You may sometimes feel like the person who said to his pastor: “I want to be a good Christian, and I try hard, but somehow I just never seem to make it. I’m always doing the wrong thing. I just can’t live like a Christian; I don’t know what is the matter with me?”
The pastor wisely asked him about his private life with the Lord. Did he know Christ personally as his Lord and Saviour? Yes, he did. How much did he delight in reading God Word and then spending time talking to Him? In response he hung his head and said, “Well, I admit I don’t do very much of that.”
The psalmist writing Psalm 1 says the blessed person’s 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.” (Psalm 1:2, 3)
Near our apartment there are several huge trees. They impress me because of their strength and beauty. What makes these trees like that? Where do they get their beauty and their strength? They come from the roots, the roots which cannot be seen. They are the hidden part of their lives but are the secret of what they are. Those are exactly the two things we need in our Christian lives.
That is exactly what this psalmist is saying. Those who are godly have learned, in the hidden inner parts of their lives, to draw upon the grace, glory and strength of God. Their roots run deep into rich and moist soil, and this is what makes them beautiful and strong. They are fruitful: “He … yields its fruit in season and its leaf does not wither.” That is a reference to the fruit of the Spirit, which is described for us in the New Testament: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22, 23). These are Christlike characteristics, which are to be seen in the believer. Both the Old and the New Testaments stress these.
This Sunday, God willing, we will consider Psalm 1 and what enables a person to live the Christian life as God intended. The Sermon from Psalm 1 is entitled:“Being assured of a Happy New Year”.