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. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
There is a difference in the lives lived by the godly and the ungodly. The godly man whose focus is on God and obeying Him and His Word does what he is supposed to do, what his intended purpose is. He is always fed and sustained and able to succeed. He is strong and growing and is able to endure for a long time. Making right choices and following God’s Word closely leads to blessing, usefulness, and goodness in our lives. And just as a tree that has the right conditions can’t help but grow and thrive, so it is for us.
But the ungodly just kind of float around, driven by the wind. There is nothing sure to guide them, nothing stable to build their lives on or keep them secure. The Word of God is eternal and never changes, but without it, people have to keep jumping from one thing to the next to try to find something that works, and there is nothing life-giving in that. No fruit comes from this kind of self-contained life. It is so flimsy and prone to withering and produces something that is ultimately useless, unwanted, and disposed of.
In order to thrive and live fruitful and useful lives, location is important. This tree that grew so well was planted by a river which was its source of life. And we, too, must be close to the one who gives us life if we expect to grow and bear fruit and not wither. We must build our lives upon Jesus Christ and be immersed in Him if we ever hope to be what we’re supposed to be and do what He wants us to. We must be always fed by Him and nourished by His Word in order to have what we need to survive whatever may come. And if we stay rooted there, we’ll become stronger and stronger.
There is a big difference between a tree and chaff. So what kind of life are we pursuing? Are we driven about, tossed helpless through life because we’re not relying on the sure foundation of God and His Word? Or have we allowed Him to plant us near the river of life that ensures we’ll become someone who glorifies and honors Him and stands as a testimony of what it takes to truly thrive in this world?