“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in 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 1:1-3
The Psalmist compares one who meditates day and night on the Word of God to a tree that is planted beside a continual source of water. This is a tree that does not have to rely upon the occasional rain. It is not vulnerable to seasons of drought. It does not have to wander here and there looking for the next water source. This tree is planted firmly and daily receives everything that it needs for healthy leaves and abundant fruit. As a stream provides continual nourishment from the roots up, so too, a man whose ears are fixed firmly and constantly upon God’s Word will receive a strong faith and a fruitful life.
Consider the estate from which we fell. John Calvin reminds us, “Yet God would not have us forget our original nobility, which He had bestowed upon our father Adam, and which ought truly to arouse in us a zeal for righteousness and goodness.” The Triune God planted His special people in a garden where they would be continually nourished as their ears received God’s Word. This root strengthened their eyes to behold His glory and their mouths to taste of His goodness. Their original faithfulness and fruitfulness is breathtaking to consider!
The serpent, craftiest of all the creatures, crept in to entice Adam and Eve to sever the root. He turned their ears away from God’s Word. Again, Calvin notes, “And surely, once we hold God’s Word in contempt, we shake off all reverence for Him. For, unless we listen attentively to Him, His majesty will not dwell among us, nor His worship remain perfect.” The resulting unfaithfulness caused their eyes to see within the forbidden fruit a greater glory than had been given to them by God. It caused their mouths to crave a sweeter goodness than what had been provided by their benevolent King. Calvin wisely asserts, “Adam would never have dared oppose God’s authority unless he had disbelieved in God’s Word.”
Therefore, the Psalmist rightly points the way for us to live faithful and fruitful lives in the midst of our fallen condition. It is the same ancient path set forth for our original parents. The ears of our hearts must refuse to listen to the counsel of the wicked, the voice of scoffers, the abuses of mockers, and especially the subtle, ear-tickling, sweet tasting, root-destroying lies that come from the father of lies. And the only way to effectively do that is to be a man or woman of the Word and surround yourself with people of the Word. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.