HE WILL BE LIKE A TREE
FIRMLY PLANTED BY STREAMS OF WATER: (Job 14:9; Isaiah 44:4;
Jer 17:7, 8; Ezekiel 17:8; 19:10; 47:12; Rev 22:2)
He will be - As Joseph
Alexander observes "the present and the future insensibly run into
each other, so as to to suggest the idea of continuous or permanent
1 Commentary) In other
words, blessed not only in this life but the life to come! Is this not
a desire of your heart dear child of the Living God? Indeed, it is the
blessed man or woman who gives irrefutable testimony to the invisible
God, their supernatural lives virtually "shouting" that there is a God
in heaven Who desires to save, but Who in His justice will be forced
to judge all who fail to receive the free gift of eternal life through
faith in His Son, Christ Jesus.
F B Meyer - The rewards of the blessed man - He
shall be under Divine culture, planted (Ps 92:13); within reach of
perennial supplies, planted by rivers (John 7:37, 38,39); prepared against
any demand or emergency - fruit in season; unfading beauty and
freshness, a spiritual evergreen; and prosperity even in this world,
because his life is ordered by discretion and obedience to Divine
principles. Joseph realized this picture (Ge 39:3, 4) (Gems
from the Psalms)
Like a tree - "A lively
emblem of vitality and fruitfulness." (J. Alexander) The psalmist
term of comparison, which functions much like
a window which God's Spirit opens in order to give us added insight into the meaning of
a particular passage of Scripture.
Remember that these "windows" are not to be abused by a
fanciful, even "sanctified" imagination, but must always be interpreted in light of the
context. The danger of
figures of speech is for us to "run wild" with
speculative interpretations, forgetting that all figures of speech are meant
A W Pink - This figure is found in numerous
passages, for there are many resemblances between a tree and a saint.
He is not a "reed" moved about by every wind which blows, nor a
creeper, trailing along the ground. A tree is upright, and grows
heavenward. This tree is "planted"—many are not—but grow wild. A
"planted" tree is under the care and cultivation of its owner. Thus,
assures us that those who delight
in God's Law are owned by God, cared for and pruned by Him! (The
Guy King - A tree must have water, and it is
fascinating to see how some kinds - the alder, for instance - If
planted away from it, will instinctively push out their roots in the
direction of the water, however far off, seeming, with their tendrils,
to be feeling for it, till they find it. (TO
MY SON An Expositional Study of II Timothy by Guy King)
David Caldwell expounds on
"The tree similitude"...
A beautiful illustration of
the perpetual verdure and fruitfulness of the piety deriving its
origin and sustenance from the Word of God. It is compared to a tree
whose roots are refreshed by never-failing streams of living water,
and whose every part is instinct with the life flowing from its roots.
It is the same with the piety nourished by the Word of God. As the sap
of the tree imparts life not only to its roots, and trunk, and larger
branches, but also to the remotest twig and leaf, and to the very down
upon the leaf, so the truly godly man’s piety pervades his whole life,
imparting its spirit and character and beauty to everything he does he
is not a religious man in one or two departments of life, but he is a
religious man everywhere. His religion is a mental habit--a habit of
thought, of feeling, of purpose, of action, of which he never for a
moment divests himself. He aims that not so much as a leaf on his tree
of righteous living shall show signs of decay. The same spirit that
actuates him in the largest, actuates him also in the least
transaction of his life. His religion is not a thing that is put on
(cp James 1:27-note),--it
is the man himself--the man in the man. Consequently the storm that
bows mock trees of righteousness to the earth, leaves him still
standing; the drought that dries up their streams of life, leaves his
life still full, fresh, and flowing. Vigor, verdure, and fruitfulness
are his evermore. His source of strength can never fail. It is the
river of life flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb, reaching
his soul through the law of the LORD, wherein is his delight
and unceasing meditation. (Biblical
Illustrator - - scroll down page)
Frank S. Rowland - A
tree sermon to children
Six characteristics of trees.
1. Contentment. I never heard of a tree complaining. They are
perfectly contented with their lot. Did you ever hear of a maple
wishing it were an oak? They have not so much to make them contented
as we have. The Christ-Spirit in us will make us happy and contented.
2. Health. How many of you have seen an unhealthy tree? The perfect
boy or girl is the one who, like the tree, is healthy. We should
attend to these bodies of ours. We should be careful to eat and drink
those things which will give us sound bodies. We need to keep our
minds, bodies, and souls healthy.
3. Roots. A great part of a tree is underground. Two reasons for
this--to hold the tree in its place, and to nourish the tree. A
perfect man, a perfect woman, boy, or girl is one who is well-rooted.
Among the roots which hold us stable and keep us from falling are--
(1) Good habits formed early in life;
(2) good companions;
(3) good books.
4. Importance. Trees are used in building, furniture, ships, and as
medicine. Their fruit is important. The perfect man is important to
society, to home, to national life. What should we do without the
ideal man and woman?
