He (the man who delights in the law of the LORD ) is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.
Trees play a prominent role in the big picture of the Bible from Genesis 3 with the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, through to Revelation 22 where we find the Tree of Life again bearing twelve crops of fruit yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.
In between there are many references to trees of various kinds and in various situations, for example the building of the tabernacle and its successor the Temple in all its glory and then of course 1 Peter 2.24 (NIV 1984)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.
The tree is a magnificent part of creation, beautiful to behold, bountiful in crop either for self-propagation or providing fruit for man and animal alike. A worldwide material for building, fuel for heating and cooking and part of the God ordained cycle by which the created world works.
All these make the Psalmist’s description of the ‘man who delights in the law of the LORD) especially significant.
This man is planted beside the very source of physical life – streams of water
This man, as a consequence, is fruit bearing and does not wither.
This man prospers in all he does.
Planted – he is not there by luck or chance. Not only that he is planted by streams of water so that he grows and develops into what the creator intends him to be in order that
His impact on the world will be one of blessing.
It is probably true that all people regardless. want to live a productive life which may mean productive in making themselves comfortable while at the other end of the continuum there are those who see their productivity as being for the benefit of others. I suggest that it is self-evident that the man who is like this tree is at the ‘others’ end of the continuum because he has a self-giving Saviour who gave all as he ‘bore our sins in his body on the tree’
The planting is God’s work. The feeding is in our court. Are we growing, fruit bearing, non-withering trees to his glory?