“They are like a tree replanted by streams of water, which bears fruit at just the right time and whose leaves don’t fade.”
Psalm 1:3 (CEB)
Gardeners sometimes move a plant into a better position. If it is in a container, they might simply shift the container to more sunlight or to shade, whatever is needed. Or, they might uproot it completely and transplant it into the best place for it to thrive.
Most translations of Psalm 1:3 use the word planted, but, in the Common English Bible (above), replanted is used. The idea is that those who delight in God’s instructions are collectively and individually like a tree that has been replanted. The Message rendition of Scripture puts it this way, “You’re a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.”
In the original Hebrew the verb is shathal, which, typically, means to transplant. In other words, the tree is moved from where it was previously to a new site so that it might blossom afresh and bear more fruit. What Christ told us in John 15:16 comes to mind, “You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last.”
The parallel is striking. Jesus chose us for fruitfulness, but, in order for us to thrive, we needed to be moved, to be transplanted in the Spirit. Paul, of course, picks up on this concept when he explains that believers produce fruit because they live and walk by the Spirit in whom they are grounded.
In Christ God has replanted us so that we can be “rooted and built up in him, be established in faith, and overflow with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7).
Thank you, Father, that through the Spirit you have moved us from our old base to a new life, founded firmly and securely in Jesus, in whose name we pray.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations in the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.