BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO…
Date: July 4
"Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who fears (reveres and worships) the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. His [spiritual] offspring shall be mighty upon the earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed. Prosperity and welfare are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever."
The word, "Hallelujah" in Hebrew means, "Praise the Lord." So this psalmist starts the psalm by praising the Lord. That's how we should all start our days. We should all wake up in the morning and say, "Hallelujah. Praise the Lord!" After all, we have a lot to be thankful for. Let's read on to see why we should praise the Lord.
Verse 1 then says, "Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who fears (reveres and worships) the Lord…" To fear God is really to revere Him, to have respect for Him and love Him with all of our hearts. That person will be blessed, happy and fortunate, this verse says. Others will envy him because he is so blessed.
As human beings, we all seek for happiness. Some people look for happiness in material things, like big houses, expensive cars, nice clothes, and lots of money. Other people look for happiness in other people, like marrying the right spouse or having children. Now those things can provide temporary happiness, but not a complete state of happiness.
So where does happiness come from then? Well according to this passage, a happy man is one who fears, reveres, and worships the Lord. Someone who loves God will be blessed and happy in life. The rest of verse 1 says, "…who delights greatly in His commandments." This doesn't mean delighting in God just a little bit or only sometimes. It doesn't mean obeying some of God's commandments and not all of them. Someone who is happy and blessed is someone who delights in God greatly and obeys all of God's commandments.
If you fear God and revere and worship Him with all of your heart, then naturally you will want to obey His commandments. If you love God, then you will want to honor Him in every way. That includes obeying His Word. So if you do all of this, then this passage says that you will be blessed, happy, fortunate, and envied.
But what else happens as a result of your love and obedience toward God? Well let's read verse 2. "His [spiritual] offspring shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed." So blessing will not only come to you because you fear God, but blessing will also come to your children as well. When you are in right standing with God and with people, then you and all the generations after you will be mighty upon the earth, meaning you'll be successful in every area of your life, and you will be blessed. Then we read in verse 3, "Prosperity and welfare are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever." In other words, you and your household will be prosperous, but only if you have the fear of God in your heart and you are obeying His commandments. Prosperity means having nothing missing and nothing lacking in your life. So you will be healthy; your relationships will be successful; and your finances will be blessed. You won't lack anything in your life.
But it's important to understand that it takes us to put ourselves into action as well if we are to receive prosperity. For example, someone who wants to lose weight cannot just depend on God to do everything. He can't just assume that God will exercise and he'll lose the weight. That's not how it works. He has to put himself into action as well if he wants to lose weight. God will give him the encouragement and motivation that he needs, but once he has that, he has to put that motivation into action and do what he needs to do to lose weight.
It's the same with our relationships. If we don't do what we can to please our spouses, then we can't expect God to bless our marriages. We have to listen to our spouses and know what pleases them. Then we have to do everything we can to please our spouses if we are to have a successful marriage.
It's the same with our finances. We can't expect God to bless us if we squander everything. We can't expect God to wake up in the morning and go to work for us, while we sleep in and collect the pay cheques. That's not how it works. We have to get up and go to work. We have to save and invest our money. That's how we will be financially blessed.
The fact that we are in right standing with God and right standing with people enables us to do the right thing. In other words, because we love and respect God and obey His commandments, we will make the right choices for our lives. Because of those right choices, we will be blessed because God will bless those who honor His Word. That's why we need to revere and fear the Lord. When we love and serve God, He will give us wisdom and creative ideas to conduct our lives properly. When we conduct our lives properly (according to His Word), then He will bless us. That's when true happiness will enter our hearts.