S44P1 – The blessings of the Psalms: obedience bears fruit

Psa. 1:1-3

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the wicked, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers: but his delight is in the law of Jehovah; and on his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also doth not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

I always wanted a real bonsai tree. I started doing some research and found a local class where I could learn how to train one myself. I have never had a green thumb, and I had already killed a cactus. Nevertheless, I went to my class and came home with a newly trimmed and wired tree. It did not take long for me to start forgetting to water it. For some time, the sunlight alone was enough to keep the tree going. Eventually, the leaves started to turn brown and began to fall off. I assumed that I had let this go by the wayside too long and that my little brown tree had died. Before discarding it, I decided to water it just to see what would happen. Like magic, this tree began to sprout tiny green leaves within days. Just a little bit of water produced fresh new leaves and completely changed that tree.

You can give a tree sunlight and good soil. You can give it lots of plant vitamins and chemical concoctions designed to help it grow quickly and grow strong. You can trim and prune it and spend every waking moment devoted to that plant. But if you do not give it water, it will die. Our spirits also need water not only to survive but to produce the fruit that God desires and to keep our leaves green. When we love God’s law what we really are loving is his character. This is a desire to follow him and his manner of being. This is obedience. When we are obedient to him, we receive the life-giving water that his spirit offers. That is what makes it possible for us to bear spiritual fruit. When we disobey God we begin to dry up. The leaves turn brown, and the fruit disappears. If we want the blessing of a fruitful spiritual life, we must practice obedience.

Disobedience not only to the law of God but to the laws of man is rampant in this world. I believe a component of this is control. We have a pride that wants to make decisions for ourselves and not submit to authority. When we think in that manner with respect to God and his commands and his guidance, we are deciding to do things our way. When we do things our way and act against the will of God, we reap what we sow. When we do things God’s way, what we reap is a blessing. That blessing makes us trees that are firmly rooted in the spirit, having access to the life-giving water without which we cannot produce good fruit. Father, thank You for your guidance and instruction in this world, and thank You for rewarding obedience with spiritual blessing.