He will be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season; and in whatever he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
A contrast between the person who meditates on the law of the LORD and the wicked; one is like chaff driven by the wind, the other is firmly planted. The word translated “prospers” carries with it the thought of bringing a thing to completion; the fruit fully ripens, endeavors are brought to conclusion and maturation. The wind separates the chaff from the grain, as Yahweh says in Haggai, He will shake all things and those things that cannot be shaken will remain. How often do the righteous protest against the wind and the shaking when the shaking and the wind are from God? We often focus on the temporal rather then the eternal; to see the temporal in the context of the temporal is nearsightedness; to see the temporal in the context of the eternal is vision with depth and breath and height. The earthquake and the wind have a purpose.
Water is associated with life, the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and cleansing – images flowing together in Christ. Living water flows from the throne of God, it flows from us to others – in Christ we live in a well-watered land. We are watered and we are to water; when we come into a relationship with Jesus Christ He places a fountain of living water within us and we never thirst again. We can deceived into continuing to look for external water, carrying our buckets here and there, when Christ lives within us (see John Chapters 4 & 7).
If we mediate on the Word of God our thoughts are tethered to eternity, if our thought life feeds on the transitory we are at the mercy of the wind. We often discern physical food more readily than spiritual food; we flee produce tainted with listeria but not entertainment, conversation, religion, or public discourse laced with toxicity.
I wonder if Jeremiah thought of Psalm 1 when Yahweh spoke the following to him: Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD and whose trust is the LORD. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit. [Notice that Jeremiah 17:5 – 8 mirrors Psalm 1.]
The Scriptures begin with the Tree of Life, they culminate with the Tree of Life: Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the Tree of Life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations, Revelation 22:1-2. The Tree of Life in Genesis has grown and expanded in Revelation, while it may appear to the observer in Revelation that it is many trees, it is still one tree, and in fact the singular is used in Revelation – it is Tree of Life not trees of life. This reminds us of the Aspen tree, a tree that grows through its root system and therefore also a tree that is better able to withstand forest fire because its life remains beneath the ground.
Jesus tells us that except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die that it abides alone, but if it dies it bears much fruit. Christ, the Tree of Life in Genesis extends His life in His people down through the ages and into eternity – the extension of this life is seen in Revelation Chapter 22 where the One Tree of Genesis has become the many trees of Revelation, and yet the many trees of Revelation remain the One Tree – for He is in us and we are in Him. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations – this is our calling, to bring peace and healing and salvation in Christ to others and to bring others to Christ.