After God created man, He blessed Him (Gen. 1:22, 28). When man sinned against God (3:6), He judged him by denying him access to the tree of life and banishing him from the Garden of Eden (3:22-24).
After the initial statements about how God blessed man, the word blessed occurs 300 times in 285 verses in Scripture. An analysis of these abundant occurrences of this important word reveals some key facts, including the following:
- God continued to bless man in spite of his sinfulness
- The word occurs in 41 books of Scripture
- Five books have 10 or more occurrences of the word (Gen. ; Deut. ; Ps. ; Matt. ; Lk. )
- Psalms is the only book that begins with the word
Psalms, the book with the most occurrences of the word blessed, reveals how people are blessed:
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (1:1-3).
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him (2:12).
In the latter text, David (cf. Acts 4:25-26; 13:33) specifies that blessedness comes to all who put their trust in the Son (2:12), the LORD’s anointed King (cf. 2:6-9), who in context is described as the Judge (2:9, 12).
The final occurrence of the word blessed reveals the same wondrous truth of blessedness coming from the Judge:
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right [ἐξουσία] to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city (Rev. 22:12-14).
This passage specifies that the ultimate blessedness that God intends for mankind includes their being authorized to have access to the tree of life—the very access that had been forfeited in the Garden! Praise God for so great a salvation!