“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2 NKJV).
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 whom we surround ourselves with affect 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 the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither” (verse 3). In the dry, hot climate of the Middle East, plants that are without sufficient water supply wither and die.
Those plants 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 of a tree or plant-producing fruit as a symbol of the actions of a person. The psalmist expects that our meditation and delighting in the law of the Lord will not simply remain a cognitive or emotional reality but will instead lead us to act and behave in a manner consistent with God’s instruction.
He concludes his image of the fruitful tree by saying, “whatever he does shall prosper” (verse 3).
We are responsible for our spiritual growth. We have to guard ourselves from corrupting influences around us. And, we have to make sure that we delight in God’s instruction 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 which the wind drives away” (verse 4)? Our intentionality in cultivating our spiritual growth and maturity will determine what they see. What do you delight in?
Father, 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.