Like a Tree…
I love the bible. I hope you do too.
It’s possible you don’t, which I totally understand. After all, it is an ancient book from another culture that is thousands of years old, written in different languages to different people, and on a good day, can still be very hard to understand.
But I still love it. And for as difficult it is to ‘get’, and for all of the amazing reading aids that are out there, nothing replaces simply reading it.
Each year, I do a bible reading plan to keep my bible reading on track (I tend to use the Bible Project reading plans on the YouVersion bible app on my phone– so I can read from anywhere). I try to read the whole thing each year, but sometimes I read less to focus more. It all depends.
Today, I started the book of Psalms.
You should take a moment today to read Psalm 1.
It is a wonderful tone-setter for the collection of ancients Jewish poems and songs (although it reads more like it’s from Proverbs than a Psalm!).
It pictures two kinds of people, and puts a choice before us as to what kind of people we want to be.
The first kind are the ‘wicked’ – or rather, those who follow the advice of the wicked and so end up going down a bad path. They may not even be ‘bad’ people…just people who have decided to trust in their own judgment rather than in God’s (remind you of a certain couple in a certain garden?), and when they do, things go south quickly.
The second kind are those who are not ‘good’ or ‘anti-wicked’ or ‘better than the wicked’. They’re people who delight in the ‘law of the Lord’ (i.e., in scripture/the bible, in God’s Word of direction for us to follow). These people aren’t necessarily ‘better’ than others, they just know what (Who) to listen to: to God’s Word.
As the Psalm says,
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.
Isn’t that a beautiful image, especially as the weather gets hot and we think about forest fires and droughts? People whose delight is in God’s Word for them are like trees, firmly planted by a river where the roots go down int to the water and are always fed and replenished by it. The leaves of all other trees wither, but these do not.