5. Symmetry. The word means “perfectly balanced in all its parts.”
Some trees have perfect proportions. There are men who have only
attended to physical development; others only to intellectual
development. The symmetrical man is one who has attended to the
development of the mind, body, and spirit.
6. Trial. A mighty oak is perfect, because it has been tried. Tempests
have swept over it, but still it stands. The perfect man, woman, boy,
or girl is the one who, when tempted and tried, comes off the victor.
Tried, weighed, and not found wanting, Tried and found to be sound. (Biblical
Illustrator - scroll down page)
All God's children should...
be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, (Why?) that He may be glorified.
Of Time And Trees -People
who don’t want to wait 4 decades for a globe Norway maple to grow in
their front yard can buy a 30-foot specimen from a New York nursery
for $42,000. A 50-foot European beech is a “bargain” for only $20,000.
In spite of the prices, the country’s leading nurseries report soaring
sales of mature trees.
As one customer put it: “I can’t wait for a banana to ripen. I only
buy them bright yellow. There’s no patience for watching a tree grow.”
We humans are always in a hurry, looking for shortcuts to skirt the
process and grasp the product. And sometimes we expect instant
maturity in our Christian walk and growth in faith. What a contrast to
the enormous leisure of God in His dealings with us!
The psalmist affirmed God’s promise that the person who delights in
His Word will “be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that
brings forth its fruit in its season” (Ps. 1:2-3). A growing
Christian, whether a new believer or a seasoned saint, is like a
healthy tree—planted, nourished, and fruitful.
If our roots are in God’s Word and our hearts are drawing sustenance
from Him, we will flourish. And growth toward maturity brings joy to
the God of patience.
Our fruitfulness and growth in
Won't happen instantly,
But meditating on God's Word
Will bring maturity.
It takes a moment to be saved.
It takes a lifetime to grow in godliness.
Spiritual Trees - Godly
men and women are compared in Scripture to sturdy, healthy trees,
planted by the rivers of water, laden with fruit, and full of leaves
(Ps. 1:3; 104:16). In order for us to be fruitful trees, we must:
1. Stand straight for God.
Lives that reveal Christlike character are lovely to behold, for they
are not gnarled by sin or rotted by hypocrisy.
2. Be strong. Those who are well-rooted in God’s Word will be
unmovable in times of trial and temptation.
3. Keep growing. As healthy trees add a new ring of growth each
year, we too should constantly grow in grace (2 Pet. 3:18).
4. Bring blessing to others. Some trees provide food, others
give shade, and others are made into lumber. So too, Christians should
provide spiritual food and comfort to their neighbors, as well as use
their time and talents to build people up in the Lord.
5. Be ready to be transplanted when God so wills. Christians
are not here to stay; they are waiting to be transplanted in the
garden of heaven where their fruit will never wither and their leaf
will never fade.
How good a tree are you? Is
there any fruit, any beauty, any growth worth talking about? Or are
you wilted and unproductive? Get growing! —Henry G. Bosch (ODB Editor
The just are
nourished like a tree
Set by the riverside;
Their leaf is green, their fruit is sure,
And thus their works abide.
stops, decay begins.
Planted (08362) (shathal/satal)
is a verb which means to plant or to transplant. The idea is to plant
and cultivate a seed or seedling in the ground so it may grow. Almost
all the uses are figurative, speaking of the godly man or of Israel
uses phuteuo which means literally to plant (Mt 21:33) or
figuratively to introduce the Gospel others (1Cor 3:6).
The picture in Psalm 1 is of the
godly man being transplanted, which is a fitting image of the
New Testament truth of the born-again person. We were dead in our
trespasses and sins in IN ADAM and when we were born again by the
sanctifying work of the Spirit we were transferred from
("transplanted" if you will from) the kingdom of darkness to the
kingdom of light and placed IN CHRIST, rooted and grounded in Him.
Shathal - 11v - Ps 1:3;
Ps 92:13; Jer 17:8; Ezek 17:8, 10, 22, 23; 19:10, 13; Hos 9:13 Usage:
Psalms 92:13 Planted in the house
of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God.
Joni Eareckson Tada - The branches of growing trees not
only reach higher, but their roots grow deeper. It’s impossible for a
strong tree to have high branches without having deep roots. It would
become top-heavy and topple over in the wind....The same is true with
Christians. It’s impossible for us to grow in the Lord without
entwining our roots around His Word and deepening our life in His
commands.” (Diamonds in the Dust)
Joseph Alexander - He is not, however, like a tree
growing wild, but like a tree planted, in the most favorable
situation, on or over, i.e., overhanging, streams of water. The
original words properly denote canals or channels, as customary means
of artificial irrigation. hence the single tree is said to overhang
more than one, because surrounded by them. The image presented is that
of a highly cultivated spot, and implies security and care, such as
could not be enjoyed in the most luxuriant wilderness or forest.
Planted speaks of
stability in the storms of life. Ray Pritchard elaborates on
this picture asking...
