Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. (v.2) You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. (v.3) Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots round your table. (v.4) Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.
The pursuit of happiness seems to be the goal of many Americans. After all, it is in the Declaration of Independence as one of the examples of our “unalienable rights,” “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That pursuit has influenced and been assimilated into the thinking of many Christians who live in America. But happiness is now seen as being contingent on my job, my education, my marriage, my income, my children. Am I out of debt, am I loved, respected and appreciated?
So, what is the blessed life? This particular psalm centers on the blessedness of the good. What does that mean? First, the blessedness of the good is the result of a holy life. Believe it or not, how I live is directly related to a blessed happiness in my life. The person who fears the LORD, (“a fear that arises out of a profound reverence and love for GOD”) lives an obedient life, which pleases the LORD.
Second, the blessedness of the good results in a happy and contented livelihood. The Psalmist says, “You will eat the fruit of your labor.” Sometimes we work and work and work, but we have no joy from our labor. The good man, the good woman, though not excused from work, is hoppy in their daily work and enjoys what they have earned.
Third, the blessedness of a good life is found in the joys of family life. “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine, your children like olive shoots around your table.” The wife pictured here is not sitting around the house, involved in idle gossip, but is focused on being a blessing to her household. The “vine” is attached and clings to grace and the fruitfulness of her labor. The children are like olive plants, connected yet able to stand alone and separate, full of a bright future with promising fruitfulness.
There is no blessedness apart from goodness. Our families are blessed by a reverent fear of the LORD that leads us to obedience. One of the greatest most satisfying feelings in the world is to know you are walking in faith and pleasing the LORD GOD.