Speaking the Truth in Love

Strong, Stately, and Successful

“[The righteous] 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” (Ps. 1:3). One of the best ways to communicate truth and beauty is by a simile or metaphor; this psalm does this with unforgettable vividness. What is the righteous man really like? “A tree” is the imagery that is used. To begin with, he has stability. He has been planted near the streams of water. The winds, waves, and violent circumstances of life cannot uproot him or shake him from his life in God. His relationship with God provides the strength that he needs for all the difficulties of life. Furthermore, he has sustenance. All the resources that he needs are available to him. In Christ he is complete, possessing all spiritual blessings. He does not need more blessings; he just needs to use wisely the blessings that he has. Finally, he has success. He brings forth his fruit in the seasons of fruit bearing. His leaves do not wither. He will prosper in whatever he does. He enjoys the most productive, the most enduring success. His heart his life his conscience prospers through this life that he live with God. His circumstances may not always be the best; but his life in God is the highest life that anyone can live. He may be like the widow who gave two mites, like the poor man Lazarus at the rich man’s gate, like Paul at the scourging post, but he has the royal life of walking with God and is growing in it day by day. Key Thought: What more could anyone desire? Who would want to be anything but “a tree planted by the rivers of water?” Eddie Cloer Ashdown church of Christ Ashdown, AR

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