Trees are some of God’s overlooked beauties. They stand tall and strong, through all kinds of weather and seasons. They grow all sorts of fruit or leaves, and they are used for all sorts of products. What do trees have to do with God’s blessings?
Everyone is searching for the formula for blessing. But how often do they turn to the Bible to find it? Even if they do turn to the Bible, how often do they misinterpret God’s Word or redefine it?
In Psalm 1 David gives some guidelines for blessings. Take a moment to read through the psalm (it’s really short, I promise): Psalm 1. He begins with what someone should not do if they want God’s blessings on their life.
- Walk in ungodly counsel: Conformity occurs when a Christian begins to follow the advice of the people around him over what he knows God has already told him to do. Supportive Scripture: Psalm 119:115
- Stand with sinners: Companionship occurs when a Christian begins to spend more time with the unbelievers in his life rather than God and other Christians. Supportive Scripture: 2 Corinthians 6:14
- Sit with scorners: Commitment occurs when a Christian begins to spend more time in the world or serving himself than in the church or serving God. Supportive Scripture: 1 John 2:15, Colossians 3:2 (Scorner: one who mocks the things of God and expresses his negative opinion of wisdom with derision, in order to involve others)
So what do I need to do instead?
David then gives the key for obeying his previous commands and obtaining God’s blessings :
Delight in the Law of the Lord!
- When? Day and night!
- Why? So you can be like a tree planted by the rivers of water!
Wait . . . a tree? Why would anyone want to be a tree? The image David is conveying is of a strong tree that has three essential qualities on account of God’s blessing.
- Good Position: A tree that’s planted next to a river is going to be in direct contact with its source of life. When we are walking with God, we are also placed in a position where we are in direct contact with our source of life. Supportive Scripture: Leviticus 26:12
- Good Produce: A tree has to grow the right fruit. If for some reason it grew some other different fruit, odds are it would be cut down. Again, when we walk with God, He will help us to produce the right kind of fruit (actions). Supportive Scripture: James 2:14-17
- Good Provision: A tree without sunlight, water, and other necessary elements will perish. But if its leaves are not withering, it is being provided with all it needs. When we are near to God and seeking to bear good fruit, He promises to provide us with everything we need so that our “leaves” won’t wither. We may still go through difficult seasons, but God will always provide for us. Supportive Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:8
A tree is firm and grounded, but chaff (the husks of corn or wheat) just blows away because it has no foundation. David says ungodly people are like chaff blown away by the wind. Without God to help them, people who aren’t following God will fall away.
The chapter finishes with a difficult truths for those who do not follow what God has commanded them:
- Collapse under God’s judgement: Sinners will suffer from God’s judgement because they don’t have Christ to intercede for them. They rejected Him, and when God judges them, they won’t have the blood of Christ to cover their sins. Supportive Scripture: 1 Peter 2:24
- Cut off from those who follow God: Light can’t mix with dark, and the people who can’t endure God’s judgement will be separated forever from the ones who have chosen to follow God. Supportive Scripture: Matthew 25:46
- Crushing of their way of life: God says He will watch over His children. But the wickedness of those who walk away from God is doomed to fail simply because it does not have God looking over it. Supportive Scripture: Psalm 28:5
A Quick Science Lesson
One unique feature of trees is they protect life. Humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Trees do the opposite. Trees absorb the carbon dioxide and then release oxygen for us to breathe.
God has given the requirements for blessings, and He has also given the details of punishment. Isn’t it interesting that He describes His blessings on us with the image of a tree? A tree is strong, but it also helps those around it. God blesses us so that we can bless the people around us.
Blessed . . . to bless.
“Not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing.” – 1 Peter 3:9