How do you know when a tree has
good roots? Answer: When the storms come. All the trees look pretty
much alike when the sun is shining or a gentle rain is falling, but
let a mighty storm with fierce rain and howling winds pass through.
Then the true difference is apparent. The trees with few roots are
blown over, but the trees with deep roots are still standing when the
storm has passed. So it is for the child of God. You won’t know how
good your root system is until the storms of life crash against you.
Only then will you discover the strength of your spiritual foundation.
The only way to be ready for the storm is to spend time now delighting
in God’s Word day by day, meditating on its truth, and building a
foundation deep and strong for whatever may come your way.
Parallel Isaiah 61:3b and
note how or by whom he is planted and why?
So they will be
called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.
The older I get the more I like
God's picture of believers as "trees" Psalm 92 testifying that...
The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the LORD,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and
Streams of water - The
Septuagint translates the phrase by streams of water with the
Greek phrase "para tas diexodous ton hudaton".
lexicon BDAG explains that the specific phrase tas
diexodous ton hudaton means...
the point where a stream of water
flowing underground suddenly breaks through and flows out freely, a
The point is that this is not a
stagnant pool but a flowing stream, making the image even more vivid
in a land where flowing spring fed streams were sparse. How blessed is
By the rivers of water - פלגי מים
palgey mayim, the streams or divisions of the waters. Alluding to the
custom of irrigation in the eastern countries, where streams are
conducted from a canal or river to different parts of the ground, and
turned off or on at pleasure; the person having no more to do than by
his foot to turn a sod from the side of one stream, to cause it to
share its waters with the other parts to which he wishes to direct his
Albert Barnes agrees,
adding that streams ...
does not here quite express the
sense of the original. The Hebrew word פלג peleg, from פלג pâlag, to
cleave, to split, to divide), properly means divisions; and then,
channels, canals, trenches, branching-cuts, brooks. The allusion is to
the Oriental method of irrigating their lands by making artificial
rivulets to convey the water from a larger stream, or from a lake. In
this way, the water was distributed in all directions. The whole land
of Egypt was anciently sluiced (channeled) in this manner, and it was
in this way that its extraordinary fertility was secured. An
illustration of the passage may be derived from the account by
Maundrell of the method of watering the gardens and orchards in the
vicinity of Damascus. “The gardens are thick set with fruit trees of
all kinds, kept fresh and verdant by the waters of the Barady ....
This river, as soon as it issues out of the cleft of the mountain
before mentioned, into the plain, is immediately divided into three
streams, of which the middlemost and largest runs directly to
Damascus, and is distributed to all the cisterns and fountains of the
city. The other two, which I take to be the work of art, are drawn
round, the one to the right, and the other to the left, on the borders
of the gardens, into which they are let out, as they pass, by little
rivulets, and so dispersed over all the vast wood, insomuch that there
is not a garden but has a fine, quick stream running through it.” Trav.,
p. 122....The image is that of a tree abundantly watered, and that was
Steven Cole explains
The psalmist describes the person
who delights in God’s Word as a tree planted by streams of water. This
is a tree that has been deliberately cultivated, surrounded by these
canals or streams so that its roots have a continual supply of water.
It is solid and able to withstand drought or storms. It is fruitful
and has continual evidence of life and vitality--its leaves do not
wither. He sums it up by applying it: “In whatever he does, he
prospers.” There’s a truly happy person: the person God blesses with
His prosperity, no matter what circumstances of life he finds himself
God is not promising financial
prosperity here, but rather, soul-prosperity. The so-called “health
and wealth” teaching being promoted by some TV preachers, which claims
that God promises financial prosperity, is false. God’s servants may
be poor in this world’s goods and afflicted by many trials. But they
are rich toward God (Luke 12:21), which is true prosperity. (Ibid)
A tree is a blessing. It holds
soil, provides shade and produces fruit. The godly are like trees,
with root systems that go deep into the spiritual resources of God's
grace (v. 3). But sadly, many professing Christians are not like trees
but are like artificial plants or cut flowers with no roots. They may
be beautiful for a while, but soon they die.
A tree needs light, water and roots to live. We all have resources
upon which we draw life. The question we need to ask ourselves is,
Where are our roots? The person God can bless is planted by the rivers
of water. We must be careful not to be like Christians who are dry and
withered and depend upon their own resources. They are like
tumbleweeds, blown about by any wind of doctrine.
To have the blessings of verse 3, we need to meet the conditions of
verses 1 and 2. That is, we must first be separated from the world and
saturated with the Word to be situated by the waters.
God desires to bless us, but we need to meet certain conditions to
receive His blessings. We bear fruit only when we have roots, and we
must draw upon spiritual resources to bring forth fruit in due season.
To bear the fruit of the Spirit, we must allow the Spirit to work in
us and through us.
In contrast to the believer, the ungodly are not like trees but are
like chaff. They have no roots, produce no fruit and are blown about.
