The Blessed Man
Psalm 1 begins with the words “Blessed is the man.” What does it mean to be blessed?
The Hebrew word for “blessed” means “happy”. It is an interpersonal term focusing on one’s relationship with the Lord God Almighty. When we use the term “to be blessed by God”, we are referring to being “favored by God”. Do you want to be blessed by God? What kind of man does God bless and honor? Psalm 112 gives us six characteristics of the man who God blesses.
I. The Characteristics of the man who God blesses.
A. The man God blesses fears the Lord.
1. Psalm112:1a “Blessed is the man who fears the LORD.”
2. In Hebrew, the word is yara' In the Old Testament, it has a three-fold range of meaning:
a. Dread, terror
b. To stand in awe (in reference to a king)
c. To revere, to respect.
3. To fear the Lord means also to think holily and reverently concerning God, and to walk in His ways.
4. “Fearing God has two aspects. The first is reverence. It is a sacred awe of God's utter holiness. It involves the kind of respect and veneration that results in fear in the presence of such absolute majesty. The second aspect is fear of god's displeasure. Genuine faith acknowledges God's right to chasten, His right to punish, and His right to judge.” – John McArthur
5. Psalm 111:10 “The fear of Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”
6. A lack of the fear of the Lord is indicate by :
a. A glib casualness towards God. Speaking in a flippant or frivolous manner about God? Treating Him like He’s just one of the boys. Or we carelessly profane His name by using euphemisms, where one word is substituted for another, like saying “jeeze”, “gees”, or “gee whiz”, which are euphemisms for Jesus’ name. -
b. A cavalier attitude toward sin. It is not uncommon today for even professing Christians to have a careless attitude toward sin.
• Romans 3:18 says that one key to men’s sinfulness is “There is no fear of God before their eyes”
• Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil”
7. Psalm 1:1 “"Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful"
8. Proverbs 16:6 – by the fear of the Lord one departs from evil
9. Someone has said, “The fear of the Lord: an inward attitude of humble reverence toward God that results in outward expression of Christlikeness.”
10. Psalm 115:13 “He will bless them that fear the Lord, both small and great.”
B. The man God blesses finds extreme pleasure in obeying God and His Word.
1. Psalm112:1b “…who DELIGHTS GREATLY in His commandments.”
2. It is not enough to fear God, we must also love him. While fear will deter us from evil; love will lead us to obedience. And the more a man fears and loves God, the more obedient will he be; till at last he will delight greatly in the commandments of his Maker.- Clarke
3. The man who God blesses obeys from the heart and not from coaxing, coercion or compulsion.
4. 2 Chronicles 16:9a “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
5. It is not having knowledge that will evidence you to be believers; the devil has knowledge—but lacks obedience, and that makes him a devil. The true obedience of faith is a cheerful obedience.
1. We need to ask ourselves, “Do I obey God on His first command or do I need a second or third? Do I obey cheerfully or with reluctance? Do I go slowly and half-heartedly or quickly and energetically about that which He asks me to do?
2. Cheerful obedience is the only acceptable obedience; he who obeys reluctantly is disobedient at heart, but he who takes pleasure in the command is truly loyal. - copied
C. The man God blesses is gracious
1. Psalm112:4 “Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness;
He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”
2. The man God blesses is "gracious," that is, full of kindness to all around him. The man who God blesses is God's image bearer
3. In Psalm 111:4 we read “the Lord is gracious and full of compassion”
4. The man who God blesses emulates the god-like of graciousness.
5. Luke 6:27-35 “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smites thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that takes away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also. Give to every man that asks of thee; and of him that takes away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? For sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? For sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.”
6. Dr. Fred Craddock, Professor of Preaching and New Testament, Emeritus, in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University has said that “..."The final work of grace in anyone's life is to make a person gracious."
7. Ephesians 4:32 “be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, even as God also in Christ forgave you.”
8. Verse 5 of Psalm 112 (NASB) states “It is well with the man who is gracious and lends.”
D. The man God blesses is compassionate.
1. Psalm112:4b “...he is... full of compassion…”
2. The man God blesses is also "full of compassion"; that is to say, he tenderly feels for others, pities them, and as far as he can assists them in their time of trouble.
3. 1 John 3:17 “But whoso hath this world's good, and sees his brother have need, and shuts up his bowels of compassion from him, how does the love of God dwell in him?
4. People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care.
5. No man is like Christ who does not care for others. And no Christian truly cares for others without caring for the souls of others.
6. Charlie Hainline is a layman at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He is a man who radiates the love of Christ, and is serious about sharing his faith with others. One year, his goal was to lead 1650 people to faith in Christ (5 a day)!! Once, he was out witnessing with a couple of other folks, and though he didn’t share the gospel, he sat there and smiled broadly as a teammate did. When the teammate was finished and asked if the person would like to trust Christ and receive the gift of eternal life, the person replied, “If being a Christian would make me like him (point to Charlie), I want it!” Charlie’s life wasn’t a bed of roses by any means. His daughter was kidnapped, killed, and her head was found floating in a canal. When the murderer of his daughter was caught and convicted, Charlie went to jail in order to witness to the man.
E. The man God blesses is righteous
1. Psalm 112:4b “he is... righteous.”
2. As God is righteous in all His dealings with men, indeed in all His dealings so also the man God blesses is "righteous" in all his transactions with his fellow men.
3. To be righteous in our dealings with others is to genuinely exhibit obvious moral excellence in character and conduct, and practice care and loving kindness as not only necessary, but also in the way we live our daily lives.
4. When asked what was the greatest commandment, “Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
5. Psalm 106:3 “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.” (NET - How blessed are those who promote justice, and do what is right all the time!)
6. To bring people to Christ and to draw back those who have abandoned fellowship with the body of Christ we must develop significant relationships with them and live a credible Christian life before them.
F. The man God blesses has a steadfast confidence in the Lord
1. Psalm112:7-8a “He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is established.
2. Daniel 11:32 (ESV) “...the people who know their God shall stand firm...”
3. I know not, but God knows;
Oh, blessed rest from fear!
All my unfolding days
To Him are plain and clear.
Each anxious, puzzled “Why?”
From doubt or dread that grows,
Finds answer in this thought:
I know not, but He knows.
I cannot, but God can;
Oh, balm for all my care!
The burden that I drop
His hand will lift and bear.
Though eagle pinions tire,
I walk where once I ran, This is
my strength to know
I cannot, but He can.
I see not, but God sees;
Oh, all sufficient light!
My dark and hidden way
To Him is always bright.
My strained and peering eyes
May close in restful ease,
And I in peace may sleep;
I see not, but He sees. – Annie Johnson Flint
4. Colossians 2:5 “For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.”
5. Philippians 1:6 - Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform [it] until the day of Jesus Christ.
II. The result of the blessings that God bestowed on the man who fears God.
A. God provides Him with a lasting legacy –
Verse 2 – “His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed.”
B. God supplies his every need –
Verse 3 “Wealth and riches will be in his house.” –
Psalm 34:9 “Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack.”
C. God makes His presence known in the midst of difficulties - He has LIGHT in time of darkness.
Verse 4 “Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness.”
D. God gives him victory over his enemies.
Verse 10 “The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away: the desire of the wicked shall perish.”