Verse: Psalm 1: 1-3
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
2 but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.

I want my faith to be like the tree in this Psalm. I want it to be flourishing, growing, producing fruit, and staying strong through the dry times. As I read this word picture from David what I think about is the roots. This tree has roots that are in fertile soil “by streams of water.” But the contrast is with those whose roots are in the “ways of the world.”

I heard someone say recently that fish don’t know they are in water because it’s fully surrounding them. It’s all they know. The person used this as an analogy for us living in culture. It’s hard to know when culture is influencing us because it’s all we know – it’s all around us! It can also be so hard for us to distinguish between what lines up with God’s way, and what doesn’t, because we are so surrounded by culture’s “truth.” Everywhere we look, we see it and hear it. We are literally swimming in it.

One concrete example is sex. Think about this. How many Netflix shows, instagram posts, tik tok videos, magazine covers, movies, advertisements, etc are designed to make you objectify someone in a sexual way? How many of them are playing on our sexual desires? If you took a day and just tried to look for it, you’d see it everywhere. But we rarely notice it, because it’s the water we swim in.

In this Psalm David is calling us to recognize the bad soil (sorry for ruthlessly mixing my metaphors here). He says that we are blessed when we DO NOT make the way of the “wicked” and “sinners” and “mockers” the soil of our life. We are blessed when instead we make the Word of God our soil.

This is why the Word is so important. It offers a different way of life. It removes us from the cultural waters we swim in every day and offers us a true and better way. If you are still with me after all these metaphor switches, the point is this: is our way of life more influenced by the way of the world, or by the Word of God and the way of Jesus? There is blessing in the way of Jesus. As we choose to follow him we will be like trees planted by streams of water, and we will flourish and thrive in our faith, providing fruit to those around us!

I pray that you’d help me to establish my faith in the soil of the Word of God. Help me to see where I am being overly influenced by the way of the world.

Author: Christian Dunn