Psalm 1:1-3 – “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.”
My focus in an earlier devotional in Psalm 1 was “The Life of a Blessed Man” (1:1-2); in today’s devotional we will examine the fruit of the blessed man’s life.
We have stated the “blessed” man enjoys an abiding happiness, but we ought to remember his perpetual joy is not dependent on circumstances or state. In His Sermon on the Mount, Christ described the “blessed” citizens of His kingdom in a way that rises above emotions and temporal circumstances. In fact, the description of the “blessed” is atypical of fleeting human happiness when the Lord portrays them as “poor in spirit, mourn, meek and persecuted for righteousness’ sake” (Matthew 5:3-12).
The nature of the “blessed” man is this—having confessed his sin, he is confident his sins are covered (Psalm 32:1) because the LORD is merciful, gracious and forgiving (Psalm 32:5). Of such a man we read he “walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his [the blessed man] delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2).
What is the character or fruit of this “blessed” man who denies himself the temporal pleasures of sin and the narcissistic company of the wicked? What becomes of the “blessed” whose thoughts are shaped by his perpetual meditations in God’s Word?
Psalm 1:3 – “And he [the blessed man] shall be like a tree planted by the rivers [stream] of water, that bringeth forth [deliver; give] his fruit in his season [time; appointed time]; his leaf [foliage; branch] also shall not wither [fade away; drop down]; and whatsoever he doeth [make; wrought; commit] shall prosper [succeed; be profitable].”
Consider with me five characteristics of this “blessed” man found in Psalm 1:3. The first characteristic, he is “planted” (1:3a); he is not a wild volunteer sapling, but is chosen, planted and cultivated to bear spiritual fruit.
Secondly, he is distinguished by where he is planted, “by the rivers of water” (1:3a). His nourishment is not solely from one stream that might dry up in the drought of summer trials. His nourishment is rooted in brooks, streams and rivers; the streams of God’s grace, mercy, forgiveness, nurturing Word and the sweet fellowship of the saints.
The third characteristic of the “blessed” man is his fruit; he “bringeth forth his fruit in his season” (1:3c). The apostle Paul identified the “fruit of the Spirit” as “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. 23 Meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23). Such a man bears more and more fruit evidencing the work of the Holy Spirit in his life.
Fourthly, we find of the “blessed” man, “his leaf also shall not whiter” (Psalm 1:3d). The foliage of a tree is an indicator of its health. A healthy, vibrant tree will not lose its leaves in season and its foliage evidences the life of the sap coursing through its roots, trunk, limbs and branches. Like the tree, a man of faith is deeply rooted in Christ and his life is a testimony of one indwelt by the Spirit and who both lives and walks in the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).
I close by noting the final characteristic of the “blessed” man is the promise, “whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3e). Some have foolishly taught a Gospel of prosperity based on this verse, promising every obedient believer will be rich and successful (denying the historical reality the saints of God have often been persecuted and impoverished for their faith). I remind you that this prosperity is not necessarily material in nature, but the promise of a successful, eternal end.
The measure of the success of the “blessed” is not limited to visible fruit or temporal success. Like fruit that perishes and there remains a seed that springs forth with new life that will eventually bear fruit, the legacy of the “blessed” is the spiritual legacy that endures long after his earthly sojourn has ended.
Are you living the “blessed” life? How fruitful is your life? What legacy will you leave behind?
Copyright 2015 – Travis D. Smith