Today, Tuesday September 20
“Shall Be Like a Tree”
“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. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.”
Did you ever wonder why so many church members fail in their Christian walk? They seem to start out so well. They are so excited that their sins are forgiven. They have found a group of people that accept and love them unconditionally. They jump in with both feet to be involved with the “church life”. They show up every time the doors are open. They serve in any way they can. They sing on the praise team and in the choir. They teach in Sunday School. They become deacons and leaders in the church. They might even feel the call to ministry and go off to Bible College and become pastors, evangelist, and missionaries.
But then something happens and the next thing you know they are sitting on the sidelines. They no longer serve, go to church, and they start hanging out with their old friends that care nothing for the Christian life. They might even get to the point where they don’t even claim to be a believer anymore. How sad, but how true this is! I could name dozens of people that this has happened to in my years as a pastor. So, why does this happen?
I believe we find the answer right here in the first three verses of Psalm 1! When the storms and challenges of life came their way and they got knocked down, they started listening to the lies of the devil through ungodly people. Anyone who is sincerely serving the Lord is a target for Satan and his devices. And usually, it comes from someone they thought was their Christian friend, or someone that they respected as a leader, that disappointed them or hurt them deeply.
But the real reason they were not able to properly deal with the offence or disappointment and get back up, is because they failed to put down deep roots like a tree into the “Living Water” of God’s Word and His Holy Spirit. There are far too many believers who are a mile wide in their Christian experience but only a half an inch deep in their walk with the Lord and His Word. Remember what Jesus said in Luke 6:47-49, “Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”
The Psalmist tells us here that the godly person like a tree that is alive, beautiful, fruitful, useful, and enduring. The most important part of a tree is the hidden root system that draws up water and nourishment, and the most important part of the believer's life is the "spiritual root system" that draws on the hidden resources we have in Christ (Eph. 3:17; Col. 2:7). This is known as "abiding in Christ" (John 15:1-9).
In Scripture, water for drinking is a picture of the Spirit of God (John 7:37-39; 1 Cor. 10:4), while water for washing pictures the Word of God (Ps. 119:9; John 15:3; Eph. 5:26). Thirst for water is an image of thirst for God (42:1; 63:1; 143:6; Matt. 5:6; Rev. 22:17), and the river is often a picture of God's provision of spiritual blessing and help for His people (36:8; 46:4; 78:16; 105:41; Ex. 17:5-6; Num. 20:9-11; Ezek. 47; and Rev. 22:1-2). We can't nourish and support ourselves; we need to be rooted in Christ and drawing upon His spiritual power. To meditate on the Word (v. 2) is one source of spiritual energy, as are prayer and fellowship with God's people.
Trees may wither and die, but the believer who abides in Christ stays fresh, green, and fruitful (see 92:12-14). "Fruit" speaks of many different blessings: winning people to Christ (Rom. 1:13), godly character (Rom. 6:22, Gal. 5:22-23), money given to the Lord's work (Rom. 15:28), service and good works (Col. 1:10), and praise to the Lord (Heb. 13:15). It's a tragedy when a believer ignores the "root system" and begins to wither. We must remember that the tree doesn't eat the fruit; others eat it. We must also remember that fruit isn't the same as "results," because fruit has in it the seed for more fruit. Fruit comes from life, the life of God flowing in and through us.
We must dig deep into God’s Word and build the foundation of our life on the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ!