“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.” Psalm 1:1-3
My dad lives in the upstate of South Carolina and in his backyard he has a long row of tall Leland Cypress trees. The trees were planted years ago to help provide privacy for his backyard after the pine trees grew so tall that they no longer provided cover.
For years the Leland Cypress trees have grown tall and appeared healthy… until a year ago. Dad started noticing a few of the trees starting to turn brown and so he took a clipping in to a horticulturist for examination. Expecting to hear there was a disease, he was surprised when the extension agent told him that the reason the trees were dying was because of the large pine trees. Simply put, the big pine trees were stealing the water from the smaller trees and either the Leland Cypress trees or the big pine trees would have to go.
Imagine your life resembles a tree. As you grow, your roots sink down and begin to draw nutrients from what’s around you. The question is: Where are your roots planted?
In this psalm, the writer uses the illustration of a tree to describe a heart that is rooted in God’s Word. He describes a tree that is well nourished, strong, and bearing fruit. We live in a world surrounded by things constantly competing for our affection and it is hard to stay rooted in the truth of God.
However, sin is like those big pine trees sucking the life out of the Leland Cypress trees in my dad’s backyard. Sometimes, we have to cut the destructive trees out of our hearts so the life-giving tree of the Gospel can get healthy and bear fruit. One set of trees leads to life, the other set leads to death.
Where are your roots planted? Are they in the well-watered soil of the Gospel and the Bible or in the parched dirt of the world around you? Psalm 1 tells us that true life and blessing is only found in the “law of the Lord” (ie- the Bible).