Psalm 1:1-3—How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Did you know the way to attain genuine happiness is spelled out in the first three verses of the book of Psalms? Note the dual aspect of what God teaches. First, we learn three things that cannot happen if we hope to be happy. We cannot accept the advice of the wicked. Evil is antithetical to good and it makes sense that suggestive evil leads to collective sorrow. We cannot walk the course of sinners or join their actions. James 4:4 teaches us that friendship with the world is hostility towards God. We cannot bond with those who are mockers. Mockers deify sarcasm, profane what is holy and pollute what is good.
Second, we learn that happiness has a source—God’s Word. When we value His instruction, we set in our foundation a powerful principle. We recognize truth. We think about what it means for how we should live and we apply it—another way of describing meditation.
The Hebrew word for happy is ‘ashrei.* “Leah after giving birth to her second son, in Genesis 30:13, said, “‘I am happy that the women call me happy,’ so she named him Asher.” Asher means happy! When you see a happy person, you see someone who in disposition is healthy, someone who consistently prospers. This prospering in context means living according to God’s instruction. This is exactly why God told Joshua, “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do” (Jos. 1:8).
If you are not happy, go back and take personal inventory. Are you engaged in any of the action the psalmist deplores? Are you aware of God’s instruction, thinking about it and applying it? If the answer is no, the attitude will show. Happiness can be fabricated on a temporary basis but it will not persevere unless the conditions established in Scripture are obeyed. This is why Marie is a fruit-bearing bouquet. She is anchored in following God.
To find recreation in amusement is not happiness.—Blaise Pascal
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)