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)
If I see a plant in the garden that isn’t flourishing, I consider moving it. Gardeners often 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, if it is the ground, they might uproot it 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 replanted has been used and the Hebrew word can mean that. The idea is that those who delight in God’s instructions are 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.’
Most people who garden have the challenge of planting the right tree or shrub in the right place, where the plant can flourish. If you put them in the wrong place, they may just sulk, refuse to grow, wilt, or finally expire. If you see one that is just not content where it is, the only option is to dig it up and transplant it to a spot where it can take root, be happy and grow.
Our psalm is looking at a happy tree that can blossom and bear 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…” Jesus chose us for fruitfulness, but, in order for us to thrive, we needed to be moved, to be transplanted by the Spirit into Christ. As Paul told the Colossian church in 2:6-7: ‘Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.’ (ESV, emphasis mine). We can produce fruit because we are replanted and grounded in Christ.
Father, we give you thanks that you have transplanted us and placed us in Christ where we can flourish and bear fruit, whether in the sun or shade of life, Amen.
Study by Hilary Buck
About the writer:
Hilary Buck is a Minister and pastors the Lewes congregation of Grace Communion International.
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