Being happy is a state of mind that God wants each of us to experience. As you think of happiness, words like joy, gladness, and pleased come to mind. I remember memorizing Psalm 1 when I was younger. This Psalm seems like it’s coming from a king, and it is powerful. It reads “Blessed is the one who does not walk in the way of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” This was the first Bible verse in seminary I ever translated. The first word blessed in the Hebrew language is “asher,” and it means happy.
So why do so many translators of this Psalm choose the word “blessed?” It’s an option, but it’s more of a second option in my opinion. Religious people don’t want you to be happy, they want you to be blessed, right? I love the word blessed too, but we think of the word blessed as holy, and holiness is good, but that’s not what this verse is saying. Blessed is the idea of a good, rich and full life and yes, that includes smiles and laughter.
Friend, if we speak of a happy life, the translation should say “Happy is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or take seat in the company of mockers…” God wants his people to be happy! There are many ways we can reflect a happy life: by expressing a smile, being good natured, walking in joy, sharing hope, even being content. Just think of that!