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The Tale of the Tree

by Mark L. Bailey on September 5, 2006 in None
In North Central Texas, where Dallas Seminary is located, we found ourselves once again in drought conditions this summer. Some cities in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex enforced water rationing. Lawns, trees, and shrubs sat parched for six days, but once a week plants were allowed a drink—as long as residents did their watering at the edges of the day.

Not everybody complied. It was not unusual to arrive home from a trip at 11:30 p.m. and spot a neighbor out with a garden hose, spraying in the dark. 

And in this lies a lesson. In Psalm 1 the psalmist contrasts trees that get an appropriate amount of water to those that don’t, and then applies the contrast to two kinds of people. The first kind of person embraces the temporal pursuits of the wicked and becomes like windblown chaff. The other delights in God’s thoughts and becomes like a tree “planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”   

In the psalmist’s analogy what makes a person, like the flourishing tree, prosper? In the same way the tree was rooted in fresh water, a follower of Christ must abide in the Word to grow spiritually. The prosperous person has more than a quick sip of God’s Word. Rather, such a person drinks it in day and night.

In our last issue of Kindred Spirit we looked at how theology is vital for our everyday lives. In this issue we continue that emphasis. Our first female graduate reminds us that everyone needs a biblically based theological understanding. A retired Dallas Seminary professor provides an overview of Proverbs. And a ministry writer reminds us of the wisdom of entrusting everything we have to God. In the Bible’s wisdom books we find needed guidance for everything from managing money to marriage. And how we need such wisdom to help us live in such mixed-up times!   

The world measures prosperity by money and status. And sometimes Christ-followers do the same. Too many evaluations center on the three B’s: bodies, budget, and buildings. But God measures by a different standard.

Do you delight in God’s Word? Do you think about it day and night? Are you withering or prospering?  
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