“How happy are those whose way is blameless, who live according to the Lord’s instruction!
Happy are those who keep His decrees and seek Him with all their heart.
They do nothing wrong; they follow His ways.”
Psalms 119:1-3 HCSB
I was one happy girl when it came time to start school. It was a wonderful world filled with lots of playmates and exciting things to do. Our teacher, Miss Williams, was not only beautiful but oh, so smart. I hung on to her every word, and tried my hardest to comply with her instructions. It was my daily mission to make Miss Williams proud of me.
Being a firstborn of five uniquely formed me to be a rule-follower. After all, there were all those others coming behind me that needed to be reined in. I sometimes see the same behavior in my granddaughter who at age nine is the oldest of six. It’s an important job, keeping those other kids in line.
It makes me laugh when I think of those days that probably drove my mother crazy with all the tattling. The reality was, I was more concerned about whether the others were doing the right thing than I was about my own behavior. Today, however, I see the value of rule-following as a way of having a happy life.
Happy = Blessed
Some translations use blessed in the place of the word happy found in the HCSB version of our Psalm 119 verse. According to the Hebrew lexicon this word blessed is used as an interjection at the beginning of the chapter to set the mood for what follows. With blessed to set the stage, what comes next is a list of benefits connected to following the Word. Things like dignity, purity, joy and freedom, just to name a few, are attained by following the rules laid out in the Bible.
But the blessedness doesn’t stop there. Webster’s definition of blessed is having a sacred nature connected with God. This connection is fostered through knowing God through His Word and then putting it into action in our lives. Yes, you know what I’m talking about. It’s obedience. This very act allows us to experience God’s character firsthand. When we love, we become loving. When we forgive, we become forgiving. Etc. We become more like God. As we walk in His ways we know Him, intimately.
So, I guess I am here to tell you that rule-following isn’t such a bad thing at all. It will lead you to a very happy existence. Oh, and forget the tattling. God knows everything.
How blessed are those whose actions are blameless, who obey the law of the LORD.
How blessed are those who observe his rules, and seek him with all their heart,
who, moreover, do no wrong, but follow in his footsteps.
Psalm 119:1-3 NET