"Blessed" Individuals in the Book of Psalms
Jesus describes for us who are the people who are “blessed” in Matthew 5:1-12. We often refer to this section of Scripture as the beatitudes. Such individuals obviously are not always outwardly enjoying pleasant circumstances. For example, Jesus speaks about those who mourn (Matthew 5:7) and those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (Matthew 5:10-12) as blessed. However, those with the traits mentioned are “blessed” because they are recipients of God’s favor. The book of Psalms also contains several statements teaching us who are those individuals who are “blessed.” Let’s see who are said to be blessed in the Psalms.
- Psalm 1 begins by describing for us the “blessed” man (Psalm 1:1-3). The blessed man is first described in terms of things he does not do. He does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. Next, the blessed man is described in terms of what he does: he delights in and meditates on the law of God day and night. Finally, the blessed man is described in terms of what he is like. The blessed man is like a tree who has plenty of nourishment and is fruitful.
- Psalm 94:12 tells how the one whom God instructs and teaches out of His law is a blessed individual.
- Psalm 119, the longest of the Psalms, begins by describing for us the type of individual who is blessed (Psalm 119:1-2). The blessed individual is undefiled in the way, walks in the law of the Lord, keeps His testimonies, and seeks Him with the whole heart.
- The man who trusts in the Lord in many different places through the Psalms is said to be blessed (Psalm 2:12; 34:8; 40:4; 84:12). Closely connected with this point would be the man who fears God is also described as blessed in the Psalms (Psalm 112:1; 128:1, 4).
- The forgiven man is blessed according to Psalm 32:1-2). Psalm 32 will describe how miserable it is to be unforgiven of sin because one is unwilling to acknowledge it (Psalm 32:3-5). Psalm 32 will also though speak of the joy and blessedness which comes upon those who confess their sin to God and are forgiven by Him.
- The man who considers the poor is blessed according to Psalm 41:1-2. It is easy for some people to forget about the fact that how we treat our fellow man has a big impact upon whether we are blessed by God or not. When we mistreat others, we are cursed by God. When we do good to others, we are blessed by God.
- The one who dwells in God’s house and whose strength comes from God is blessed according to Psalm 84:4-5. Psalm 84 seems to talk about an individual who longs to be at God’s house (Psalm 84:2, 10). God’s house would have been a place of worship and a place where one enjoyed fellowship with God. Do we treasure opportunities to worship God and be in His presence? The blessed individual is one who treasures such things.
- The man who keeps justice and does righteousness at all times is blessed according to Psalm 106:3. One thing which catches my attention in this passage is the fact one cannot do righteousness some of the time and expect to be blessed. Righteousness is something we must do “at all times” if we want to be the blessed individual described in this passage.
As we read about the sort of individuals said to be blessed throughout the book of Psalms, hopefully it will challenge us to think about whether we have these sort of qualities in our life. Are we blessed? If not, let’s seek to develop those qualities mentioned throughout the Bible and especially in the New Testament which are connected with being a blessed man.