1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 2 but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. 4 The wicked are not so, but are like chaff which the wind drives away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the LORD knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalm 1:1–6, RSV
There is a common inquiry among men concerning blessedness; there is no one who does not wish that it may be well with him, and does not dread the thought that it should be ill with him. Yet all who have ever inquired into the matter have wandered from the knowledge of true blessedness, and those have wandered the most widely who have inquired with greatest diligence, such as the philosophers, the greatest of whom have placed true blessedness in the works of virtue, having rendered themselves more unhappy than the rest; they have deprived themselves of the blessings both of this life and of that which is to come. The common people, although their ideas were the more grossly mad by making blessedness to consist in carnal pleasure, enjoyed at least the good of this life. This teacher, however, deriving his doctrine from heaven and detesting all the devoted endeavors of men, gives this only true definition of blessedness which is wholly unknown to men — that he is the blessed man who loves the law of God. It is a short definition, but it contains a savor that is contrary to all human ideas, and especially to human wisdom.
Is he not a blessed man and one strong in the faith who does not walk in the broad way in the midst of the multitudes; who suffers reproaches and many evils from the same, and yet does not consent unto them so as to walk with them? Who is not deceived by the most specious counsel of the ungodly, which might deceive the very elect? It is a great thing not to be overcome by riches, pleasures and honors; but to overcome the specious righteousness and wisdom of the ungodly, who direct their attacks most of all against pure faith, is the greatest of all victories. But you are to notice that these words are the words of faith and that they do not speak of men according to what they appear to be. For no one would imagine such to be the ungodly. The prophet here speaks in the spirit; and spiritually that is ungodly which the world considers most godly, because it is devoid of faith. The ungodly are secure and confident in their lives, and there is no fear of God before their eyes.
Luther, Martin, and John Sander. Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year. Augustana Book Concern, 1915, pp. 371–72.