In Psalm 89, the Psalmist begins by speaking of the majesty and glory of God. He takes note of several of the perfections of the Most High, such as, His mercy, His faithfulness and His power. In verse 15, the Psalmist goes on to observe the blessedness of the people of God. He writes, ‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD, in the light of thy countenance.’
The word, ‘Blessed’ is derived from a root that means ‘to be happy’. Thus, they are a happy people. Perhaps not at all times consciously, but yet, in the highest sense, they are a happy people. All the happiness of the world cannot be compared to the happiness of God’s people. And why are they a happy people? In this verse we have two reasons given.
Firstly, they know the joyful sound. They know the joyful sound of salvation, the truly joyful sound of the gospel. In the surrounding verses, the Psalmist writes of God’s mercy and truth (v.14) and of God’s people being exalted in His righteousness (v.16). The gospel of Christ is the good news of a Saviour, but it is those who know the joyful sound, who are truly blessed and happy. It is one thing to hear of a Saviour which is Christ the Lord, but another to know that same Saviour as the Saviour of our soul, having received and rested on Christ alone for salvation, as He is freely offered to us in the gospel.
Secondly, they shall walk in the light of God’s countenance. In other words, they shall have the favour of God. They shall have His favour in this world, as they walk through it, and in its fullness of sense in glory.
As it is put in Psalm 144:15 ‘Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord.’
G B Macdonald