A godly man, according to Psalm 1, is one who finds his delight in the Word of God. He starts and ends the day, as well as moments in between, to engage and reflect on it. While he may not be immune from evil, he is able to identify and discern it, thus avoiding the ways of evil. This is the fruit of spending time meditating on the ways of God. The phrase that is used for ‘the Scriptures’ in this Psalm, is “the Law of the Lord.” It refers to the whole counsel or revelation of God. Through the Word of God, the godly man is informed and knows the right perspective to life. Such a person will know how to reject and stay uninfluenced by ungodly philosophy. Hence, he can affirm that a life based on God’s Word is different from one that follows the standard of the world. He will be challenged to live a life diametrically opposite to that of the world and experience its benefits.
Verse 3 tells us that this godly person will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In whatever he does, he prospers. The benefits implied by this verse can be seen in four areas. The godly man will be stable, fruitful, glowing and contributing. Firstly, in coming constantly to the Word of God, the godly man is likened to a plant which finds its roots in a steady flowing stream. He gets his spiritual nutrients and resource from the Word. Hence, he finds grace through partaking of the Word. The more he partakes of the Word, the more stable he becomes in God. Secondly, he will not only be stable, but he will also be fruitful, yielding fruit at the right time. Fruit comes by abiding in the vine. The more we learn to drink in the Word, the more we will stay connected to God. The connection creates the condition for the cultivation of fruit. Fruit develops as we lead a Spirit-guided life. Such a life will manifest the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the characters of Christ Jesus our Lord. With these fruits, one will be more and more Christ-like and be radiant in life.
Thirdly, “the leaf that does not wither” speaks about his witness. None of us like to have a plant with withered leaves, do we? It is a picture of lifelessness. A tree with withering leaves gives the idea of lacking shine and glow. It is a person devoid of the beauty of the Lord. How can a person who lacks the shine and glow of the Lord be an effective witness? Hence to say that a blessed man is one whose leaf does not wither, is to say that he has a glowing witness for the Lord. That is the third advantage of being godly. Fourthly, a godly man will also be an effective contributor. A life connected with God is always vital and exciting to be with. Effectiveness of the blessed godly man is seen in the fact that whatsoever he does with his hand, he will find success and prosperity.
The blessedness of life is not defined by our outward circumstances. Our joy and happiness are not in the abundance of things that we possess. It is found in the secret of knowing Christ and loving Him. Oh, to love Him more dearly, to see Him more clearly and to follow Him more nearly!