"How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law, he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers." ~ Psalm 1:1-3
Some passages seem more familiar than others. This scripture, in particular, seems more intently discussed among those seeking God's wisdom and the benefits that come with knowing Him.
Though the general meaning that a person is like a tree that grows in the proximity to God is fundamentally understood, a much deeper revelation appears when we analyze parts of the verse.
Looking at this verse from a scientific perspective brings more meaning, as well as some pretty amazing truths. In fact, the word blessing is a term synonymous with positive genetic. The positive genetic activity of the body supports good health, brighter cognitive abilities, improved memory, and increased creativity. A person who demonstrates these traits can be considered blessed. But the actual meaning of the word "blessed" goes further.
The word "blessed" means to be happy. Happiness is a state of blessedness, and in a state of blessedness, though one may experience the storms of life, the core of our being is maintained in peace by an eternal source. Jesus, and only Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is our company.
Clouds may form, lighting may strike, whirlwinds may forcefully blow, rain may beat down, and waters may rise, but our inner experience with God will always give us peace and soundness of mind. God who is the foundation of a blessed life brings joy, clarity of mind, and insight from a Father who loves.
The challenge when studying the Bible is proving concepts like a state of blessedness which manifest as spiritual qualities which then become reflected in the physical.
Today it's not difficult to prove God's word. When a course of action is recommended and its result is stated, then we can observe and measure the outcome. If we can document the results by experimentation then we can determine the validity of scripture. Although scientific verification is not needed for those who have faith, scientific documentation empowers faith. Additionally, the evidence testifies of the reliability of its source, God.
Psalm 1:1-3 is a perfect example of scripture that can be scientifically proven and therefore counted as reliable in our growth.
Let's take a look at what makes a person blessed. The Bible passage says, "But his delight is in the law of the LORD". This verse states that anyone who gleans over God's word until it becomes the joy of the heart and mind, are blessed.
The next part of the phrase states, "and in His law, he meditates day and night.". The scripture implies that the meditation of God's word has a lasting effect on the mind. The Bible states that the anyone who devoutly studies its content will affect how the mind works.
It's common knowledge that if we focus on something long enough, it becomes part of our psychology.
If we study a subject like property development could we say that God's energies will flow to us like streams of living water as stated in Psalm 1? Probably not. The scripture reveals that if we study, or meditate, on God's word until our heart and mind become vividly delighted, we become recipients of God's flowing energy like trees planted by living waters.
Spiritual activity cannot be proven by science, but the brain and how study and meditation effects it can.
Most people think of the brain as a mass of gray matter with little fluidity and dynamism. Doctors and scholars have noted that the brain is pliable, flexible, and even grow when challenged. Just like your muscles if you don't use your brain you lose it. The brain has billions of tiny cells that connect to form patterns. As you learn something new, the brain is challenged and new patterns begin to form, grow, and multiply.
Brain imaging has shown that our neurological connections are like a tree with millions of branches produced by our cerebral activity, and it's all enhanced by study and meditation. Psalm 1 describes a human being like a tree. If we look at other parts of the body like the circulatory and nervous system, they also resemble trees with many branches.
The Bible states that anyone who inwardly cultivates God's word will be blessed. The question is can the rest of our body benefit from the practice? The answer is yes. Hundreds of well-documented studies have demonstrated that meditation improves health, including our circulatory and nervous system.
The studies have solid proof that just being still for a few minutes each day has a tremendous impact on the body. So part of the scripture we're reviewing today is proven correct.
So being still so we can study and focus makes us healthy, this is a critical point. For anyone to have delight over God's word, one must be able to contemplate its meaning deeply. Stillness and focus are the meditative qualities that allow us to "keep" God's word in mind daily. Our meditation can be so deep and profound that much like a hummingbird who derives life from a flower we derive life from God. Although all people experience life from God, what we're talking about is an individualized stream dedicated to us personally, a stream that supports the fruit we should produce with the gift of life.
Now let's go further.
The next part of the verse says, "He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers".
The text points out that a human being who is compared to a tree does not "wither". Science has unequivocally proven that God fine tuned the body to perform and benefit from meditation. The tree and branches of the brain, circulatory system, and nervous system all perform better with meditation, in other words they become resistant to withering.
But can we relate health and wellbeing to the study and meditation of the Bible as stated in Psalm 1? You bet we can. Read for yourself what Proverbs 4:22 says about "keeping" God's word, "For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh."
If God's word is cultivated within, it will be life and health to your flesh. First, life comes from God. Second, God's life creates health in the body. Lastly, health is a byproduct of healthy genetic activity. This phrase states that the anyone who studies and meditates on God's word until it becomes the natural and continual thought of the mind will experience positive genetic activity. The message resembles Psalm 1:1-3 only with more direct language.
Here's another amazing Bible verse. In John 14:23 Jesus states that anyone who loves Him will "keep" His word. The promise attached to the instruction is that God's presence will increase in them.
"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word: and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our home with him."
God is life, and if God increases His presence in us, then our body will benefit. This is virtually the same message provided by Proverbs 4:22 and Psalm 1:1-3.
The message is clear. If we meditate on God's word we will receive individual countenance from Him which keeps us healthy, strong, and always producing fruit according to the power that support us.
If you're ready to prosper in many ways it's time to practice Christian meditation. Get your Bible and start here.
This article is dedicated to my friend Kimberlee Herman who recently retired from a prosperous Christian psychotherapy practice to serve God and others to a higher degree.
Remember, we're always praying for you. God bless you. See you in the kingdom.