The ungodly reject the Word of God and will perish without hope Ps 1:6). As Christians we must not reject the ungodly but try to reach
them. God blesses us so that we might be a blessing to others. His
Spirit helps us bear fruit that can help win the lost.
Are you like a tree or like chaff?
We need God's resources to bear fruit. But where we place our roots is
paramount. Only as we grow them deeply into the spiritual resources of
God's grace will we produce fruit. Make the Bible your spiritual
resource. Delight in it and feed your soul with its truth. God can use
you to help win the lost.
In Jeremiah 17 we have a
passage that closely parallels Psalm 1...
5 Thus says the LORD, "Cursed is
the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose
heart turns away from the LORD.
6 "For (term
= should always beg at least one
question "What is being explained?") he will be like a bush in the desert
and will not see when
prosperity comes, But will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a
land of salt without inhabitant.
7 "Blessed is the man who
trusts in the LORD and whose trust (or hope) is the LORD.
8 "For (term
= should always beg at least one
question "What is being explained?") he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its
roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its
leaves will be green, And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.
The most important thing about a
tree is the root system. If the roots do not go down deep, the tree
will not grow in a healthy manner. If we are rooted in the things of
the Lord, then our words will be the fruit of our fellowship with Him.
We will be like that “blessed man” in Psalm 1 and produce fruit in due
season. One reason our Lord was able to say the right words at the
right times was because He communed with His Father and heard from
heaven each day. Listen to His testimony (Mark 1:35).
W: Bible Exposition Commentary - Old Testament. Victor
WHO YIELDS ITS FRUIT IN SEASON
AND WHOSE LEAF DOES NOT WHITHER AND IN ALL HE DOES HE PROSPERS:
(Ps 92:14; Mt 21:34,41) (Is 27:11; Mt 13:6; 21:19; Jn 15:6, Jude 1:12)
(Ps 128:2; 129:8; Ge 39:3,23; Joshua 1:7,8; 1Chr 22:11; 2Ch 31:21;
32:23; Is 3:10)
Since I am in the "autumn" of my
life, the words of Psalm 92 regarding fruitfulness are a continual
source of motivation and encouragement to me as they should be to all
God's "aging" saints...
The righteous man (or woman) will
flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of
our God. They will still yield fruit in old age. They shall be full of
sap and very green, to declare that the LORD is upright. He is my
rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. (Psalm 92:12-15-note)
Spurgeon has a wonderful
exposition on this psalm writing: The righteous shall flourish
like a palm tree, whose growth may not be so rapid, but whose
endurance for centuries is in fine contrast with the transitory
verdure of the meadow. When we see a noble palm standing erect,
sending all its strength upward in one bold column, and growing amid
the dearth and drought of the desert, we have a fine picture of the
godly man (Ed: and woman), who in his (her) uprightness aims
alone at the glory of God; and, independent of outward circumstances,
is made by divine grace to live and thrive where all things else
perish. The text tells us not only what the righteous is, but what he
shall be; come what may, the good man (woman) shall flourish, and
flourish after the noblest manner. He (she) shall grow like a cedar in
Lebanon. This is another noble and long lived tree. "As the days of a
tree are the days of my people", saith the Lord. On the summit of the
mountain, unsheltered from the blast, the cedar waves its mighty
branches in perpetual verdure, and so the truly godly man (woman)
under all adversities retains the joy of his (her) soul, and continues
to make progress in the divine life. Grass (see Ps 92:7-note),
which makes hay for oxen, is a good enough emblem of the unregenerate;
but cedars, which build the temple of the Lord, are none too excellent
to set forth the heirs of heaven.
Those that be planted in the house
of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. In the courtyards
of Oriental houses trees were planted, and being thoroughly screened,
they would be likely to bring forth their fruit to perfection in
trying seasons; even so, those who by grace are brought into communion
with the Lord, shall be likened to trees planted in the Lord's house,
and shall find it good to their souls. No heart has so much joy as
that which abides in the Lord Jesus.
Fellowship with the Stem
begets fertility in the branches.
If a man (woman) abide in Christ He
brings forth much fruit. Those professors who are rooted to the world
do not flourish; those who send forth their roots into the marshes of
frivolous pleasure cannot be in a vigorous condition; but those who
dwell in habitual fellowship with God shall become men (women) of full
growth, rich in grace, happy in experience, mighty in influence,
honored and honorable. Much depends upon the soil in which a tree is
planted; everything, in our case, depends upon our abiding in the Lord
Jesus (Jn 8:31, 32, Jn 15:7, 1Jn 2:14, 2Jn 1:1,2), and deriving all
our supplies from Him (Jn 15:5). If we ever really grow in the courts
of the Lord's house we must be planted there, for no tree grows in
God's garden self sown; once planted of the Lord, we shall never be
rooted up, but in His courts we shall take root downward, and bring
forth fruit upward to His glory for ever.
They shall still bring forth
fruit in old age. Nature decays but grace thrives
(cp 2Cor 4:16-note).
