Harold Bennett - Blesseds in the Psalms - Glencoe, Australia - 1995

I have been looking at some of the references where we read, “Blessed is the man ...” We are here to get the blessing of God. There are two kinds of blessed people: of the world and of Heaven. So many strive for the blessing of this world, but we are here for the blessing of Heaven. Proverbs 10:22, “The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich and he addeth no sorrow with it.” So often the blessing of this world does not make people rich and it adds sorrow with it. It often adds a lot of sorrow to their lives. One man said that he got religious and the next year his income doubled, and he felt the Lord had blessed him. That made me think of Jesus on Calvary’s cross. He died homeless and penniless. With that man’s kind of reasoning, the Lord had not blessed Him at all.


The blessing of the Lord, death cannot take it from us; time cannot touch it; it makes us rich and it never adds sorrow. God’s purpose has always been to make His people the happiest people in the world. These psalms describe the path of blessing.


Deuteronomy 28:2, “All these blessings shall come on thee and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearten unto the voice of the LORD.” You can pray long and hard, and not receive the blessing of the Lord if conditions are not right, but if they are right, the blessing of the Lord will overtake us. We will be a blessing to one another and at the end of our days the Lord will be able to say, “Come ye blessed of My Father.”


In Psalm 1:1, the condition for blessing is that we don’t do certain things. The Lord blesses people who can say, “No,” and mean it. One thing that brings the blessing of the Lord is not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, people who have no connection with God, or their connection with God is not a connection at all. The counsel of the ungodly will never help us to be godly or to walk in the way of God. We live in a day when we are bombarded with all sorts of counsel and advice: marriage counsellors, psychiatrists and so on. There is so much counsel of the ungodly, and it tends to make us comfortable with our sin, but the way of God makes us uncomfortable with our sin. When we are comfortable with our sin it leads us in the broad way to destruction. In Matthew 16:23, Jesus said, “Get thee behind Me, Satan...” “You don’t need to suffer,” Peter said. That is ungodly counsel and that is why Jesus spoke to Peter as He did. God doesn’t want us to spare ourselves. “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly.”


In II Samuel 15:21, David prayed the God would turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness. So often the counsel of the ungodly is just foolishness. The books of the scholars and psychiatrists ten years from now will all be different because theirs is only the wisdom of the times. That is why it is no help to us to walk in the path of God. Isaiah 9:6, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon His shoulder...” In Him, we have all the eternal wisdom that has come to this world. We want to turn to Him whose name is "Wonderful," "Counsellor" for this is eternal wisdom.


One source of ungodly counsel is our hearts: they lie and try to deceive us, and blessed is the man who can say, “No,” to the counsel of his own heart. If we cannot be counseled, we cannot be helped, and that is why God wants to counsel His people with godly counsel, to help us. Naaman could not be helped until one of his servants came to him, wiser than he, and Naaman listened to Godly counsel and was helped.


“Blessed is the man who standeth not in the way of sinners.” God’s blessing does not reach to the way of sinners. God’s people stand outside the way of sinners and the way of life people live or talk, that’s where God’s blessing reaches, the godly way of life.“... nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” The scornful seat is a lofty seat, looking down on people. One day, the scorner’s seat will be empty. If you scorn God’s servants and those in the testimony, who will feed our souls? The blessing of the Lord does not reach to the scornful. “But his delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law doth he meditate day and night.” What we delight in is what we are going to think about first thing in the morning and last thing at night. There is a difference between reading the law of the Lord and feeding on it. Meditating on God’s word will always bring the blessing of God. It is wonderful to get a little verse in the morning, to delight in it and to feed on it. The blessing of God will always reach to that kind of person.


Psalm 32:1-2, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit, there is no guile.” The blessing of the Lord will reach even to the sinner who knows the forgiveness of God. Happy is the person who is distressed about his sin, when the sky is not clear between him and God, when something has come between. Happy is the man who is distressed when Heaven is closed to him, and happy is the man who does something about it. It is not so much the sin we do, but what we do about it that enables God to bless us.


This Psalm 32 is about forgiveness and covering. Sin is not imputed. The forgiveness of sin has never been a cheap thing. In the Old Testament, there was a costly offering for their sin and in the New Testament, it is at times a costly offering to have the blessing of God. It needs a broken spirit and a contrite heart to have the forgiveness of sin. “Blessed is the man in whose spirit there is no guile.” Guile is trying to cover up something, or to put something over on another person, and we can have that guile in our spirit and try to cover up something or pretend. God cannot bless that kind of a person. The further we go, the more we realize we need to be open and honest and frank before God, and that kind of spirit enables the blessing of God to reach to our lives.


Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.” The Lord is calling on you and me to taste and see. It is hard to describe what the taste of a banana or an apple is. The only way is to taste it. The Lord wants us to have trust in Him that what He offers is good. The world says, “You prove it and I’ll believe it.” God says, “You believe it and I’ll prove it.” A step in faith is required of God’s people.


In I Samuel 21, David was fleeing from Saul and went to the Philistines. His courage failed. Some said, “Is not this David, the king of the land?” David realized he was not safe so he pretended he was mad and so he was sent back to where he came from. He realized his courage and trust in God had failed and in this Psalm he calls on us to trust in the Lord. “O taste and see that the LORD is good.” There is an acronym for T-R-U-S-T:


T          -         His teaching is always right.

R          -         His ruling. The Gospel story. Turn our lives over to the Lord.

U          -         His understanding. Proverbs 3:5-6, God understands what we don’t understand.

S          -         His strength. There are no obstacles or anything that is too hard for Him.

T          -         His timing is always right.


