“Blessed is every one that feareth the Lord; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.”
If your happy and you know clap your hands! Or say, “Amen.” If you like, stomp your feet. This psalm deals with our happiness in life. To truly be happy we must fear the Lord and walk in His ways. That leads us to a life that can be blessed of God. Like the psalm before it, this psalm deals with the family household and as Matthew Henry puts it, “In that we were taught that the prosperity of our families depends upon the blessing of God” (Henry, 1994, p. 934). Our families need God in them. Not as another category or title but as the centerpiece from which all they do flows from.
Blessed and happiness come from the same Hebrew word, אַשְׁרֵי (ʾǎš·rê). It means “a heightened state of happiness and joy, implying very favorable circumstance and enjoyment” (Swanson, 1997). In other words we can say that obedience to God’s word and the fear of God in our personal and family life can put us in good positions. It is hard to be blessed of God when we are constantly out of position to receive. Prayer, study, church attendance and many other spiritual disciplines are good in themselves but the real work of these things is that they put us in position to blessed. To really be blessed and happy. Not a some kind of happiness that is superficial but is lasting, deep, filled with contentment.
Henry, M. (1994). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (p. 934). Peabody: Hendrickson.
Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.