Psalm 1:3 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.
And he shall be… (hayah)
The translators used “and he shall be” to continue the thought that it is the “blessed man” that Holy Scripture is talking about. The Hebrew word used here is the same word used when Almighty GOD told Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.”
I AM THAT I AM, “hayah ‘asher hayah”; and I AM “hayah”. The first meaning, I AM WHO I AM, I EXIST AS WHO I AM, I AM THAT I AM, I AM WHAT I AM, I EXIST AS I EXIST. “hayah” means “I am” or “I exist”, or in reference to Almighty GOD, “I AM” or “I EXIST”. This should be of interest to us because Almighty GOD (I AM) created us in His Image and His Likeness, to live sinless life without death, and to continually and eternally exist.
Thus, the blessed man, the man who delights himself in the Law of the LORD and meditates upon the Law of the LORD day and night “exists” like a tree planted by the rivers of water…
This is not an on-again off-again occurrence, but a continual existence without interruption.
Now, because we have in fact sinned against Almighty GOD in rebellion against Him, and not only Adam and Eve, but every human being since then, with the exception of our LORD Jesus Christ, we were removed from this existence (better thought, we removed ourselves from this existence by our own sin). However, part of the meaning of “hayah” is also “to be or to become, to come to pass (always emphatic)”. This suggests to me that King David, speaking by inspiration of Holy Spirit, is emphatically (with strong emphasis and insistence that this is absolutely the truth) saying, “The blessed man IS (exists, or will come to exist as) the one who delights in the Law of the LORD, and who meditates upon His Law continually. He is so blessed that he most definitely will exist as or come to exist as a tree planted by rivers of water…” This is not a matter of “if” you will become like the tree, it is a matter of taking delight in the Law of the LORD and meditating upon it continually, because if you (I, we) do so then this is the definite result ordained by Almighty GOD because this is how His Kingdom works according to His Law, according to His WORD.
… like a tree… (‘ets)
The translators used “like a tree” as an accurate metaphor here because a man is not actually a tree, however, the Hebrew word ” ‘ets ” actually means “tree”. So, think about this. If I (you) delight in the Law of the LORD and meditate in His Law (WORD, teaching, precepts, Torah) continually, I will be a tree planted by rivers of water (water that never stops flowing just as our meditation upon the WORD Of GOD is to never stop). This seems simple here, but the meaning by the end of this verse will be profound, and even astounding if we will embrace it.
Now ask yourself, where is this tree?
… planted… (shathal)
First off, this tree that we are growing and maturing into because we delight in the Law (WORD, precepts, teaching, Torah) of the LORD is planted. But wait, there is much more to this because the Hebrew word ” shathal ” actually means “transplanted”. How fitting this is for the born again Christian! For we have been “transplanted” from the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom Of GOD, into His Marvelous Light! So come! Let go of where you are and dig your roots in where delighting in the Law (WORD) of the LORD wants to place you and cause you to flourish!
“… above, over, upon, or against (yet always in this last relation with a downward aspect) in a great variety of applications”.
… the rivers… (peleg)
“…a rill (that is, small channel of water, as in irrigation)“.
…of water… (mayim)
When I have previously read this verse, or heard it taught on, the picture given is usually a tree planted by a large river, or near where two rivers come together; a beautiful, calming, relaxing scene. However, in studying the meanings of these words and meditating upon them, I have a much different picture now.
As we delight in the Law of the LORD, and meditate upon His Law (His WORD) day and night, we will often be uprooted from where we were planted according to the world’s way, in the kingdom of darkness and transplanted to a place and responsibility of Almighty GOD’s choosing. This place might be a lush valley; or it could be in rugged, rocky terrain; or in a pleasant meadow somewhere; or it could be in the middle of an apparent desert with no water in sight. We could be transplanted anywhere.
To be “by” the “rivers” of water, by definition of the words Holy Spirit chose to use to write this passage, means to be “above, over, upon, or against (with the idea of reaching down [with a downward aspect]). And with the “rivers” actually being more like irrigation channels, which we would be above, or have to reach down for, these irrigation channels could very well be underground, like an underground spring, but in this case an underground irrigation channel of water; water the world cannot see and does not know anything about, or maybe even knows about but purposely rejects and does not seem to them to be worthwhile to utilize it because of the continual focused effort required. Sadly, this continual focused effort dissuades many of us Christians from digging down to become deeply rooted enough to access the underground irrigation channels set there for them (us) by Almighty GOD.
Does this seem odd? Maybe at first, but not if you really think about it.
Understanding that Almighty GOD is the husbandman of the vineyard, the Creator and Owner of the garden, this actually begins to make sense. Almighty GOD, our Eternal Creator, is the only One Who has the wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of exactly what we need to flourish and what it will take to get each one of us there. Only Almighty GOD knows which of His vineyards is best for each of us and which of His vineyards we will be most beneficial in helping flourish. Are we willing to accept where Almighty GOD transplants us to at any given time in order to serve Him and help the vineyard to which He transplants us to flourish? Do we love Almighty GOD, our Abba Father, enough to lovingly, faithfully, diligently, and obediently live and serve Him and His creation wherever He puts us? Without whining and complaining, but instead giving Him glory and honor and praise and thanksgiving for counting us worthy of such an assignment from Him? Could this be a significant part of what it means to Love the LORD our GOD with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength?
Are we willing to dig our roots down through whatever it takes, as deep as we must go, to access the irrigation channels our Abba Father has prepared for us underground to give us the necessary root structure and depth to successfully represent His Kingdom wherever we may be?
Keep in mind, a root system must be deep and wide in order to support a tree and keep it from being blown over, uprooted, and destroyed by the winds of the storms and chaos and torrents of this world. Are we willing to allow the LORD our GOD to teach us through Holy Spirit and His Holy WORD (meditating upon it day and night, continually) in order to get us rooted according to His Design?
If so, then there are definite rewards, ordained by Almighty GOD, our Loving Creator and Abba Father, Himself. We will begin with these in our next article in this series.
All Scripture is given in the King James Version, 1769. Bold emphasis is added.
Hebrew to English definitions are from the Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.