Fruit, as far as nature is concerned, belongs to days of vigor; but in
the garden of grace, when plants are weak in themselves, they become
strong in the Lord, and abound in fruit acceptable with God. Happy
they who can sing this Sabbath Psalm (Ps 92:1), enjoying the rest
which breathes through every verse of it; no fear as to the future can
distress them, for their evil days, when the strong man fails, are the
subject of a gracious promise, and therefore they await them with
quiet expectancy. Aged believers possess a ripe experience, and by
their mellow tempers and sweet testimonies they feed many. Even if
bedridden, they bear the fruit of patience; if poor and obscure, their
lowly and contented spirit becomes the admiration of those who know
how to appreciate modest worth. Grace does not leave the saint when
the keepers of the house do tremble; the promise is still sure though
the eyes can no longer read it; the bread of heaven is fed upon when
the grinders (teeth) fail; and the voice of the Spirit in the soul is
still melodious (Eph 5:19-note)
when the daughters of music are brought low. Blessed be the Lord for
this! Because even to hoar (to those whose hair is gray, white with
age) hairs He is the I AM, who made His people, He therefore bears and
carries them (cp Ps 68:19-note).
They shall be fat and flourishing. They do not drag out a
wretched, starveling (lean) existence, but are like trees full of sap,
which bear luxuriant foliage. God does not pinch His poor servants,
and diminish their consolations when their infirmities grow upon them;
rather does He see to it that they shall renew their strength (Isa
for their mouths shall be satisfied with His own good things. Such an
one as Paul the aged would not ask our pity, but invite our
sympathetic gratitude; however feeble his outward man may be, his
inner man is so renewed day by day that we may well envy his perennial
peace. (cp 2Cor 4:16-note)
This mercy to the aged proves the
faithfulness of their God, and leads them to show that the Lord is
upright, by their cheerful testimony to His ceaseless goodness. We do
not serve a Master Who will run back from His promise. Whoever else
may defraud us, He never will. Every aged Christian is a letter of
commendation to the immutable fidelity of Jehovah.
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. Here is
the psalmist's own seal and sign manual; still was he building upon
his God, and still was the Lord a firm foundation for his trust. For
shelter, for defense, for indwelling, for foundation, God is our Rock;
hitherto He has been to us all that He said He would be, and we may be
doubly sure that He will abide the same even unto the end. He has
tried us, but He has never allowed us to be tempted above what we are
able to bear: He has delayed our reward, but He has never been
unrighteous to forget our work of faith and labour of love (1Th 1:3-note).
He is a Friend without fault, a Helper without fail (Heb 13:5-6-note).
Whatever He may do with us, He is always in the right; His
dispensations have no flaw in them, no, not the most minute. He is
true and righteous altogether, and so we weave the end of the psalm
with its beginning, and make a coronet (crown) of it, for the head of
It is a good thing to sing praises unto the Lord, for "He is my rock,
and there is no unrighteousness in Him."
Yields its fruit in season -
The blessed man who abides in the Word (cp John 15:5 with John 1:1,
cp Jn 8:31, 32), the "Seed" (Mt 13:23, Lk 8:15, cp 1Pe 1:23-note),
can expect to bear fruit. The more we converse with the word of God the better
prepared we are
for every good work (2Ti 3:16, 17-note). Note the recurring biblical principle:
First the root, then fruit. First hearing and
doing of the Word (James 1:22-note,
James 1:25-note) and then the
bearing of fruit. The sad truth is that many Christians are more
concerned about the "leaves" and neglect the root, the most important part! Unless
spend time daily in the Word, intentionally setting aside time to
allow the Spirit to feed us (1Cor 2:10-16, 1Jn 2:20, 27), we
will wither spiritually and bear little if any fruit. We may have
spiritual life, but we will not experience it abundantly (Jn 10:10b,
cp Mk 4:8, 20, 2Pe 1:8-note,
2Pe 1:10, 11-note).
Note that the promise is not just for "reading" the Word, but
for meditating on the Word, taking time to "chew before you
swallow" so to speak, so that you might digest the spiritual truth
that you have read. While I applaud "through the Bible in a year"
reading programs, the danger, if you will, is that one can become so
focused on keeping up with the reading schedule that they do not take
the time to meditate on what they are reading. One verse meditated
upon is far better than one chapter hastily read.
If you are reading too fast,
one of best ways to slow down and facilitate meditation on the
Scripture is to read
the Bible inductively
the text, establishing the
taking time to note the
terms of contrast,
terms of explanation,
expressions of time,
terms of comparison such as similes and
interrogating each of these "finds" with the
The discipline of reading
inductively takes an some time to learn, but the benefits of your
investment will be last forever and ever!
Season (eth) is the
appointed time, the proper time, the right time and is translated in
the Lxx with
which describes a specific
period of time that lasts for a season. In other words,
kairos refers to a fixed and definite time, the time when
things are brought to crisis, the decisive epoch waited for or a
strategic point in time -- the "opportune time." Kairos
is occasionally translated opportunity in the NAS.
