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A Tree of Life

“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).

Have you ever heard the sayings: you are what you think, and beware of the company you keep? The psalmist highlights that the blessed person is the one who watches the company he or she keeps and meditates upon God’s instruction all day. Those who we surround ourselves with effect and impact our thoughts and behaviors. Be careful, the psalmist warns. While we must guard ourselves from the negative influence of some, we must actively choose to meditate and delight in God’s instruction.

The one who does this, the psalmist compares to a “tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither” (v. 3). In the dry, hot climate of the Middle East, plants without sufficient water supply, exposed to the heat of the sun, wither and die. Those with ample water can sustain their life and will produce fruit. The psalmist uses the image of a well-watered tree to suggest that the one who acts as he outlines in verses 1 and 2 will thrive regardless of the weather conditions.

He further describes this tree as producing fruit. The Bible often uses the image a tree or plant producing fruit as a symbol of the actions of a person. The psalmist expects that a person’s meditation and delighting in the law of the Lord will not simply remain a cognitive or emotional reality. Rather, these meditations should lead us to act and behave in a manner consistent with God’s instruction.

He concludes his image of the fruitful tree saying, “whatever they do prospers” (1:3). We are responsible for our spiritual growth and maturity. We have to guard ourselves from potential corrupting influences around us. And, we have to make the instruction of the Lord something we delight to meditate on all day, every day. Such meditation should lead us to bearing good fruit.

Do people look at our lives and see a fruitful tree, or do our lives look like “chaff that the wind blows away” (Psalm 1:4)? Our intentionality to our spiritual growth will determine what they see. What do you delight in?

PRAYER

Lord, today may I guard myself from influences that can corrupt me from following You, and as I meditate upon Your law and instruction, may my life bear fruit to Your glory. Amen.

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