Friday, May 31, 2013

Characteristics of the Blessed (part 2)

In part 1 of this post, we talked about three characteristics of the blessed (as stated in Psalm 1), in the form of three questions: Whose advice are you following? Which path are you taking? Where are you sitting? Then we talked about what the delight of the blessed is: meditating on the Word of God.

In verse 3, the psalmist speaks of the characteristics of those who are blessed: the productivity of the blessed. The blessed one will be like a tree, planted by streams of water which yields its fruit in season. The leaves do not wither and in whatever they do, they prosper. These words say a lot about the productivity of a blessed (or happy) person.

  • Like a tree: the blessed person has matured sufficiently to begin being productive
  • Planted by streams of water: the blessed person is in an area that is nourishing to them, and is thriving in an environment where there is stillness amidst constant change.
  • Which yields its fruit: the blessed person produces from the unique gift that he or she has been given. Such fruit is specific, and can give life to other trees.
  • In its season: Not only does the blessed person produce unique, specific fruit, but the fruit is produced at the right time, contributing to the nourishment of others, as well as the continued growth of the tree.
  • The leaves do not wither: the blessed person ensures that he/she receives sufficient nourishment to take care of him/herself, so that they can continue to produce. There is a constant return.

The next verse contrasts the wicked, saying that they are like the chaff that the wind drives away. Chaff is typically what remains of the wheat plant after the fruit and other useful parts are harvested. The chaff is the part of the harvest that no one wants, because it is not useful for anything. It cannot produce anything, it does not have a purpose. Because the wicked are neither productive nor useful, this is why verse 5 says that they will not stand in judgement (kind of like the fig tree!)

Psalm 1:6 concludes this Psalm with the assurance that the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, that is to say, his presence is always with them. Conversely, the way of the wicked only leads to destruction.

Be blessed and shine productively!

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23