(See related word eukaira translated "good opportunity"
in Mt 26:16, Lk 22:6) The English word opportunity has a
fascinating origin. Hundreds of years ago when living by the sea was
critically important to everyday business and industry, the word
opportunity was first coined. Time-tables for everything from
commerce to transportation depended on the rise and fall of tides. The
specific time when the water was deep enough to sail out to sea was
known as ob portu, the time when time and tide
converged. As believers, our lives are filled with God given
opportunities, those moments for example when an urgent need converges
with your ability to help meet that need. If you have the eyes to
recognize that opportunity (eg, you have been "marinating" your mind
with God's Word and you spiritual senses are on "high alert"), you can
seize the moment and redeem the time, the opportunity, (Eph
for the glory of God, joining Him where He is at work. As we learn to
recognize and choose to join God when He presents us with an ob
portu moment, we begin to enter into the fullness of the
blessed, blessed ("blessed" in Ps 1:1 is plural!) life the
psalmist is describing!
See Related Study -
Shakespeare alluded to the idea of ob
portu when he wrote the classic lines...
There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
(Julius Caesar, 4.3.217)
Pritchard - To speak of “fruit in its season”
means that the tree produces fruit that expresses its true inner
character. How do you spot an orange tree? By the oranges it produces.
And how do you spot an apple tree? Look for the apples. Whatever is on
the inside must eventually be seen on the outside. Applied to the
spiritual life, this means that when our roots are deep in the Word,
we will be given whatever we need, whenever we need it. If we need
love, from the Word of God will come the strength to produce the
fruit of love. If we need a forgiving spirit, from the Word of
God will come the strength to forgive. If we need courage, we
will produce the fruit of courage. If we need patience and
perseverance, the Word of God will produce it in us. This sort of
supernatural life is available to every believer, but it will only be
fully realized over time as we continue to walk with the Lord and to
delight in his Word. (see also study of the fruit of the Spirit - see
notes Galatians 5:16; 17; 18; 19; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26 -- see
David Dickson (1834) - The man that makes the word of God
his delight, shall be made fruitful in every good work, as opportunity
is offered to him
A W Pink writes that the
psalmist's description of a fruitful Christian...
is an essential character of a
gracious man, for there are no fruitless branches in the true Vine (Jn
15:5). "In season," for all fruits do not appear in the same month,
neither are all the graces of the Spirit produced simultaneously.
Times of trial—call for faith.
Times of suffering—call for patience.
Times of disappointment—call for meekness.
Times of danger—call for courage.
Times of blessings—call for thanksgiving.
Times of prosperity—call for joy.
John Piper explains
that if you separate from sin and saturate your mind with Scripture ...
You will be a fruitful person. O
for more fruitful people! You know them. They are refreshing and
nourishing to be around. You go away from them fed. You go away
strengthened. You go away with your taste for spiritual things
awakened. Their mouth is a fountain of life. Their words are healing
and convicting and encouraging and deepening and enlightening. Being
around them is like a meal. This is the effect of delighting in the
Word of God and meditating on it day and night. You will yield fruit
in season. (Psalm 1 Meditate on the Word of
the Lord Day and Night)
THE LORD'S TREES
SHOULD BE "EVERGREENS!"
Leaf does not whither -
The life of a Scripture saturated follower of Christ is a vibrant,
living testimony, for his good (God) works give clear evidence of the
reality of the profession of his lips. As MacDonald says the
meditating man's "spiritual life is not subject to cyclical changes
but is characterized by continuous inner renewal."
Jesus commanded all of us
as His disciples as lights of the world, not to hide our light under a
basket but to be fruit bearers who are like a city set on a
Let your light shine
= Do this now even with a sense of urgency) before men (Not under a
basket) in such a way that they may see your
good works (being careful
not to draw attention to yourself), and glorify (doxazo
= give a proper opinion of) your Father Who is in heaven (In short our
invisible Spirit enabled, supernatural works give clear, irrefutable
testimony of the invisible God we worship and serve! For the power to
do good works see Acts 1:8-note).
Paul issues a parallel
charge to Christ's "light bearers" commanding us to...
= Make this the habit of your life all the days of your life) all
(Greek = no exceptions!) things without grumbling (goggusmos)
or disputing (dialogismos)
(Be careful! This is not possible naturally but only
supernaturally! In other words, although it is "impossible",
it is "Him-possible"! Study and "surrender" to Phil
and then obey the command in Phil 2:12b-note!);
that (expresses purpose of obeying the preceding command) you may
prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above
reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom
you appear as lights in the world, (Phil 2:14, 15-note)
Pink comments "Where
there is no fruit to God's glory—our profession is a mockery."
Regarding the phrase one
whose leaf does not whither John Piper says...
