Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 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, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
One of the first things that any young Bible student learns is the importance of the word like when reading and interpreting the scriptures. This word is very important because it alerts us to the fact that the biblical writer is trying to make a comparison or give and illustration.
These comparisons and illustrations allow us to more quickly understand what the author is trying to teach or tell us by connecting an abstract truth with a concrete example.
In the verses above the Psalmist communicates a very profound truth – when a person delights and meditates on the law of God he / she will be blessed. The Author illustrates this truth by pointing us to a lush and fruitful tree. The tree is a metaphor which anchors the theoretical idea of delight in a way that is both accessible and understandable.
When I consider this analogy I am struck with the fact that there is a causal relationship between the tree’s life source and its productivity. Above the surface of the earth we see the bright green, the strong branches, and the lush fruits. But it is below the surface at the root level where the nurturance for life, health, and strength are attained. This tree bears fruit and remains strong because it is nurtured at the root level.
With this being said, I wonder what kind of “tree” people see when they look at me? Do they see fruit? Do they see health and life? And what does it mean if they do or don’t see these things? It may mean that there is something wrong with my roots.