The first verse of Psalm 1 helpfully points out that a person will be blessed if they refuse to walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the way of sinners, and sit in the seat of scoffers. We talked about that last week.
Now that we know what not to do, it makes a lot of sense for us to ask the next logical question, “What should we do?”
Let’s hear what the Psalmist has to say:
but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.Psalm 1:2, ESV
We know from verse one what kinds of activities we should refrain from doing. With that caution in mind, the second verse informs us what kinds of activities should we intentionally be engaging in
Delight in the law of the LORD, and meditate on His law day and night.
There you have it. Simple. You want to be blessed? Think about God… a lot. Delight in His word. Meditate on His word day and night.
Perhaps the Apostle Paul had this verse in mind when he wrote his amazingly insightful letter to the Philippians.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.Philippians 4:8–9, ESV
God’s word (also known as His “law”) is the most honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy thing we could possibly set our minds to meditate on throughout the day. According to the Psalmist, we will be “blessed” if we delight in God’s law. According to Paul, we will experience the peace of God when we practice the art of thinking about God’s word—which is essentially the same as “meditating day and night” on His law.
If we’re honest, the truth is that many of us struggle to spend a significant amount of time in God’s word on a regular basis. In fact, we often also struggle with the guilt associated with not being a very good student of the Bible. Ironically, this guilt tends to lead us to reading the Bible even less!
Now don’t get me wrong, I am a firm believer of spending dedicated, intentional, uninterrupted time each day in the Word of God—but that is not always realistic! Nor has it been realistic throughout most of history! In the days when Jesus and His disciples walked the earth, they did not have access to a Bible like we do today. There was no Bible app on their cell phone… the printing press wouldn’t be invented for another 1,000+ years! The average person simply did not have quick and easy access to the Word of God in written form. They did, however, have access to the Word of God that had been planted in their hearts (and we do, too!).
So what was the secret to their spiritual success?
In this day and age, I am afraid that we have lost the art of meditating on the Word of God. We may not have margin in our lives to spend hours upon hours of our day pouring over the written Word of God, but we do have hours upon hours of our day… and we do have the ability to spend that time thinking about what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
When we spend our time thinking about those things… really thinking about them… meditating on them, we will experience the blessedness that Psalm 1 is inviting each and every one of us to experience.