Psalm 1:2-3 (NLT)
But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
The first psalm contrasts the life of the wicked and the life of the blessed…those that follow God and those that choose to disobey…a diversity that every Christian knows all too well. In effect, this first psalm lays out the overall message of the entire Book of Psalms, which is echoed in the New Testament book of Romans: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 6:23). This or That. Either, Or. One Road or The Other.
What do you delight in? What brings joy and fulfillment into your life? In other words, what are you striving after? Whatever it is, consider that to be the “riverbank” where you have chosen to plant your “tree.” Notice that this passage reveals an active decision to plant the trees along the riverbank rather than some random dropping of a seed based on the prevailing winds of the day. In our sin, we may choose to plant our tree next to a stream that offers us only dirty or contaminated water…like the streams of materialism, popularity, or worldliness. Imagine planting a tree on a riverbank downstream from a pollution-belching facility that dumps its waste into the river on a daily basis. Your tree doesn’t stand a chance (Mth. 15:13).
On the other hand, imagine what would happen if you planted the same tree along the banks of a beautiful and pristine river that never ceases to flow. This is a tree that will bear its fruit each season…its leaves will never wither…and it prospers in all its growth. Do you look at God’s Word that way? Do you drink regularly and enthusiastically from the Water of Life…or is your tree pulling from the polluted waters of the world? Do you talk about God’s Word with other believers and ponder its application (Deut. 6:7) …or do you give it a casual glance out of guilt or a joyless sense of obligation? Your tree has been designed to flourish, but it can only do so if it is planted on the right riverbank.