Monday, February 28, 2011


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.
                                                          Psalm 1:1-2

     What does it mean to be blessed? Some of you may read various translations that translate the word here as happy instead of blessed. But I want to explain why blessed is the better word to use. This is not a technical issue, so much as it is a cultural one. The word used here can be properly translated happy, just as well as blessed. But that is because the ancient Israelite did not have the same idea of happiness that we have in 21st Century America. The idea of happiness for the ancient Israelite had to do with the scope of the entire life, not just a few moments in that life. In America today, we think in terms of immediate feelings and situations. If we say I'm happy, we mean right now, in this moment I feel happy. To the ancient Israelite to be happy was to have an entire life that was full of happiness and God's blessings. There are certainly moments of struggle and hardship and difficulty. Moments even of sadness and/or anger. But taken as a whole, one's life is happy because they have all the good things God provides for a happy life. And here's what's really important. The blessed person recognizes his blessedness, his happiness, because he delights in God's law and meditates upon it day and night. I hope we'll all spend our energies getting to know the Lord. I know we will then have truly blessed lives. God Bless You.