Sunday, June 12, 2011

How Deep Are Your Roots?

"No one is established by wickedness,
but the root of the righteous will never be moved."
Proverbs 12:3

There is little more comforting or beautiful than an old tree that has survived the elements for hundreds of years, taking on the drought and the floods, the lightning and the winds with great stateliness.  Its branches are secure for the nests of the birds and for the little feet of climbers.  Its leaves bud out each Spring with the statement, "Yes, I'm still here."  As a little girl I loved to climb trees and sit in the branches, watching the insects crawl along the limbs and the people walking below me.  I never doubted that the tree was sturdy enough to hold me.  I didn't think about why it could hold me, that it had roots that went very deep into the soil, holding the tree in perfect position for any little climber.    I just knew that I had a firm foundation.

Psalm 1 compares us to a tree.  How can we determine which sort of tree we are?

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked..."
From where do you receive counsel?  Do you know that much counsel comes unsought--through television, the books or magazines we read, the songs we listen to, and then of course through those with whom we talk?

"nor stands in the way of sinners..."
Sinner:  " One that has voluntarily violated the divine law; a moral agent who has voluntarily disobeyed any divine precept, or neglected any known duty."  Who are your friends?

"nor sits in the seat of scoffers..."
Scoffer: "a derider; in Scripture, one who scoffs at religion, its ordinances and teachers, and who makes a mock of sin and the judgments and threatenings of God against sinners."

"but his delight is in the law of the Lord..."
The word that jumps out to me is "delight".  Just as a child delights in a much wanted gift, we must delight in the Word of God.  
Delight--I love that word!

"and in His law he meditates day and night."
Meditate:  "To dwell on any thing in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind."  
Have you ever watched a cow ruminate (chew the cud?)  This is a very similar word.  He chews his food, swallows it, regurgitates it, chews some more, swallows again...and again.  We are to "chew the cud" of the Word of God.

"He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, 
that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither."  
Oh, to be like the "climbing tree!"

"In all that he does, he prospers."  
Oh, to be spiritually prosperous in all that I do!

In contrast:

"The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff that the wind drives away."
Chaff:  " Refuse; worthless matter; especially that which is light, and apt to be driven by the wind. In scripture, false doctrines, fruitless designs, hypocrites and ungodly men are compared to chaff."
That looks like good enough reason to be a ruminant! 

"Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, 
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous..."
The key word here is stand.  We once had a silver maple tree in our front yard. When the storm blew hard on it, because its roots were shallow, it split right in half and had to be cut down.  It had no firm foundation and could not stand the battering of the storm.

"For the Lord knows the way of the righteous..."
Remember:  God is watching, weighing and judging everyone of our words, thoughts, actions and attitudes.

"But the way of the wicked will perish."
I hardly remember that silver maple tree anymore.  It has gone the way of many other shallow rooted trees.  We have planted one that hopefully has deep roots and will survive the elements.  Someday perhaps children will climb its branches and watch the insects on the limbs and the people below.

Seeking to grow my roots deep in the soil of God's Word,

(All word definitions were taken from Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary.)


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