Cell Notes

Cell Notes - Great Psalms (part 1)

Blessed (22nd July)

Psalm 1

What does Blessed mean? Is it just ‘happy’, ‘fortunate’? Or is it more a joy that is serene, independent of all chances and changes in life?


The Psalmist speaks of two paths. Implicit is a choice, echoing Deuteronomy 30: 15, indicating that the company we keep will put us on one or the other of these paths. The Psalmist also implies that the Lord himself accompanies those on the right path.


How do we get on the right path? The Psalmist gives positive, and negative, statements. Does this suggest we should only keep good company? Or how might we – as James says, in different ways in his letter – be doers of the word of God, reaching into ‘the world’?


Can we see the longer view, the bigger picture, the long-term purpose of God, that humankind is to be blessed? Psalm 67: ‘God, our God, shall bless us’. Does God bless us in order that we might be a blessing to others, bring his blessing to others?


If so, how might we bless, be a blessing? In what ways (and with what words) might we bless our family, our friends, our neighbours – even those estranged from us? Might we take the priestly blessing in Numbers 6 and pray it over others? Or what other words might we use?


What about blessing land, buildings, objects? Through the Old Testament, time and again, we read of land and communities coming under a curse. In its simplest form, the word ‘curse’ means the removal of God’s favour and presence – it is a sentence of divine judgment on sinners, and is the opposite of covenantal blessing. Why might God’s favour be removed? What can we do to cleanse, remove, a curse and restore blessing? What might be the effect in our own land (nation) if we pray in this way?


This Psalm should move us to celebrate, delight in the Lord, and enjoy his blessing. We must celebrate, because that which we don’t celebrate will shrink through lack of affirmation.


Pray a blessing and celebrate what we have, so that it is used to be a blessing to others.