Psalm 1:3 – “He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” NKJV
When I saw this picture, it certainly reminded me of our text for today! Waters flowing, greenery on both sides of the river, and a call to the soul of anyone who loves the great outdoors! Unfortunately, that isn’t me! I can enjoy beautiful scenery like this, or in a movie; but when it comes to this type of nature, let’s just say, I’ll pass! Having said that, I can see the imagery that the psalmist was painting when he said that a blessed man shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water.
I pick up verse 3 today, but I must revisit verse 2. We’ve already discussed that a blessed man loves God’s law. In our case, that would be the Bible. A godly man, who loves the Word, is a man who is planted, rooted, and grounded in the Word. He draws his spiritual strength and nourishment from God’s word, much as a tree draws water and nutrients from a river, which is necessary for sustaining life and growth!
The prophet Jeremiah used similar words to describe the man who is blessed:
Jeremiah 17:7-8 – “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord . For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” NKJV
Jeremiah confirms that a man who is blessed is a man with roots! Roots are important to the tree, but they are also important to the soil. Roots give stability to the tree and provide it with nutrients, but it also keeps the soil from eroding. Stable people have a way of keeping those around them, from falling apart. Their strength is easily transferable to those who may be in need, being a blessing because they are blessed.
The psalmist tells us three important things about this tree that is planted, which we understand symbolizes a blessed man:
First, it brings forth its fruit in its season. This sounds a lot like dependability. As a kid I ate a lot of fruit from the trees in the neighborhood: pears, plums, and figs, to name a few. We knew in the summer that we would be able to play outside all day without the need to go in for lunch because we were surrounded by fruit-bearing trees. Some neighbors would ask us to help them harvest the trees and would allow us to have access to them when we wanted them. And honestly, sometimes we would just go and take what we wanted! We depended on those trees in the summertime. When Jesus went to the fig tree and found no fruit, I can well imagine His disappointment in that tree! A godly man is expected to have good fruit in his season, just as we expect fruit to be on fruit-bearing trees in their season!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
This blessed man is an attractive man. I already shared my husband’s way with our girls, but let me tell you, I’m his number one girl. When we met, I saw the fruit of the spirit in his life and was drawn to him. Are you looking for a husband? Make sure he is bearing the fruit of godliness and not just talking about it. Talk is really cheap when you are thinking of committing yourself to a marital relationship! Look for the real deal!
Second, its leaf shall not wither. Jeremiah helps us to understand this a little better. He writes that the leaf will be green and will not be anxious in a drought. He’s planted by waters. Photosynthesis is always happening within a tree that is well-watered and filled with nutrients from that water. Therefore, the leaves are healthy, vibrant, and green. Even in a drought, it doesn’t affect the tree by the waters. Blessed people are not concerned in times of famine or drought because they are planted near the flow of life; a river whose stream makes glad! The Word is a great source of nourishment in a drought. This pandemic has created a drought for many, but those planted in the Word, are still flourishing! Their leaves are still green and healthy! Does that mean that they don’t experience hardship? Not at all! But when things settle down, the blessed will be found standing!
Lastly, whatever he does shall prosper. That’s what God told Joshua!
Joshua 1:8 – “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” NKJV
The word of God causes us to prosper and to have good success! God said it several times and in several ways. The blessed man will be successful and prosperous! It doesn’t get any plainer than that! If you are a carpenter, then God will cause your carpentry to prosper and be successful. If you are a teacher, like I am, then God can cause you to be successful and prosper. Whatever the arena, wherever you go, your way will prosper and you will have good success!
Let me stop here and say what Jesus said many times, “Be it done to you according to your faith!” If you believe this is only about your spiritual well-being, then that’s where you will prosper and have good success. If you believe this applies to your finances and life, again, that’s what you will have. But if you believe it applies to everything that God has for you, including, “every spiritual blessing”, and every natural benefit, yep, that’s what you will receive.
I just sensed that sometimes, we don’t feel like we are blessed because of a lack of material things, the trials we go through, or the fact that we are still single, childless, or jobless. These things can mark the blessed person’s life. But what I wanted to help you to understand, is what God has helped me to understand: the most blessed person in the world is the person who is living their life with God by His standards! And when you get these other things, they won’t pull you off because you know they are the benefits of you being blessed and not the things that make you blessed! Hope that makes sense! Wonderful Jesus!