Blessed is the man…
Psalm 1:1 ESV
Psalm 1 is the prelude, the opening doxology, to the rest of the Psalter, and it describes a theme that runs throughout the Bible. Genesis 2-3 describes this theme as the choice between the words of God or of Satan. Proverbs calls it the choice between wisdom or foolishness. Paul said it is either being dead in sin or alive with Christ. Jesus said it is a walk down either an easy, broad path that ends in destruction or a hard, narrow path that leads to life everlasting. Psalm 1 calls it being either blessed or wicked.
Indeed, the blessed man is the focal point of the psalm, and he is described by action (meditating on God’s law), by comparison (like a tree), and in contrast to the wicked. Biblically, to be blessed is to be favored by God. Conversely, the wicked are disconnected from God, still “alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds” (Colossians 1:21). To belong to God means being blessed, wise, and alive, while rejecting God is wickedness, foolishness, and death. And each and every person must walk down one of these two paths. There is no third option.
But while blessedness is certainly a choice, we are only able to be blessed by the grace of the Blessed One, the God from Whom all blessings flow. We are called to walk in the favor of our God, but we can never earn His favor.
Abraham, the man of faith, was blessed because God favored him. God chose him from among his unbelieving, pagan family.
God covenanted with him.
God sustained him.
He was a blessed man because he was God’s man, because God laid claim to him.
God chose him first, and Abraham’s obedience followed after.
Such is the pattern with all of God’s people. Our Father has chosen us in His Son before the foundation of the world to be adopted to Himself. This is the very heart of blessedness, and our walking in that blessing is the blessed instruction of this psalm.