A Living Tree or Stubble
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1, 2
Israel was unique among the other nations. They were a separate people who were not to be contaminated by the other nations, yet they were to live among them.
What made them unique and separated them from all the other nations? It was their regard for the law of God. God had spoken directly to them and thundered out from the fiery mountains I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage (Exodus 20:2). This serves as a Preamble. What is a preamble. It is a statement given at the beginning that serves as a reason the rest of the document is being given.
The Constitution of the United States has a preamble and it states: “We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” What follows next is the articles or laws that will be used to govern the United States. Notice the preamble gave the reason for the document, it was to “Form a more perfect Union . . . for the United States of America.”
God’s law, His Ten Commandments, has a preamble to let us know why we were given these commandments. In ancient times, the nation of Egypt was synonymous with sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, drunkenness, orgies. God says, I have brought you as my people out of this condition, conditions by the way that leave all who partake in them in bondage to sin. I Am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. So, the preamble to God’s Ten Commandments states that he has brought his people out of bondage and wishes for them to remain free from this bondage. Over the next 15 verses of Exodus 20 he outlines what is needed to remain free from the bondage of sin.
David the Psalmist said, “I understand God’s desire for our nation and for me, therefore I will delight in God law and meditate upon it day and night. For when I meditate upon God’s law, I am dwelling upon God’s perfect character then I my character will reflect God’s character.
When we dwell upon something long enough and hard enough we begin to imitate what it is we are thinking upon.
For the one that meditates and does the law, the Psalmist penned these words, “He (those that mediate upon and keep God’s law) shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
Meaning that God is desiring a people, that meditate and keep his law, who because of their relationship with God can bring cooling shade upon others as they become refreshed in the cooling shade beside the river.
God’s word and his precepts should give strength and encouragement to all. The lives of Christians should be such that all that come in contact with them will become refreshed by the rivers of life flowing out from out heavenly Father to through all his faithful children.
As a tree gives shade and strength to all that come near and are refreshed by the waters running beside it, the tree must be careful to always mediate upon God’s law, to remember the source of their power and strength.
But for those that fail to see the value and the beauty in the law of God’s, a contrast is shown. While the tree is strong, tall and stately, the ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, not sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Yet God never forces never coerces, it is a decision that totally rest with you and me. We all have a choice to make.
Joshua stated it so well, in Joshua 24:14, 15; “now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! 15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
So, do you want to be a tree set beside the river to bring refreshing to the nations or will you choose to be stubble?