Probably the most popular Biblical passage containing the words, “Blessed are . . .” is what we have called The Beatitudes of Jesus. However, before those nine “blessed ares” there are seven Old Testament verses that bear reference and study.
The rule of first occurrence comes to play when we look at the closing sentence of the second Psalm. “Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” The literal meaning of the Hebrew word esher translated blessed in this first verse of reference is “how happy!” It is derived from the originating word, ashar, which is “to be straight (used in the widest sense, especially to be level, right, happy); figuratively, to go forward, be honest, proper.” So we can surmise that this term “blessed” is a continual state of mind and heart – a levelness of commitment, a levelness of honesty, a levelness of pressing forward.
“Blessed are all they that put their trust in Him.” Trust in God – trust in His Word – His faithfulness – His unconditional love and His new-every-morning mercies will bring that blessedness of spirit that makes us happy – right – honest – proper. Place your trust in Him and find His blessing a part of the fiber of your life.
We move on to another verse in Psalms and find this: “Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.” (Psalm 84:4). Dwelling in the house of the Lord, functioning as a member of the family of God brings blessedness. It brings stillness in the midst of storms and turmoil as even we still praise Him and in our praise find blessing.
Psalm 106:3 reads: “Blessed are they that keep judgment, and he that doeth righteousness at all times.” Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the first five verses of this chapter notes, “None of our sins or sufferings should prevent our ascribing glory and praise to the Lord. The more unworthy we are, the more is his kindness to be admired. And those who depend on the Redeemer’s righteousness will endeavour to copy his example, and by word and deed to show forth his praise.” We are blessed when we imitate Jesus – when we uphold His judgment and allow His righteousness to work through us.
Psalm 119 opens with two identifiers of those who are blessed. “Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord. Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” Our lives will be blessed as we walk in the law of the Lord, as we keep His testimonies. The way we can walk undefiled by the world, the way we can seek Him with our whole hearts goes back to that. We will be blessed – happy – level – as we walk in His law and keep His testimonies and seek Him with our whole hearts.
When we go on to read in Proverbs 8:32, we find the words of the Psalmist echoed in the writings of the Wise Man of Proverbs. “Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways.” Our lives will be blessed as we keep His ways. A concise word study there reveals that keeping His ways was a reference to a commitment to a pathway – a road of life – “a course of life or mode of action.” Let our life’s action – the road we take – be His way!
And last but not least before Jesus bursts on the scene and proclaims from the side of a mountain His amazing teaching “Blessed are the poor in spirit . . .” there are two verses from the prophet Isaiah’s quill and parchment. Isaiah 30:18 – “…blessed are all they that wait for him” and “Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters…” We wait for Him and are blessed in the waiting. Our faith that He is coming to us is rewarded when He does indeed come to rescue and redeem us. Again referencing Matthew Henry’s Commentary we find this: “When God sends these happy times blessed are those that improve them in doing good with what they have, that sow beside all waters, that embrace all opportunities of relieving the necessitous; for in due season they shall reap.”
Blessed . . . back to the beginning of this writing. . . “How happy!” He wants us to be – level, right, honest, proper – going forward with Him – as we trust Him – and dwell in His house – and keep His judgement – and act with righteousness – remaining undefiled – keeping His testimonies – seek Him. How happy we are as we keep His ways – as we wait on Him! As we sow we will be blessed in the reaping!