The psalmist proclaims the blessedness of walking upright before the LORD in the opening verses of the poetic magnum opus of the Bible. If we were to read it with a liberal mindset that is saturated with modern inclinations and belief, we would find the first verse offensive: how can the psalmist have an elevated view on such a “holy person”? There is great offence to claim that a spiritually sensitive, godward looking person is more “blessed” than a pagan person. The world we live in has unfortunately become a morally selfish and dark world – one that elevates self to godhood (even though the words may not explicitly state that). The modern man finds it dumb to acknowledge that order in this universe points to a singular Higher Being, also known as, the Creator of all things. Instead, they insist that the modern man is self-made out of randomness – they violently wipe away any possibility that randomness is merely a cope out excuse to allow for anarchy and a covering of all things under moral ambiguity.
If we, the reader, can accept the premise that there is a God, and that God is the source of all things whether material or immaterial – then the only conclusion is “happy” or “blessed” is the person who is on the side of that Creator! To acknowledge our Creator is like a child who acknowledges his or her parent as a parent: it is just natural and right. The child who refuses to acknowledge the presence, part and position of the parent is universally identified as an errant child. How is it that anyone would fault the same logic between the creature and his or her Creator?
The second verse posits the source for “knowing” this God or Creator. The creature is woefully unequipped to know the Maker, for it is like the finite trying to experience the infinite. In this universe, God condescends Himself – put Himself down – to our level in order to communicate His thoughts to us. Without this condescension on His part, no creature can ever know his or her Creator. Thus, the blessed man who acknowledges God finds true delight in knowing His will and thoughts. This is unlike the many who claims belief in God but finds no delight in knowing God; hypocrites who desire mere identification with the Creator, but with no real love or desire for more. This is not a harsh pronouncement, the logic is sound. Does not one rightly worries for the child that refuses any communication with the parents upon birth! What is the natural reaction for one, is also the basis for the other.
For the sinner who confesses his or her inadequacies and looks heavenward for answers, it is normal to find rapturous delight in understanding the mind of the Creator. Not only delight but purpose, strength, conviction and direction – all important components that grow the person in his or her journey in life. The psalmist provides the most apt picture that transcends all generation – the natural picture of a tree’s dependency to its water source. A tree needs water and finds permanent sustenance from the river. The roots gravitate naturally towards the direction of the river and in time shows the proof of dependence by the bearing of fruit. Despite harsh circumstances that are unpredictable, the tree survives; whether it is famine, drought or the wars of men – the tree can survive when its root and place is by the rivers of water. Similarly, the person that abides by the purpose, direction, conviction and truths of the Creator of all, will bear the fruit of his or her existence – despite whatever opposition or unfavourable circumstances. This is what the psalmist is inspired to proclaim. Ironically, this is what the modern person needs, in a world full of noise and confusion – we need to come back to the reason for our being and to find delight in “getting it”.