Rev. Margaret Minnicks is an ordained Bible teacher. She writes many articles that are Bible lessons.
People often look at trees for their beauty. However, trees are important in a number of ways, and the Bible gives them a lot of credit.
Without trees, the land would be barren. With trees, the land is not only attractive but it is also very much alive. Besides, trees serve a purpose just like the godly person has a purpose in the world.
Under the right conditions, a tree grows, bears fruit, and prospers. Trees and the righteous man have a lot in common. They both grow in four different ways: upward, downward, inward, and outward.
"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he does shall prosper." (Psalm 1:3)
Psalm 1 compares the ungodly man and the godly man. Beginning at verse 3, the godly man is likened to a tree. The physical parts of the tree mentioned in Psalm 1:3 have spiritual significance.
The tree is easy to compare to the righteous person. The prophet Jeremiah also said almost the same thing about a tree as the psalmist did.
"He will be like a tree planted by the water, that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." (Jeremiah 17:8)
Planted By Rivers of Water
In order to be like trees, godly men and women are planted by rivers of water. Notice there is an "s" on "river" to indicate there is more than one source of water. Trees need a good supply of water in order to survive and thrive in the blazing sun.
Because a tree is planted by rivers of water, it always has water to keep it alive and fresh instead of it withering away.
The psalmist gets right to the point and talks about fruit from the tree before talking about the other parts. Fruit is evident that the tree is producing the way God intended it to do.
The righteous man bears fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 outlines the fruit that should be evident in his life. There is something that people need to re-read in Psalm 1:3. Fruit does not just appear on a tree as soon as it is planted. The tree has to mature before it can produce fruit. That's the same way with the righteous person. Fruit comes in the appropriate season.
According to Psalm 1:3, the leaf does not wither on the tree that is planted by the rivers of water. If it didn't have the nourishment from the continual water supply, the leaves would wither, turn brown, die and fall to the ground.
The righteous man shows evidence of being alive like the fresh green leaves on a tree that has been nourished.
Leaves are like people. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and they change colors according to the seasons.
People cannot see what is going on under the ground, but there are unseen roots that are firmly planted below the soil. Roots serve a very important purpose. They hold water and nutrients and disperse them to all parts of the tree.
The righteous person thrives the same way as a tree does because of strong roots. The tree that you see standing tall above the ground can endure storms and strong winds because of its underground work. In those weather conditions, trees might bend, but they don't break because of their strong roots.
The godly man is strong and stable with roots that grow unseen. When we look at people, we can't see what's going on underneath. However, that's where the real work takes place.
Evidence of Prosperity
Whatever a righteous person does shall prosper just like a tree if all the right conditions have been met.
When he has been planted by the rivers of waters, he will have deep roots and green leaves. Then he will bear fruit that is evidence that he is prospering.