“Happy are those
who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law they meditate day and night.
They are like trees
planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.” NRSV
For the tomato plants in my garden to bear beautiful, red tomatoes the plants must be planted in fertile soil, with the right pH. They must be planted in full sun to ripen. They must receive appropriate amounts of water at the right time and be protected from predators (the “wicked”) who come to feed on the vines and tomato plants making them sickly, unfit for me and my family to eat.
To be the “righteous” of God requires that we, too, plant ourselves in the fertility and care of God. The Psalmist puts it this way “their delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law they meditate day and night.” Studying, meditating, and delighting in the law of God, is like the tomato plant being planted in fertile soil, in full sun, appropriately watered, and protected from the wicked. The tomato plant and us can only bear the desired fruit when we have attended to the basic requirements each need to bear our intended fruit.
When we are not generating the amount of fruit we expect to produce maybe the first place we should look to is the make-up of the soil and the location in which we have been planted? What is feeding our hearts and minds? Do we spend more time in darkness, in the shadows, or light?
God doesn’t tell us what to do or where to live or what to pour into our minds. God only says there is God’s way and then there are all other ways. Each has consequences. Choose.
The righteous of God choose God’s way, delight in their decision, meditate on the things of God, and enjoy the fruits of God. The other ways yield things too, but they are not the stuff God’s blesses. As my former seminary professor, Lester McAllister, was so fond of saying, “You pays your money and you takes your chances.” Indeed.
Be a blessing to someone today!