Friday, September 27, 2013

Like a Tree Planted by Streams of Water

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. (Psalms 1:1-4)

When we meditate on the truth in the Bible and delight in it, we will be like a tree planted by streams of water. We will yield fruit in season and not wither. Whatever we do will prosper. What an encouraging promise from God!

Where do we start? By not seeking our guidance from the wicked. The world is full of those who are against God. We must make the choice to obey God's word, not the advice of man. In the above verses, mockers refer to those who have no regard for God's truth. They make fun of believers.  They laugh at sin and show no remorse for their own sin. Those who know God should not stand in the way of sinners. We don't take part in their sinfulness or spend our time hanging out with them on a regular basis.

To obey God's word we must know it. We can't delight in something we have no clue about. By reading the Bible and studying it, we learn truth and and know how much God loves us. We cling to his promises. We stand in awe of who he is. Meditating on it day and night doesn't mean we carry a Bible around and do nothing else. It means we have a constant habitual regard for the word of God. As we go about our daily routine, we strive to live according to God' principles. We desire to live in a way that pleases him, no matter how ungodly the culture around us is.

A person who is deeply rooted in the word of God is blessed. A blessed person is joyful and content, because she knows she is walking with God and following his plan for her life. God blesses those who follow him wholeheartedly.

Why does God use the metaphor of a tree to describe his people? A healthy tree is one that has deep roots that feed and stabilize it. The tree branches supply shade and shelter. A sturdy tree with solid roots can withstand storms. The leaves of certain trees contain healing properties. Fruit trees supply nourishment, vitamins, and minerals in the fruit they bear. The metaphor of leaves that do not wither is an image of vibrant life that is not marred by sin and decay. When we stay rooted in God, we still sin because of our human condition but we don't continue in that sin. We confess it to God and he forgives us. Sin that is not confessed weighs a person down. If left un-confessed, it will eventually lead to one being withered and destroyed. 

When we allow Jesus, who is described in scripture as the living water, to saturate our parched and weary roots, we gain renewed strength and hope. When our spiritual roots are deep, we are able to endure difficult circumstances. When we are strong and grounded in our faith, we can be a shelter for others who are facing challenging times. In time, we will bear fruit if we stay rooted in God. This may require several  seasons of being dormant and bring pruned. We require continuous nourishment from God's word during these times. Then, in due season, when it is most beautiful and useful in God's perfect timing, we will bear fruit.

Prospering in all we do does not mean prosperity as the world views it. It does not mean we will become rich and famous. God does at times bless people with wealth, etc., but God is more concerned about our soul prosperity. We will prosper and succeed at doing God's will for us when we conform to his laws. We have eternal life when we are believers in Jesus Christ. Nothing we have on earth will ever compare to what awaits us when we get to heaven. Now, that is true prosperity!

The wicked have nothing to look forward to. They are merely described as chaff that the wind blows away. 

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