Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.(Psalm 1:1-3)
In the first Psalm, God reveals the marks of the truly blessed man. His blessedness comes not from outward circumstances, but as a result of an inward separation from the world, and unto God. The emphasis is on the interior , the thought life, the worldview.
This one drinks from a different stream, for “His delight is in the Law of the Lord and in His law doth he meditate day and night”.What the truly happy man loves , is the whole of the teaching of God, the Torah. We are not just talking “law” here, as in do’s and don’ts, but all of God’s counsel and testimonies , all of the Word of God.
Everyone meditates, whether they realize it or not, for contrary to eastern religious theory, meditation is not the emptying of the mind, it is the setting of the mind on a content, and mentally ‘ruminating’ on it, as a cow chews on its cud.
The widespread use of technology that use earphones, I-Pads, CD players, etc, shows us just how common meditation really is. People are enabled to literally program their own thinking as they walk, drive, or ride, blocking out everything, hearing nothing but a pre-selection of music, or perhaps a favorite speaker.
The delight of the truly blessed man, is to meditate on God’s word, His precepts, statutes and testimonies, day and night. In this way He is rooted as a tree, taking nourishment from a stream which shall never dry up.
This doesn’t come about naturally, for “He is like a tree planted…“. Something is done to him to bring this about. A tree cannot transplant itself. One of my minor delights in life is to see the progress of various trees I have planted on my own property.
About six years ago, I dug up a frail, sickly willow shoot, out of a brackish ditch, over run with weeds and other sickly saplings, and replanted it on a choice spot on our lot. It has thrived, and is now about fifteen feet tall! It is a simple joy to see, especially when I note that the other saplings from the ditch have all died long since.
(The Father) hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:(Colossians 1:12-13)
This is the story of my life, in God. I was content to rot in a ditch, until the holy shovel of the conviction of the Holy Spirit disturbed me, and separated me from my surroundings. When I heard the gospel of Jesus, crucified for me, and raised by God, I believed and was transplanted, into a better, healthier setting. I now draw from a source of nourishment that can never fail !
* He brings forth His fruit in its season… Humans were created to be fruitful, it is sin that spoils the fruit. The man who has been planted (born again) and who meditates on God’s word, enjoys the restoration of fruitfulness to his life.
The fruit that God has always wanted to produce in humanity, is true Love, love for God supremely, and for our neighbors equally.
“Now the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy and peace…”(Galatians 5:22)
Sin distorts the fruit; we end up loving the wrong things, and in the wrong order, all is out of season. We wrongly love ourselves supremely, or love some created thing with all of our hearts, soul , mind and strength, giving our all to something unworthy. Then when it leaves us empty, we hate it just as intensely.
Coming back to God puts things in order, our love is corrected. We can now be truly human, for in God, we have someone to love who is worthy of all of our affections. The distortion of our values is over, and we are brought into a wonderful continuity,”…fruit in its season”.
*His leaf also shall not wither…The leaf is the public profession. Do you remember when Jesus came upon a fig tree full of leaves, yet devoid of fruit? That kind of fig tree actually bears fruit before the leaves are formed, the presence of leaves is an indication that there should be fruit.
But Jesus found no fruit, therefore he cursed the whole tree, and within a day it withered and died . That became a prophetic metaphor for second temple Judaism, which was withered and died within forty years.
The truly happy man has both the leaves , (the outward profession) and the fruit, (Love for God and man as an inward reality). He is consistent because his life is based on principle, not feelings or passing whims. Like a tree he is firmly rooted and established.