I’ve always thought the first psalm really summed up what a life with God is all about. In reading this Psalm again I was drawn to one specific line: “like a tree planted by streams of water.” The visual this called up in me contained lots of lush vegetation and clear blue waters and soft blue skies and most of all, someone content with their life.
I thought about my own life, of course, and realized that I have had that sense of contentment through most of it, even though most of my years have been extremely difficult. I’ve had health issues, financial challenges, a lousy childhood, a lousy young adulthood… and yet when I look back to those days I still see a girl content, someone unshaken. That comes from God and no where else.
The first Psalm sets the tone for the rest of the book:
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 leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Not so the wicked!
They are like chaff
that the wind blows away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
The image is clear. A life with God is full and lush and constantly growing and renewing.