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. (Psa 1:1-3)
Delight. What a vivid, emotional word. Delight is defined as “a high degree of enjoyment; rapture; something that gives great pleasure.”
Don’t we naturally meditate on the sources of delight in our lives? If we take a “high degree of enjoyment” from watching basketball, we anxiously look forward to game time. If I find “great pleasure” in a friend, I’ll instinctively yearn just to be in their presence. If what you’re feeling on the first tee of a golf course could accurately be described as “rapture,” the very next opportunity to tee off will naturally fill your daydreams.
We meditate on the people, possessions, and possibilities our hearts find delightful…
…which means Psalm 1 is worth a serious look today as it continues to encourage readers of all time to slow down for the right reasons. Don’t walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of scoffers. Instead, slow down, focus, and appreciate the difference delight makes.
Hours devoted to a television screen quickly pass. Human relationships are momentary in the grand scheme of things and even the closest ones can’t meet the deepest needs of our souls. The best round of golf on the finest course in the world ultimately boils down to chasing a little white ball into a hole in the ground. Today’s shopping thrill is tomorrow’s donation to Goodwill.
But the LORD lives on. His wisdom endures. His promises stand. His will sustains. His faithfulness stretches from everlasting to everlasting. His blessings flow like a river through human history. We’re reminded of those realities on Sundays as our hearts are stirred with conviction and hope to walk with our God throughout the week.
Then Monday hits with full force. Alarm clocks. Commutes. Deadlines. Stress. Pressure. Meetings. Obligations. Temptations. Distractions. Misplaced priorities. Unplanned hiccups. Overscheduled commitments. Exhaustion. As Monday afternoon turns to Monday evening, I think to myself, “I need something delightful to cope with the craziness.” And for the rest of the night, I fill my mind with… ? I seek heart-refreshment in… ?
By Tuesday, the life of focused, productive, joy-filled commitment I envisioned on Sunday seems like a distant memory. By Wednesday, my spiritual vitality is withered and my soul’s focus is completely blurred.
Why? Because I need spiritual nourishment. My heart was created for deep connection to my Creator. And since Sunday? What have I delighted in? Wicked things? Filthy things? Foolish things? Maybe even lots and lots of “good” things, but so many “good” things that the “best” things have been crowded out and left behind.
I’ve been walking for days through a harsh desert without a drop of living water.
Maybe today is a good day to be reminded that I’m not invincible, physically or spiritually. Without the blessings that flow from a healthy relationship with God, I can camp on the edge of the cliff only so long before erosion begins to have a disastrous effect.
Maybe that’s exactly how your heart feels today. Shriveled. Heavy. Struggling to hope. Far from peace. Bitter. Full of weeds. Weary. Parched. Why? Could I ask a personal question? What have you delighted in since Sunday? You’ve meditated on the people, possessions, and possibilities your heart finds delightful. Could it be that you have a critical delight deficiency?
Maybe Psalm 1 is the spiritual oasis you’ve needed for a long, long time. Blessed is the man who delights in the LORD. Blessed is the woman who meditates on his good will for her life. That man is like a tree. It’s as if that woman has been planted, deeply rooted by streams of water. He yields fruit. Her leaves do not wither. The deepest needs of his heart are abundantly supplied by an infinite Source of love and joy. There are plenty of things in the world she can’t control, but her soul is settled and satisfied.
That’s the difference delight makes.