No tree has to stand in the orchard shouting, “Look at my fruit!” It doesn’t have to, because fruit speaks for itself.
Filled with a certain greatness, Psalm 1 calls us upward to live in such a way that we will be like that solid tree, drawing sustenance from the stream — and succeeding in all we do.
But instead of staying near the stream and drinking from its depths, we are often drawn away by surrounding distractions or pressures of daily obligations. And like the apostle Paul, we end up neglecting the things we should do, while doing the very things we try not to do, (Romans 7:19). And we start bearing bad fruit.
But the blessed man of this Psalm bears good fruit.
Because he is wise enough to keep drinking of God’s life-giving water.
Perhaps he’s a farmer and he’s noticed that the trees nearest the stream are the most luxuriant. They bear the best fruit, and more of it. So he takes extra water to those furthest away, knowing they’ll need it to get them through the times of drought.
And he’s also learned that arid times come to all living things. So he also drinks long and often from God’s stream of living water, preparing for the moments when his own parched soul can’t take it in. And in this way grows his faith — a faith that doesn’t wither or fade. A faith that bears good fruit.
But this blessed man doesn’t go about preaching at others, or spouting his knowledge.
He doesn’t have to, because others already see his fruit of Christian maturity. They see his peace and joy, even in the hard and arid times of life, and seek him out to learn the source of his strength. They see his love and patience, even toward those who have wronged him, and long to have that same kind of love.
And we, likewise, need to stay planted near the stream. No, we can’t keep our nose in the Bible all the time. But we can meditate on Scripture all through the day, learning to apply it to daily happenings, and to life’s problems and worries.
And thus grow a faith that never fades or withers. A faith but bears fruit, even during times of drought, trial, or evil. And in this way, succeed in all that God wants us to do.