We won’t be like a tree planted by the rivers of water unless we delight in and meditate in the law of the Lord.
Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
God plants the tree. If we try to plant ourselves, we’ll be independent and not delighting in the law of the Lord. The tree planted by the rivers of water has roots that go down deep to the water. There are “rivers” of water. The river of forgiveness allows us to drink of the rivers of water. The river of grace helps us to go through hard trials. The river of God’s promises encourages and sustains us in the hard trials. There are rivers of thanksgiving and of praise too. We can abound with thanksgiving when we’re rooted and grounded in the rivers of life.
Colossians 2:6-7 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
For roots to grow deeper, there has to be some wind – winds of adversity. The tree will uproot and fall in the winds if the roots aren’t deep. We have to study and meditate on God’s word to get our spiritual roots down. The rings of a tree are wider in years when there’s plenty of water. Without water, leaves dry and fall off the tree. Roots need to spread too.
Jeremiah 17:7-8 Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.
Tumbleweeds are in the desert because they have no water to develop roots. Roots develop out, down, and up to supply water to leaves when there’s water. Sometimes the water is for later, when the heat comes, so our leaves stay green. Leaves turn toward the sun. In photosynthesis trees use sun light to convert water, carbon dioxide, and minerals into oxygen and energy. A dried up leaf doesn’t provide oxygen to help anyone. God wants us to give something to others so they can decide to serve him. Complaining doesn’t help anyone. Some were offended and complained about what Jesus said, but he said to leave them alone. If the heavenly Father didn’t plant them, they would be rooted up.
Matthew 15:7-14 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy…This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. And he called the multitude, and said…Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth…Then came his disciples, and said…Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after…this saying? But he…said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead…both shall fall into the ditch.
Fruit trees don’t have fruit the first year. When people are first saved, they need time to grow and get their roots down so they can produce good fruit. A vineyard owner saw no fruit on his fig tree for three years and wanted to dig it up. The caregiver said wait a year to see if it bore fruit after he digged it and fertilized it, then cut it down if there was no fruit (Luke 13:7-9). God is patient for us to grow, but Jesus cursed a fig tree that didn’t bear any fruit. He wants to see fruit in our life – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Galatians 5:22-23). We have to read the Bible and meditate on the word so we can grow. People that don’t get their roots down will be offended. The psalmist said, “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them” (Psalm 119:165).
Matthew 13:20-21 But he that received the seed into stony places…heareth the word…with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word…is offended.
Some have shallow roots and not enough water so cares choke them. Our roots need to be deep to get water of the word.
Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
Leaves don’t complain. God wants us to be like fruitful trees and to praise the Lord, not complain.
Psalm 148:1-9 Praise ye the Lord…Praise ye him, all his angels: praise ye him, all his hosts…Let them praise the name of the Lord: for he commanded, and they were created…Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars:
There’s a river of praise with beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning. Our roots need to be deep to have praise.
Isaiah 61:3…in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
Josiah started to reign as king and did what was right when he was 8 years old. His dad and grandfather were idol worshippers but Hilkiah was priest and Jeremiah was his cousin. He had seen others who were doing right.
II Kings 22:1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign…And he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left.
Josiah was 16 and started to seek God with all his heart. At 20 he broke down all the images and idol worship places in the land. When we repent, we get rid of all we know is wrong. As we grow, we see more things we do or attitudes to get rid of.
II Kings 22:3-7 And it came to pass in the eighteenth year of king Josiah, that the king sent Shaphan…saying, Go up to Hilkiah the high priest, that he may sum the silver which is brought into the house of the Lord…and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the Lord, to repair the breaches of the house…Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them of the money that was delivered into their hand, because they dealt faithfully. At 26 Josiah directed the repair of the temple. Those responsible were faithful to do the work with the money collected.
II Chronicles 34:3-7 For in the eighth year of his reign…he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images…he brake in pieces, and made dust of them…and cleansed Judah and Jerusalem…And when he had broken down the altars and the groves, and had beaten the graven images into powder, and cut down all the idols…he returned to Jerusalem.
When they found the book of the law and Josiah heard what was written in it, he tore his clothes in sorrow and remorse. He was repenting because he saw they were disobeying God. He believed the word and didn’t doubt or question it.
II Kings 22:8-11 And Hilkiah the high priest said…I have found the book of the law…Shaphan the scribe came to the king …said, Thy servants have gathered the money…found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work…Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And…when the king had heard the words…he rent his clothes.
Josiah’s heart was tender when he heard the word. He sent some to the prophetess Huldah so she would ask God what to do. If we are going our own way and independent, our heart won’t be tender or asking God for direction.
II Kings 22:12-20 And the king commanded…Go ye, enquire of the Lord…concerning the words of this book…for great is the wrath of the Lord…because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book…Huldah the prophetess…said unto them, Thus saith the Lord…I will bring evil …even all the words of the book which the king…read: Because they have forsaken me…burned incense unto other gods…therefore my wrath shall be kindled against this place…But to the king… Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself…thou heardest what I spake…rent thy clothes, and wept…I also have heard thee…I will gather thee…into thy grave in peace; and thine eyes shall not see all the evil which I will bring…
Josiah made a covenant with God and purged more things. When we’re sanctified and filled with the Holy Spirit, we see more to get rid of. We can only be a tree planted by rivers of living water if we get rid of anything that displeases God.
II Kings 23:1-8…the king went up into the house of the Lord…and he read in their ears all the words of the book…and made a covenant before the Lord…to keep his commandments…with all their heart and all their soul…And the king commanded …to bring…all the vessels that were made for Baal…he burned them…And he brake down the houses of the sodomites…
There wasn’t any king like Josiah that turned to God with all his heart.
II Kings 23:25 And like unto him was there no king…that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul…
(Notes from the Mature Class Bible Study, teacher Edith Tolbert)