11.12.2020 “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither— whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1:3)

Today’s psalm is rich with beautiful descriptions. The theme is about two paths before man; The way of the righteous and the way of the wicked. This passage clearly tells us that the righteous are those who meditate on the law of the Lord and walk in His ways. The psalmist likens the righteous man to a tree planted by a stream, saying that his joy is in the law of the Lord. What a beautiful description! Can a better metaphor be found to describe one who lives according to the will of God! A tree that does not wither even in hot summer. Because its roots extend to the bottom of the stream. He who trusts in the Lord will never be weary. No crisis can paralyze him. Because he receives living water from a fountain of God. The words of prophet Isaiah go hand in hand with this idea; “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isa. 40:31).

The Scriptures repeatedly speak of such two ways. “See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction” (Deut. 30:15). These are the words that Moses told the people of Israel before entering the land of Canaan. Moses warns that they will live if they keep the commandments of the Lord, otherwise they will perish. In Matthew 7: 13-14 Jesus speaks of a narrow door. He asks us to choose the difficult path that leads to life instead of the broader path that leads to destruction. (The Road Not Taken is a beautiful poem by Robert Frost about life’s choices). Jeremiah repeats that he who trusts in the Lord is like a tree planted by the river (17: 8). The essence is this; The Lord is the foundation of your life. There is an abundance of life where we live according to His will. Only he who has his heart set on God can stand firm in the face of storms and floods. “Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.” (Hab. 3:17-19). Let us pray today with these words of the prophet because as we read in today`s first reading (Isa.48:17-19) the Lord will teach us what is best for us and He will direct our ways.