Blessed and Righteous are tricky words. They are used easily when said in passing, less so when concentrating on them. Tomorrow I’m preaching Psalm 1 and so I’ve been thinking a lot about both terms.
Blessed is “esher” in Hebrew and “markarios” in Greek. The idea is “in a good way” (happy, well off, fortunate, etc.). Blessed is he who regularly eats vegetables. Not that there is any zapping going on by your Dr. or the Divine. The doing of what is right, like eating vegetables, has its naturally good effect. Same with being righteous. It is healthy. It is good.
Righteous can quickly sound too uppity for discussion. But, try this out: it is the opposite of wrongishness. Does that work? Doing what is right is much better than doing what isn’t right. Righteous is good. That is how it is used in slang: “Righteous, dude!”
The psalmist says that folk who are righteous are better off than people who aren’t. They are fruitful, fresh and fulfilled. They have a lasting sense of belonging. The righteous have this because they are teachable. They drink in the wisdom of their creator and it grows them in the ways they were intended to go. A God informed soul is like a tree planted by streams of water. That’s pretty.
The not-righteous (rebellious, scoffers and such), also get an organic metaphor. Their’s is the husk around a kernel of grain. Sure, they contribute and leave some contribution behind, but they don’t last. They die and get what they wanted, no renewal of contract with the giver of life. They are on their own, and that is not enough. That’s sad.
The point of the 1st Psalm? Don’t walk, stand, sit with those who claim to make sense of life contrary to God’s wisdom. Rather, think deeply and personally about the things God reveals and let it shape and guide you. If you do, it will be very good.