Growing up, I recall the backyard of my parent’s home had several large oak trees and a maple tree. Also lining the edge of their property line and the start of the neighbor’s yard behind was a row of cottonwood trees.
I remember climbing both the maple tree and one of the cottonwood trees frequently.
Sometimes I climbed the trees to see how high I could get or as a hiding spot when playing hide and seek with neighboring kids.
I also recall times when I would go to the trees when I was hurting emotionally. Being hidden amongst the leaves and supported by the sturdy tree branches helped me feel safe in those moments.
Why all this talk about trees?
Today, we will study Psalm 1:3-4, which uses fruit tree imagery when describing a blessed or happy follower of God.
About a month ago, we studied Psalm 1:1-2 to answer the following questions.
- What does it look like to have a good time with God?
- How is God useful and beneficial to us?
- Is there a uniqueness to the pleasure or satisfaction found with God?
Review Psalm 1.
Focusing on verse three, answer the following questions.
Where is the tree planted?
The image of a tree planted near streams of water implies a steady supply of nourishment.
What does the tree do?
Because of the steady supply of nourishment, this tree consistently yields seasonal fruit.
How healthy is this tree?
Not only does this tree produce fruit seasonally, but its leaves never fall off and die.
Remember, this tree is an image being used to describe the blessed man, one, or person mentioned in Psalm 1:1.
What did the blessed person choose in Psalm 1-2 that enabled them to be compared to a well-nourished and evergreen fruit-bearing tree?
The blessed person meditated on the Lord’s law, or instructions, instead of following the counsel of the wicked, sinners, or mockers.
As a result, the blessed person receives a steady supply of nourishment. Thus, consistently yielding seasonal fruit and a perennial canopy of protection.
Further, according to the last phrase of verse three, this blessed person is prosperous in whatever they do. Keep in mind the biblical view of prosperity as revealed by a person’s godliness. Godliness is that they experience love, joy, patience, kindness, unfailing faithfulness, and peace consistently. (See Galatians 5:19-23)
The initial choice to meditate on the Lord’s law further implies that the person also lives by the Lord’s instructions.
Review verse four.
What is chaff?
Consider two definitions from Merriam-webster.com.
1: the seed coverings and other debris separated from the seed in threshing grain.
2: something comparatively worthless.
Explain the significance of the wicked being likened to chaff that is blown away by the wind.
The image of the wicked as worthless debris that is easily blown away sharply contrasts with the image of one who studies and follows God’s ways.
The brevity with which verse four describes the wicked compared to the length of the simile for the blessed person reinforces this contrast.
Having reviewed Psalm 1:1-2 and studying verses three and four today, how would you answer our three questions about enjoying God?
What does it look like to have a good time with God?
If we choose to spend time with God, we receive consistent nourishment that enables us to be fruitful and prosperous while under his protection.
How is God useful and beneficial to us?
God sustains, empowers, and protects us when we choose to follow His ways.
Is there a uniqueness to the pleasure or satisfaction found with God?
The image of a well-nourished, fruitful, protected, and prosperous tree planted next to flowing streams in Psalm 1:3 recalls the tree of life from Genesis 2:9.
Further, Psalm 1:3 foreshadows the river and tree of life found in the description of God’s city in Revelation 22:1-2.
Thus, the uniqueness of the pleasure or satisfaction found with God lies in God’s desire for us to live with Him eternally.
Although I gave up climbing trees years ago, I still need time amongst trees regularly. In fact, my husband and I go hammock camping at least twice a year to immerse ourselves in a forested setting.
I also spend regular time on my balcony which has several trees in view and going on nature walks.
These activities reorient me towards God and all He has created in this world.
But the most important activity I do is immersing myself in scripture, God’s instructional book.
This grounds my daily existence no matter what circumstances I am facing.
Are there days I feel overwhelmed and uncertain? Certainly.
But those are the days I know the best way through is by looking for God’s presence with me.
Do you consider yourself well-nourished, fruitful, prosperous, and protected by God? Why or why not?
Are you immersing yourself daily in God’s instructional book like the blessed one in Psalm 1? Why or why not?
Share in the comments an example of how you enjoy God.
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 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ps 1:1–6.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ps 1:4.