Psalm 37:1, “Fret not thyself because of evildoers.” There is a line of a hymn that says, “Thou, while I trust in Thee, wilt keep me clean.” David was so tempted to fret. He could have taken things into his own hands and brought the situation to a head but he knew, “I had better trust in the Lord and do the right thing myself.” It kept him clean from taking matter into his own hand. In Daniel 3, those three Hebrew boys would have been thrown into the fiery furnace but that trust in God kept those boys from compromising, from false worship, from giving in. They kept their purpose true, kept themselves clean. It is one thing to trust when God delivers us but another thing to trust when He chooses not to deliver us. Job said in 13:15, “Though He slay me, I will trust Him.” His wife said, “Curse God and die,” but Job kept his integrity, his spiritual soundness, and because he trusted God, he didn’t become unsound or corrupt. It kept him clean. The blessing of God reaches to people who will trust him.


Psalm 65:4, “Blessed is the man whom thou choosest.” Isaiah 40:15, “The nations are as a drop of a bucket... “ Why did the Lord ever choose me? The Lord could see in you and me a little spark of something. He chose to speak and then we chose to respond, and that makes you and me His people, His chosen people. Sometimes we don’t respond and we have to be caused to respond, to approach God. I believe Heaven will be filled with interesting stories as to what caused us to approach unto God.


Jonah got the message to go and cry against that city. He turned and ran and his course then was down and down, and all he could do was pray. I think Jonah will be forever grateful for that storm that caused him to approach unto God. The prodigal son was sent to feed swine and then he remembered there was bread and enough and to spare in his father’s house. In his hunger, he came to the end of himself. I think he will be forever grateful for that famine that caused him to approach his father.


A lady, at one time in God’s family, left, married and had a child. She was sad as she looked at that child thinking, “I have nothing in this world to give this child.” This caused her to turn and approach God. She will be forever grateful for that child. God sends blessings in disguise to cause us to approach unto Him. We want undisguised blessings, and sometimes flee from the things that will be a real blessing to us. The blessing of the Lord comes to people who are near to God, and so the blessing of the Lord comes to His own.


Psalm 84:5, “Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.” The blessing of God reaches to those whose strength is in Him. Emptiness is the vessel into which God pours strength, but it is possible for us to want to find our strength in money and in substance. I Timothy 6:17, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches.” There is nothing wrong with having money, being rich, but to find our strength in it is another thing, causing us to be independent, strong in ourselves and high minded. It is possible to find our strength in ourselves. Peter said, “Though all men forsake Thee, yet will not I.” He had to come to the end where strength in himself had gone. A hymn says, “Strong in ourselves we only fail...” Paul said, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” God wants us to yield our weakness to Him because it is the empty vessel into which He pours strength. We will only make it to the promised land if our strength is in nothing else.


Verse 6, “Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well.” Baca is a dry area. If your strength is in the Lord, you can go through from one experience to the next and the blessing of God can enrich the person whose strength is in the Lord.


Psalm 94:12, “Blessed is the man whom the LORD chasteneth.” We have often heard that chastening is not punishment but it is correction. Punish a person for the past but chasten them for the future. Chastening is like medicine. Some have to take a little every day to keep them healthy. The blessing of the Lord reaches to people He can correct and direct. There are three ways we can take chastening. Hebrews 12:5-6, “Ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, my son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of Him; for whom the Lord loveth, He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” Firstly we can despise chastening. The second thing is we could faint and the third thing is that we could endure it.

“Despise not chastening.” To despise something is to look lightly upon it and to think it does not matter, but it does. If it were not important God would not correct us. Fainting means giving up when you are corrected. The acid test of humility is whether we can take correction. I wanted to learn the violin as a boy. My parents didn’t have the money so I earned some money to learn and I studied under the best teacher in town. Then the money ran out and I told her I had to quit. She offered me free lessons as her last pupil at night and I did that for several years. She started to correct me and I thought, “She doesn’t like me. She hates me because she corrects me and I am going to quit.” Later on I felt how foolish I had been. “If ye endure chastening God deals with you as with sons.” Chastening is a sign God loves His children.


One young man was fighting with another boy. His father came out, grabbed his son and spanked him. He said, “Why didn’t you spank that boy, too?” The father said, “You are my boy and he is not.” God does not chasten the world. The blessing of the Lord reaches to people God can chasten and correct. One man who studied business was a good manager and could develop people. Instead of firing a man, he could train and develop and work with him. God does that. He doesn’t just tell His people, “I’m done with you, you have gotten off course.”


Psalm 112:1, “Blessed is the man that feared the LORD, that delighted greatly in His commandments.” The blessing of the Lord reaches to men and women like that. The fear and love of God go hand in hand. In Deuteronomy 4, they were to teach their children the fear of God. If parents could just put some of the fear of the Lord into children, that is one of the best foundations a child could have in this world for the Gospel. In Malachi, God asks, “Where is My fear?” I am sure He looks down and says the same today.


There is a difference between being afraid of God and fearing God. When we are afraid of God we think God is going to hurt us, but when we fear God we fear we are going to hurt God. To fear God is to have a healthy, loving respect for God. Hebrews 11:7, “By faith Noah ... moved with fear...” The fear of God stimulates. It seemed so impossible that there would be a flood, but the fear of God stimulated Noah to do a wise thing.


In Genesis 42:10, Joseph put one of his brothers into prison and later brought him out. He could not take revenge nor treat them unkindly because he said, “I fear God.”  II Samuel 23:3, “He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God.” That is what gave David his house forever. He first ruled over himself. I need to rule over myself in the fear of God. The fear of God and the love of God go hand in hand. The fear of God is a great restraining and constraining power and the love of God is a great restraining and constraining power.


God wants to bless His people. We are gathered to receive the blessing of God. These psalms tell what will make the blessing of God possible, and for us to be a blessing to one another.