*Psalm 1 teaches happiness
* Psalm 1 is the winning ticket to happiness
Everybody wants to be happy.
Happiness is not a product but a by product, it comes through the right connections, namely to a who and what, as in God and godly things.
Blessed in Hebrew is the word esher, and in Psalm 1 it resides in the plural meaning that God has many waves of happiness for us. I like to think of esher as God’s willingness to grace humans with ridiculous happiness.
Happiness is a gift from God. We don’t earn happiness but we can put ourselves in position to receive lots of it.
The text oddly enough starts out negative when teaching about how to be happy. Do not do the following, is how it begins.
- Walk with the wicked
- Stand with sinners
- Sit with scoffers
Some see a progression of error that can come over many people, leading them away from godly happiness. It’s one thing to walk with the wicked, another to stand with sinners, but the picture of sitting with scoffers somehow means a person has given in to the dark side once and for all.
Do not do that the scripture pleads, do not take counsel from dark places, avoid such a thing and wonderful happiness will eventually arrive at your door.
To be happy, you must say no to bad things, and yes to good ones.
In contrast, the blessed or happy person has a delight and meditation on God. Delight comes from the Hebrew word for desire, and the desire spoken of directly relates to the law of the Lord, which is a way of speaking about God and God’s Word.
Meditate in Hebrew comes from the murmuring sound cows make when chewing their cud. It’s the sound of a belly full of pleasure. In much the same way holiday cheer often comes with special foods that bring about a bit of a roar from the dinner table, so chewing on God’s Word brings about a series of delights in the heart.
The blessed man is now desribed as a tree planted, which means it is a tree that has been re-planted, a word picture on being born again. .
The tree bears fruit, some tree’s are omni-disingenous, I know that word is a mouth full, it means the tree is always giving off its fruit. Omni-disingenous trees bear fruit or ripen their leaves regularly. Those who have tree’s like that know it because they do lots of raking.
Prosper in Hebrew means to push forward, a certain joyful quality happy godly people possess, namely the ability to push forward in life.
The text returns to another negative idea, saying the wicked are not so, in other words they are not like the happy righteous folks God is building up. The wicked, no matter what they look like to other humans, are in fact unstable, much like chaff blown by the wind. Chaff is the unusable part of the stalk, it has no permanent attachment to the stalk, so the wind is capable of scattering it.
The wicked will not go to heaven, that is how I take this verse, they’re unable to stand in the congregation of the righteous, another word picture of heaven.
The way relates to the road and mirrors Jesus’ teaching as in, “Wide is the road leading to destruction and death, and many find it, but narrow” Jesus says, “is the road that leads to life, but few find it.”
A Special Note
During the message I referenced Micha 6:8. The text refers to a dark dark time in biblical history, a time when babies where thrown into the fires of Molech. Adding insult to injury was Molech’s Shrine, what the O.T. often called a “High Place” being within earshot of the Temple.
Happiness is not just for us, in fact human happiness does not come about unless we are deeply motivated and concerned about the happiness of others. Godly happiness is concerned about the happiness of others, especially the vulnerable and marginalized in society.
In Micah 6:8, a question is asked, what does God require of us? A man was bringing his first born to be thrown into the fires of Molech, Micah said, “Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.”
Micah preached the application of Psalm 1.