Psalm 1 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly
1 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.
3 He 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.
4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Prayer is not something that comes easily. My mind wanders. If I pray for myself or someone else, I am soon done begging our Lord to help me or them and wandering over to some random thought. Fortunately, the Bible provides appropriate thoughts to wander about. So we are here in Psalm 1 striving for a focus.
I wished for those I love to be blessed as that tree, to be fruitful with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. What are those gifts? Different Bible passages emphasize different gifts. Here are a couple of examples.
Galatians 5:22-25 provides a list, but it also speaks of walking in the Spirit. A tree that walks?
Galatians 5:22-25 New King James Version (NKJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
How do we walk in the Spirit? Romans 12:4-8 gives a clue as to what that might mean.
Romans 12:4-8 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
Apparently, we each have a unique assortment of spiritual gifts, and we are supposed to share our gifts. 1 Corinthians 13 speaks of love as the greatest gift. Perhaps our Lord wants us to need each other so He distributes His gifts so we each have something to share. Through sharing, we learn what it means to love.
Still, that analogy in Psalm 1 begins to seem a bit odd. It speaks of a tree planted by rivers of water. If we wish to be like that tree, full of the the Holy Spirit. Then we must dwell in the Word of God. Yet the Word of God also speaks of walking in the Spirit?
A tree that walks? I wonder if this is where J. R. R. Tolkien got the idea for Ents (see Ent). As I said, my mind wanders. Still, the Ents were goodly fellows. Full of the Spirit? Perhaps.
To be like an Ent? I doubt that is what our Lord intended, but His will be done. I pray for myself and those I love to dwell in the Word and walk in the Spirit, to learn to love and to share our gifts.
Here is an old poem about trees.
“Trees” (1913) by Joyce Kilmer
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
I wonder if robins would nest in a tree that walks.