Where are Your Roots? (Psalm 1)

river treesAs we continue through the first of the Psalms, we have the seen the rooted life described in both negative and positive terms. Now we see it described pictorially, and it stands as the key verse to the Psalm.

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.

Much of the Holy Land is rather arid. The picture of vast regions of stone with green swaths through which streams travelled, dotted with isolated trees, would be a common one.

And though we live in an area where it (this year) seems to rain every day whether it really needs to or not, it is not always that way. And we know as well that trees growing alongside streams have an easier time, especially in drought conditions. Think about the beautiful views we see of stately trees growing along the Potomac, the Antietam or the Conococheague.

The picture is one of constant nourishment and steady health. This sort of tree is not dependent upon intermittent showers, and is therefore not susceptible to dry times. The roots do not need to stay close to the surface, but are able to go deeply into the soil, providing a better foundation for the tree in perilous times – when the winds of adversity come.

trees knocked down

This second tree pictured is from west of Hancock on a mountain several hundred feet above the surface of the Potomac River.  Note how minimal is the roots system for the size of the tree. It could not withstand the storm, nor did quite a number of others nearby. They look like dominoes knocked over in a recent storm that spawned tornadoes.

Beyond simply standing and looking good, the tree by the water produces fruit at the right time, in season. It is regular and dependable.

The picture is a beautiful one and as obvious for application as any in Scripture. Is your life, your roots, deeply embedded in the Scriptures, or do you depend upon occasional “showers of blessing” for your spiritual sustenance? If you are depending only upon the occasional sermon for biblical enrichment, you are going to have your “leaves” wither and your “roots” be insufficient foundations for the inevitable sorrows of life.

Are you able to be described like the tree by the water in terms of your life and service to others?  If not, it may be that an examination of the roots is in order more than a reflection upon the nature of the storm systems.

And beyond standing alone, there is greater strength in standing together. What is better: a tree by itself (even well-rooted) or a tree growing near others around it? With others trees and roots systems intertwined, there is mutual support. And so it is in the body of Christ and your regular connection to it. If you do not connect deeply in the church family, you are essentially being an independent tree – be it in a field or along a stream.

So how are your roots?

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About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed multiple hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and have been a sportswriter for various publications and online venues. My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with the Antietam Battlefield Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

One thought on “Where are Your Roots? (Psalm 1)

  1. I just got through skimming through a transcript of some economist warning about an upcoming economic calamity. The details aren’t important … these types of warnings have been around for more than than the three decades I’ve been able to be aware of them.

    However what does scripture say? Is there a significant Biblical basis for concern?

    Here are some things the Bible warns about.

    THE REPUTATION OF A COUNTRY IS IMPORTANT
    NIV Proverbs 22:1 A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

    AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND CONNECTION TO OUR CREATOR IS IMPORTANT
    2 Rich and poor have this in common: The LORD is the Maker of them all.

    BEING AWARE OF THINGS AND BEING PRUDENT AND BEING WISE; NOT WALKING AROUND IN A FOG LIKE SHEEP IS IMPORTANT or BEING AWARE OF POTENTIAL DISASTERS IS IMPORTANT ie. BEING PRUDENT IS IMPORTANT
    3 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.

    BEING HUMBLE ENOUGH NOT TO TRUST IN OURSELVES OR OUR RICHES IS IMPORTANT
    4 Humility is the fear of the LORD; its wages are riches and honor and life.

    STAYING AWAY FROM WICKED PRACTICES, EMBRACING RIGHTEOUSNESS, A RIGHTEOUS COUNTRY MAY BE EXALTED
    5 In the paths of the wicked are snares and pitfalls, but those who would preserve their life stay far from them.

    PASSING ON A GOOD HERITAGE TO OUR CHILDREN IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR FUTURES
    6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

    NOT BEING ENSLAVED TO EVER INCREASING DEBT IS LIBERATING FOR US AND OTHERS
    7 The rich rule over the poor, and the borrower is slave to the lender.
    (Prov. 22:1-7 NIV)

    This selection of scriptures above from Proverbs is rather arbitrary. Never-the-less there is cause for concern when we see what is happening across the land. There is an old classic rock song that says, “These are the best of times.” “Some day we’ll find that these are the best of times.”

    Not being one of the “connected” people at TSF I wonder how connected are even the most connected people at TSF?

    In a real crisis if things get really bad how many will be there for each other?

    I see some chit-chat at services, but if there is real depth of support for each other … I’m not sure that I’ve noticed it. It may be that most everyone at TSF is complacent trusting in there own wealth, have given no thought to helping others in times of crisis. I am aware of a small team of people a “Swat Team” which I think I’ve heard about from one older man who along with some older men help others in a crisis. How much stuff like that is there? How could I start helping out with that?

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