“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.”
Explanation and Commentary of Psalm 1:3
This is a beautiful image of a person of faith who lives out what they believe. God’s ways are awesome and high. For the one who surrenders to him, there will be peace and a certain measure of prosperity.
It is impossible to escape completely the fact of the fallenness of the earth we live on in the present age, but things are made infinitely better by obedience and love for God and the ways of his Kingdom. A reading of the New Testament will prove that there may be suffering in the path of a faithful Christian. Even Christ himself suffered according to God’s will, but the instruction and encouragement in Scripture that promised prosperity to those who trust God enough to live according to his ways cannot and should not be disregarded.
Breaking Down the Key Parts of Psalm 1:3
#1 “That person…”
“That person” is the one who loves God and “delights in the law of the Lord,” and does not live like an unbeliever, wicked, mocking, and loving sin (Ps 1:1).
#2 “…is like a tree planted by streams of water,”
To delight in God’s law is to love his ways. For the new Christian, it sometimes takes time, particularly when one is saved out of a God-hating culture. Undoing some of the thinking of the “dominion of darkness” may take a while. A tree will start out small, but if one loves God and seeks his ways, he is like a tree by a stream. If there is little rain, then only the trees near the stream will grow. The stream represents the ways of God and love for God.
#3 “which yields its fruit in season…”
This will be a fruitful tree. The fruit will come in season. There still will be times of winter for the believer, but faithfulness will lead to fruit in the right season. Some seasons are for sowing and some are for harvesting.
#4 “…and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.”
Here is an interesting image. Even a healthy tree will have leaves that wither and fall off in autumn. God seems to be promising supernatural spiritual health to the faithful. The fruit may come in season, but the leaf will never wither. Abiding in this way lines one up with the will of God so well that “whatever they do prospers.” It is a rare life in this world that is lived this faithfully, but we should make it our aim as the kind of life God desires for us.
Bible Study on Psalm 1:3
Expert Overview of Psalms
Biblical Translations of Psalm 1:3
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.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.
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.
He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.