Starting a new trek through the Bible (I know, I’m late) and this plan involves both OT, NT and Psalms readings. I’ve been going through the Psalms independently to try to catalog for myself the themes wrapped up in each one. I hope it becomes a reference for me in any pastoral work God sets my hand to in the future. I’ve become more and more convinced for myself that the Psalms are meant to to guide the Christian in worship.
Piper recently encouraged us, among many other things, to look for promises in one’s devotional times and cling to that promise for the day; to let it echo in our minds and strengthen us for the daily fight against sin. Psalm 1 begins today’s reading and something unique stood out about a couple of verses today.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. (Psalms 1:3 ESV)
He—the man who delights in God’s law rather than “the way of sinners”—is like a fruit-bearing tree. And how does this tree yield fruit? “In its season.” Trees do not constantly bear fruit, it comes and goes in seasons. This brings to mind the “a season for everything” passage from Eccl 3: “a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted”. I think this says in part that not all Christian life will be constant fruit-bearing. We ought to desire, seek and pray for these times, but I think all of us can recognize this pattern in our lives.
What is needed constantly, however, is that we remain “planted by streams of water.” If we do not want to wither between fruitful seasons, if we want to prosper and prepare for seasons of fruitfulness, we must remain firmly planted by the Well of Living Water (John 4:7–15). How does one do this?
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalms 1:1–2 ESV)