The point here is that the hot
winds are blowing and the rain is not falling and all the other trees
that are not planted by streams are withering and dying, but in spite
of all the heat and drought, your leaf remains green, because
delighting in the Word of God and meditating on it day and night is
like being planted by a stream. The happiness of this person is
durable. It is deep. It does not depend on which way the wind is
blowing or whether the rain is falling. It gets its life from an
absolutely changeless source: God in his Word.
David Dickson (1834) on "his
leaf also shall not wither"...
This man shall be enabled to bear
out a holy profession of his faith in, and obedience to God, in
adversity, as well as in prosperity
Pritchard - The phrase pictures a leafy tree
that seems like an evergreen because its leaves are in season all year
round. People like this are constantly refreshed by the Word of God,
constantly renewed, constantly drawing on new strength for new
situations. They are never boring, never dull, never living off
yesterday’s blessings, but living each day in the strength of the Lord
whose mercies are new every morning.
Habakkuk describes such a
Though the fig tree do not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the
fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be
no herd in the stalls, yet I will exult in the LORD, I will
rejoice in the God of my salvation. (Habakkuk 3:17-18-see
F B Meyer...
…his leaf also shall not wither
"If a man abide not in Me," said our Lord, "he is cast forth as a
branch, and is withered."
The same thought is here. Thrust down your rootlets to the oozy river
bed, and there is no doubt about your continuing earnest, patient,
God-filled. The sun of temptation may strike you with sword-like
beams, but you will have a source of supply which they cannot exhaust.
The secret of an unwithering beauty is in the Word of God, delighted
in and meditated upon day and night. And what is the Word of God, but
the life of God. translated into human speech?
Wean yourself from all beside, and learn to feed on God. Withdraw your
rootlets from men and things, and let them travel to the river of God,
which is full of water. Close other doors, and open those that. lead
out on to the terrace, whence you may behold the far-spread landscape
of what He is, and says, and is willing to be to us all.
Note that word meditate (Meditate).
The root must lie in contact with the stream, and the soul must steep
itself in the Word of God. We must give the truth time to enter and
pervade our souls. We must have retreats, shut away from the rush of
life, up and down the glades of which we may tread. These retreats are
oftener found within the soul than without. Just as in the temple of
old, there was Solomon's porch, where Jesus walked, so in the temple
within there are closes and cloisters, where we may commune with our
heart, and be still.
- see word study)
means to accomplish satisfactorily what is intended = generally
expresses idea of a successful venture, as contrasted with failure.
The source of true success is God's Spirit Who enables supernatural
spiritual prosperity. Don't twist this promise to apply only to
material prosperity, for that is far less valuable than spiritual
prosperity. God may choose to prosper us materially, but not at the
expense of our spiritual prosperity!
The Septuagint translates
tsalach with the verb kateuodoo which means to "have
free course or passage, prosper." (BDAG)
astutely (and I think accurately) observes that...
This kind of man shall prosper in
everything he undertakes. The reason, of course, is that he is living
in fellowship with the Lord, and all his service is therefore guided
by the Holy Spirit. The only way to be efficient and successful in the
Christian life is to be led by the Spirit of God. Self-directed
activity is an enormous waste of time, money, and effort! (Ed:
Note striking contrast -
Spirit led versus Self directed - Beloved, which describes your
Piper says the phrase "he
prospers" describes "a life whose "labor is not in vain"
but succeeds in God's good purposes into eternity."
Pink adds that...
This (prosperity) necessarily
follows, though it is not always apparent to the eye of sense. Not
even a cup of water given in the name of Christ, shall fail to receive
its reward—if not here, certainly in the hereafter (Mt 10:42, Mark
David Dickson (1834) - Whatsoever duty or service to God
this man goes about, shall not want the assistance of God, nor
success, nor acceptance at His hands - whatsoever he doeth shall
Albert Barnes - This ("all he does he
prospers") is a literal statement of what had just been put in a
figurative or poetic form ("be like a tree..."). It contains a general
truth, or contains an affirmation as to the natural and proper effect
of religion (Ed: relationship with God through faith in Christ), or of
a life of piety, and is similar to that which occurs in 1Ti 4:8-note
-- “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the
life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
THE WORD OF GOD
Pritchard adds that...
They prosper in the sense that no
matter what happens, they find strength for the day and hope in the
midst of the hardest difficulties. They bring forth godly fruit in
good times and bad times. Why? Because they are planted deep in the
good soil and their roots reach out to the water of the Word of God.
Finding constant nourishment therein, they can face whatever life
throws at them.
The thought here is similar to
where in the midst of struggles, sorrow, persecution, famine,
distress, nakedness and the sword, those who know Jesus are “more
than conquerors” through His divine power. And that triumphant
deliverance comes to us in large part through the Word of God.
In this world we may face
disappointment, sorrow, rejection, failure, sickness, abandonment, and
discouragement. We may hear things about our children we prayed to God
never to hear, our dearest friends may desert us, our spouse may leave
us, and we may face an unremitting series of earthly tragedies.
