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.

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.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.

stream

Reading the Bible can be a timely reminder of how the Holy Spirit continues to work, remaining the Christian’s source of Scriptural understanding through the ages. He continues to open blind eyes.

Several months ago, I noticed that Psalm 1 (which I have read many times over the years), while beautiful, had become somewhat stale–could it really have anything new to teach me that I hadn’t already noticed? Or so I thought, anyway.

As I was reading Psalm 1, I was thinking about how odd it was that this psalm speaks of a righteous man when elsewhere Scripture says, “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one;”” – Romans 3.10. The psalm talks about a righteous person but another verse says such a person doesn’t exist? How do these two ideas reconcile with one another?

So I read the psalm, for what seemed like the millionth time. And there it was:

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.

The metaphor is what I hadn’t really examined before. The righteous man as a fruitful tree–that much I had comprehended before. But looking deeper, another aspect of the metaphor stood out: trees aren’t self-sufficient. They can’t bloom and flourish without nourishment. They are reliant on “streams of water” (and sunlight and good soil for that matter).

The point is this: the righteous man is only righteous because of the streams of living water that have flowed into his life. In Christ the Christian is righteous, a fruitful tree. Furthermore, the living water can often be seen in the lives of Christians. But whether this is specifically Jesus, Godly influences, or the Holy Spirit, the source of the stream is God.

Thus, the righteous man can claim righteousness in Christ, for in the end there was one righteous man–the man Christ Jesus.

Before Jesus ascended back to heaven, he promised a helper, a comforter, to his disciples. This comforter still works today, changing hearts, inspiring imaginations, and opening eyes so that, on the hundredth reading of a psalm, blind eyes opened.

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