A few weeks ago I sat across the lunch table from an aunt on the one year anniversary of her husband’s death.  As our family talked with her about the past year in which she processed her grief and also worked through the uncertainty and isolation caused by a global pandemic, I gained a greater appreciation for who she is and who she relied upon.  Beneath the honest, realistic assessment of her struggle was a foundation of strength, and the source of that strength was revealed as she talked about what she was learning from the Apostle Paul as she studied the scriptures, weekly, with others in her church community.

During that lunch hour, I saw evidence of the truthfulness of Jeremiah 17:7-8:

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat come;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”

In the past year, and likely many other times in her life, this woman has experienced ‘heat’ and ‘drought’, and yet she is continuing to bear fruit. Why? Because she is trusting in the LORD and placing her confidence in him.

I want this to be true of me, and I pray that it will be true of all of you! So the question is: how can we learn to trust in the LORD and place our confidence in him so that we will be like trees planted by the water? The answer is found in Psalm 1:

Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
But whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
And who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leave does not wither –
whatever they do prospers.

Drawing on the same metaphor as Jeremiah, the psalmist here reflects that people become like trees planted by streams of water when they delight in the law of the LORD, and meditate on his law day and night.

What does the psalmist mean by ‘law’? Derek Kidner writes, “Law (tôrâ) basically means ‘direction’ or ‘instruction’; it can be confined to a single command, or can extend, as here, to Scripture as a whole.”

So, to summarize then, this psalm teaches that those who delight in Scripture and meditate on Scripture will develop the root system they need to withstand the ‘heat and drought’ (like grief and pandemics) that they will encounter in life.
My final questions to you then are:

Are you delighting in Scripture and are you meditating on Scripture so that you will become like a tree planted by streams of water?

Do you know how to do this?

Do you need help and accountability learning to do this?

If so, please join a mid-week group which is centered around the study of the Scriptures!  Men’s and Women’s Bible Studies, Community Groups and our Theology Classes will be starting up soon.  For more info, and to register, visit our website: https://northview.org/biblestudy/, https://northview.org/community-groups/, or https://northview.org/courses/.

Kristal Toews
Pastor of Discipleship