What about Verse 2?
1 Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2 but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night.
3 They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.
Psalm 1:3 is an extremely popular scripture – it’s filled with wonderful promises of what we can be if only we can live by the tenets in verse 1. Verse 1 shows a steadily increasing involvement with unrighteous behavior; it starts with taking advice, and progresses to taking ‘the path that sinners tread’. Finally, there is enough ease and comfort to sit in the seat of those who scorn God and scoff at His laws. Sin is a slippery slope…it’s easy to slide down once the first compromise is made.
Still, we look at verse 3 and hope is kindled. If we can only live verse 1, then verse 3 will surely follow. And who wouldn’t want to experience the realities of being firmly planted by God, yielding fruit in and out of season? Here are some of the things David talks about in verse 3:
- Trees: Trees come from seeds and are useful for several purposes; they provide shade, help regulate atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, and they also bear fruit. In other words, we will become useful to God.
- Planted: Planting is more than tossing seeds on the ground - when you plant something, you don’t just toss it on the ground, you dig into the soil, place the seed and cover it. Planting speaks about stability and protection.
- Rivers of water: Several scriptures describe God’s word as water. Water speaks of nourishment, hydration. God’s word will nourish our souls and prevent dryness.
- Bearing Fruit: Fruit is the result of work or activity. In Matthew 3:8, Jesus talked about ‘bearing fruit worthy of repentance’. Every good tree bears good fruit (Matthew 7: 17-20).
- Leaves will not wither: We will not lack productivity in or out if season. We all have seasons in our lives, which God has control over (Acts 1:7). During our fruit bearing season, we should produce good fruit. Out of season, we should remain nourished and ready for the next fruit-bearing season.
The admonition in verse 1 is clear, and the promises in verse 3 are wonderful, but what about verse 2? What about the little line sandwiched between the two? It’s not enough to reject ungodly counsel, we must fill that space with something else. The promises of the third verse are an end result of both verse 1 and 2, not one or the other.
But their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law they meditate day and night.
Our responsibility here is to do what David talks about in verse 2: delight ourselves in God's law and meditate on it day and night. Day and night...night and day until it is woven into our very being. When we do that, then the promises of verse 3 will surely be ours because God is bound by His word.
May He help us as we strive towards His ideals for us…as we turn away (from unrighteousness) and turn towards Him.