“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:”
The man who walks straight. In Hebrew it says Happy. Not blessed, but happy. The word happy is closely related to the word for “to walk straight or upright.” Thus, we can see that the man who “walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits at the seat of scoffers” will be happy. However, I think our definition of happy needs to deepen a bit. In light of the word for walk straight being so closely related (they use the same exact letters, big deal in Hebrew), perhaps happiness is not defined as a mere feeling of joy that is here for a moment and gone the next. Could it be that happiness is interconnected with “walking straight?” Could it be that true happiness stems from righteousness?
We spend all our time attempting to make ourselves happy… have we missed the point? Is there more? In case you’re reading this and don’t know me… yes there is! Note what the Psalmist says in verse two. “His delight is in the Law of the LORD.” The word delight (‘cHePhetsu’) is an active term meaning “to delight in” or “choose to delight in.” It carries with it an understanding that the happy man’s active pursuit of the Law. Now what is interesting about the Torah (Law) is that it was the only Scripture the Psalmist had. The first five books. Honestly… could you imagine finding your delight in Leviticus? Perhaps Numbers? What about the genealogies in Genesis? Why do you think he finds his delight in the Law? I believe it is because the Law teaches us of the character of God. Within the Law is the revelation of God’s character. Thus, one who is happy find his delight in the pursuit of God’s character. Not only this, but he “meditates on it day and night.” Meditation can also be translated sighing or a breath. It is as if to say, the happy breath God’s word. This would be consistent with II Tim. 3:16. The blessed or happy find their breath within the revelation of the creator of all things.
SO we seek happiness, and yet we do not seek rightly. If we are to find happiness (or blessedness) we would do well to meditate or breath the Word. So seek the Word. Stop pursuing shallow happiness! True happiness, true filling is in the Word! Find your delight in the character of the LORD!
The rest of the psalm describes the contrast between the wicked and the upright (blessed, or happy). Notice, the happy are like a tree. The tree remains. But it still goes through seasons of leaflessness. It still endures harsh climates. But it remains. Again, our paradigm for happiness needs to be challenged! We think happiness is a smile and laugh! Happiness, or blessedness is much deeper than that! It yields fruit IN SEASON!!! We have appointed times when we are to yield fruit, it is not for us to decide… it depends on the season! Does this sound like happiness? If it does not, then we need to reevaluate our definition of happiness. Compared to the wicked, the wicked are blown away like chaff! Verse 4.
Finally, “the LORD knows the path of the righteous.” This is an intimate knowledge. It is more “understanding or perception” The LORD is intimately connected with those who seek their delight in the character of God. It is almost as if in the final verse, the LORD draws back to the beginning. Straight, upright, then here at the end. The LORD knows the path intimately. Walk straight.