The very first Psalm provides an important contrast between the wicked and the righteous.
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
The man who is blessed is first described by the fact that he does not have inappropriate relationships with the wicked. His way of life is in stark contrast. The psalmist provides two priorities of the blessed man.
- He delights in the law of the Lord.
- He meditates on the law day and night.
The psalmist likens the blessed man to a healthy tree that is planted in a perfect location that allows it to bear fruit in its season. This blessed man also prospers in what he does.
If a man is delighting in God’s word and meditating on it day and night, he will most certainly be doing those things that are pleasing to God. That is why we meditate. If we are carefully considering the truth of Scripture as a constant pattern of life, we will be prepared to fulfill God’s priorities. In New Testament terms, our minds will be prepared for action (1 Peter 1:13-15).
Ironically, the Christian culture that we have grown up in generally feels pretty satisfied to just read the Bible every day. In fact, if that happens consistently, we can feel quite successful. We can read the Bible in the morning and move on with our day, with little or no further spiritual considerations. That is not the picture of the blessed man in Scripture. Meditation puts an end to the idea of satisfying a spiritual obligation that is divorced from our moment-by-moment life. It is important to consistently spend time in the word. But our time spent in the word is to prepare us to meditate on the word through the rest of the day and even the night. Time in the word is the beginning point, not the end.
The blessed man is not simply fulfilling a spiritual responsibility. He actually delights in the word. That is, he longs for it with a great passion. He finds both pleasure and satisfaction in meditating on the precious truths of Scripture. In the coming weeks we will consider other benefits the blessed man enjoys because of his faithful meditation.