Illness, physical weakness, and death itself may visit our door time
Even then, we prosper, we
thrive, we survive, we are not destroyed. Sometimes when I ask
friends going through hard times how they are doing, the answer comes
back, “I’m surviving.” Years ago I foolishly thought that was a wimpy
response. Now I see that it is a powerful statement of faith.
Sometimes surviving is the same as thriving. Some days to survive is
to prosper. That, too, is a kind of prosperity for the people of God.
(Psalm 1: Trees Planted by the Water)
Alan Carr - THE PROSPERITY OF
THE SUCCESSFUL BELIEVER
Ill. The promises of this verse are
conditional. When we live separated lives and feed our souls on God’s
Word, then we can expect these things to happen for us.)
A. His Position – By the River!
Always close to the life giving resources. (Ill. This was meaningful
to Israel with her mostly arid conditions.) The tree planted by the
river is never dry and wilted, but is green, lush and lovely. (Ill.
The believer who lives close to God will never be dry and wilted
either. He will be vibrant, lively and productive.) (Ill. Many never
know the joy of drawing off Christ daily! As a result, they are
spiritually wilted and dead looking.) The droughts of life and the dry
seasons never seem to affect the believer who is planted near the
river. He is connected to an unfailing source of life and strength.
B. His Prominence – Ill. A tree. The life of the successful
believerstands heads above all those around him. It is easily seen
when a man draws from the Lord. (Ill. Men will know when you have been
with Jesus – Acts. 4:13)
C. His Permanence – Planted – Unlike some plants, which live for a
season and die out, this tree, has sunk its root deep and has a hidden
source of life. (Ill. The value of private prayer and Bible Study.)
(Ill. Planted – literally "transplanted." A tree cannot transplant
itself, neither can a man transplant himself into the Kingdom of God.
It is wholly a work of God’s grace. And, He always plants us in good
soil, near the water supply. However, after we are planted, it is our
responsibility to draw from the resources, which God has provided.)
D. His Productivity – "Brings forth fruit" – The successful believer
is a blessing to all those around him, because his fruit is plentiful.
(Ill. John 7:38) (Ill. Old apple tree in the cow pasture. Man, cows,
birds and insects all benefited from the fruit off this old tree.)
(Ill. You may never know just who is feeding off your life!)
E. His Predictability – "In his season" This tree isn’t a freak. Just
as there are seasons of fruit bearing, so there are times of rest and
growth. As believers, we aren’t to worry over the fruit. That is the
Father’s business! When everything else is as it should be, then the
fruit will come in its season – John 15:1-5.
F. His Perpetuity – "leaf shall not fade" – The successful believer is
like an evergreen. He is always surrounded by the green of life. (Ill.
The trees in the wintertime. The hardwoods and leafy trees are look
dead, but the evergreens stand out as islands of life in a sea of
deadness. They are unaffected by winter or weather, but they are
always the same.) (Ill. our lives should be lives of consistency! We
are called on to be a stable, faithful and dependable people – 1 Cor.
15:58) The successful believer is consistent. The curve balls of life
are unable to knock him off course. (Ill. Thank the Lord for
consistent people!) (Ill. Life lived by this river in unchanging.)
G. His Prosperity – "Whatsoever he doeth, it shall prosper" – In other
words, God will bless the successful believer. His personal life, his
family life, his business life, his church life, his spiritual life
will all be blessed of the Lord. That isn’t to say that there won’t be
stormy seas, but the successful believer will be able to sail them
with Jesus until they are calm once again!
Conclusion: Do you possess
the characteristics of the successful believer? If so, the Bible, in
verse 1, says you are "Blessed." This means "Oh how very, very happy."
I hope you have seen yourself among the happy ones and are encouraged
about you walk with Jesus tonight. You see it is possible to be
successful for Christ and know it with out being self-righteous!
However, if you saw yourself lacking in some of these areas, then
Jesus stands ready, willing and able to make those things right once
again. Let’s take whatever steps are necessary to make our lives be
the successes they can and should be. (Sermons
Have you discovered the secret of
blessed? Do you really desire to be blessed? Do you understand that
although blessed is a supernatural condition, you as a believer still
have a responsibility -- there are certain negative behaviors that
will impede the flow of God's blessing
(Ps 1:1, 1Pe 2:1).
Who are you getting your primary
counsel from? If you are not delighting in the God's Word, is it
because you are "stuck" in verse 1?
How is your spiritual state? One
judge your spiritual state by asking... What is the Word of God to me?
What place has does the Word have in my life?’
A W Pink asks "How far, dear
reader, do you and I resemble this "blessed man"? Let us again press
the order of these three verses. Just so far as we fall into the sins
of verse 1—will our delight in God's Law be dulled. And just so far as
we are not in subjection to His will—shall we be fruitless. But a
complete separation from the world, and wholehearted occupation with
the Lord—will issue in fruit to His praise!" And all God's children
cry "Amen! Let it be so Lord!"