“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. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:1-3
Would you like to know the secret to happiness? I would too, actually.
Old Testament scholars are quick to point out that the Biblical word “blessed” is pretty closely related to “happiness,” but maybe in a deeper sense than we’re used to using the word. This means the very first verse in the book of Psalms quite literally reads, “Happy is the man who…”
So what is the great secret to happiness? The author of this Psalm suggests that it’s turning from messages that lead us away from God, and opening ourselves up to hearing from the Lord himself. Verse 2 says the happy person “delights in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
What does it mean to meditate on God’s law, or Word, day and night? Does it mean that we randomly flip through pages of the Bible, squint our eyes, grimace our face and hum a little until the words start sinking into our brain? I don’t think that’s what God has in mind. Rather, meditation is like what happens when you prepare a good cup of coffee.
A few years ago, I got into the pour-over method of coffee preparation. It’s where you grind up the coffee beans, place them in a filter in this cone-shaped device, and then slowly “pour” hot water “over” the grounds. The idea is that the water saturates the beans and what drips into the mug below is the freshest, smoothest most aromatic cup of coffee you’ve ever had (I’m getting thirsty just thinking about it)!
This is what happens when God’s word is “poured over” into our lives, and we meditate on his law! Our hearts are saturated with the warm living water of Jesus, and what pours out of us is the very aroma of Christ.
I’ve heard it said that all of us are actually really good at meditating, because we’re always thinking about something. Whether it’s about school or work or relationships or activities — we’re always thinking about something. That’s what meditation is! It’s thinking about something, but with a purpose.
The question is what are we meditating on? The Psalms invite us to meditate on God’s very Word, and the result will be a blessed/happy life that impacts the world with the aroma of Jesus.