Firmly Planted by Streams of Water

Pasquale MingarelliBy Pasquale Mingarelli3 Minutes

Excerpt taken from Drawing Near: Meeting God in His Creation by Pasquale Mingarelli


The Book of Psalm opens with these words, “How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers … He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:1–3).

What a wonderful way to start the book of Psalms with such a great promise! The Ryrie Study Bible says Psalm 1 “stands as a faithful doorkeeper” for the whole book of Psalms. The psalm reminds us that righteous behavior and the fruitful life are characteristics of those who delight in God’s law.

A Picture from Nature

Psalm 1 gives us a wonderful picture from nature of what the life of a faithful believer looks like. Trees thrive near water, and they grow tall. Without much water, they struggle to grow or do not grow at all. But when they prosper, trees bless those around them with fruit, shade, and other good things. The tree’s prosperity is for others and not just the tree.

Before European settlers moved onto the Great Plains in North America, trees were sparse. One place the cottonwoods and other trees stood tall was by rivers where water provided them with life and protection from fire. Out on the open prairie, without water, trees failed to grow or burned in prairie fires.

Prospering in Faith

If we want to grow in our faith, we need to read God’s Word and delight in it. To delight in God’s Word means we find enjoyment by reading it and living by it. When we do these things, the Scripture assures us that we will prosper. When we spiritually prosper, we grow in our faith and bless others. Like trees, our prosperity is more about others than it is about us.

A Closing Prayer

Dear Lord, help me to delight in You and Your Word more and more each day. Work in me that I may grow, and work through me that I may touch others.

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