“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; 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 that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.” - Psalm 1:1-6
In this psalm, there are two ways in which a person can live: according to the way of the wicked or according to the law of the Lord. Those who choose to live in the law of the Lord will experience blessing, abundance, and substance while the one who chooses to live in the way of the wicked will perish like chaff. In the Middle East, the terrain was quite dry. Streams of water were not abundant like we might imagine. When the psalmist uses the analogy of a tree planted by the water, he intends to create a sense of awe and wonder. What a glorious image to have a constant supply of water in a dry land. Access to this water yielded fruit. Thus, this tree was a blessing to all who partook of that fruit.
By contrast, the person who walked in the way of the wicked was the like the chaff blown away by the wind. There was no purpose, no blessing, no roots to this life. During the threshing season, the husks of grain and grass were separated from the seed. All that was useful was kept and used for cooking. Chaff, on the other hand, was deemed worthless and was allowed to blow away or fall onto the ground.
The psalmist calls the reader or singer to consider his or her life. Is he producing fruit? Is she disconnected from the source of life, producing only chaff? The law of the Lord was good. It was there to protect God’s people, to bless them and guide them in the ways of fruitfulness, for their sake and the sake of everyone they would encounter. The ways of the wicked might seem desirable or enjoyable for a time, but the judgement of the Lord will come against such wickedness. There is the final judgement, but there is also judgement in the present. To live without bearing fruit is to survive but not thrive. God made people to thrive, to create, and to bless others. Through him alone do we find the true meaning and purpose for our lives. As we live in faithfulness, not only do we experience his blessings, but we become a source of blessing to others.
Reflect & Respond:
Consider your way of living today. Are you surviving or are you thriving? If you find yourself longing for more purpose and blessing, consider meditating on the law of the Lord. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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