The Willow Tree: Psalm 1 (Pt 4)

A Study of Psalm 1: (Part 4: Exposition IB)

B.  The righteous man is fruitful and flourishing:

The Psalmist uses an analogy to describe the righteous man.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yield its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.  In all that he does, he prospers. In the culture of that day, a fruit-bearing tree had no chance of surviving the dry season without irrigation or transplantation.  When the heavy drought set-in, the leaves would wither and the tree would begin to die.  The only remedy during this difficult season was to transplant the tree near a refreshing water-source that would prevent it from withering and being rendered fruitless.

The righteous man is like a tree whose roots are connected to a all-satisfying water source that refreshes his soul and sustains his life.  When the dry seasons of difficulty comes, this man will neither wither nor become fruitless.  Not only will he be sustained, he will also flourish.  He will flourish, because he daily draws life  from the only source of true refreshment.  In fact, he draws this refreshment both day and night.  The man who meditates on the law of the Lord will be fruitful and  his life will flourish.  The fruit may not be immediate, but it will surely come in due time.

The result of being connected to a supply of water cannot be overestimated.  An intriguing illustration of this can be found in the satellite footage of the South Platte River basin of the western United States.  Much of the land in that region is dry and shows little to no greenery.  However, the basin that runs along the South Platte River is saturated with trees and shrubs.  The satellite images are quite compelling.  The righteous man is like a tree planted along streams of water.  His leaves will not wither and his life will yield its fruit in season.

Have you experienced God’s word to be refreshing to your soul?  Do you look to God’s word to sustain your life and satisfy your deepest longings?  Are you allowing it to bear fruit in your life?  Is it where you primarily look for guidance, and by which you test all other things to see whether they are truly beneficial for your growth in godliness?

Unlike the righteous man who prospers in all that he does, the wicked man is like chaff that the wind drives away.  Nothing that he accomplishes will last.  In the next post, we will consider how God judges the wicked by allowing them to perish in their sin.

*This is the fourth of several posts on Psalm 1.

[1] See also Joshua 1:8-9; Jeremiah 17:5-8; 31:5; Psalm 19:1-14

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