed for the one who will not pursue unrighteous ways but who delights in the Law of God. The law of God is of course His word, written down and preserved for his people to know him. The psalmist sets a contrast between all the unrighteous and the man who delights in God's word. This contrast shows us that there is only one righteous way and it is found in God and his word.

Why does it matter though? It matters because righteousness is of eternal importance:

for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will

The righteous know God who is eternal, and the wicked perish, which means they will forever be separate from God.

The hope for the righteous however, is like that of a tree which prospers, and is at the right time bearing fruit, and is planted and rooted by a life giving stream of water. The righteous man need never fear that he will wither, for God intimately knows him. These are promises of fullness of life.

How then shall we become righteous? As the psalmist writes: on his law he meditates day and night.We need to look to God's word. We need to look to it and meditate on it often both day and night, morning and evening. We need to read the bible and see the path of righteousness written there for us: Jesus Christ the incarnate word of God come to save us. If we look to Jesus for our righteousness, will not walk with the wicked nor perish along with them too, but we will know God and live fruitful and abundant life with him forever.

The Psalms like any other book of the bible is pointing us in this same direction, towards Jesus. As we read them we must look beneath the imagery, and the sorrow, and the declarations of praise towards the image of God in Christ, to the comforter of our sorrows: the man of sorrows himself, and to the aim of our praises: Christ and the fullness of his glory.