The New Testament teaches that the Bible is the “sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians. 6:17) …… It is a weapon that we are to wield against the enemy.
Jesus modelled this when He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew. 4:1-11) …… When Satan enticed Him, Jesus spoke the Scripture aloud in response …… Eventually, God’s powerful Word wore down the enemy and he left the Saviour alone.
Our battles as Christian believers are spiritual battles …… We fight against Satan and his demonic forces (Ephesians. 6:12); therefore, we must wage war against them with spiritual, not physical, weapons.
Our weapons are the Word of God and prayer …… To speak God’s Word is to release it and empower it, to unleash its conquering power against the enemy …… By speaking God’s Word, we swing the sword of the Spirit against our deadly, destructive foe.
As we focus our thoughts on the Bible, we learn more about God and His ways …… We learn that God’s holy commands flow from His loving heart and that they protect and guide us throughout life.
Through obeying God, we learn to appreciate His commands because God showers His favour and blessings upon us …… We become the blessed person of Psalm 1.
- The result (v. 3).
The blessed man (or woman) is compared to a tree, but not just any tree …… He is not like a wild seedling that randomly sprouts in an inconvenient place.
He is like a tree intentionally planted in a carefully chosen spot: …… by the river where it will receive plenty of water for its growth …… where it will have every advantage to become fruitful.
- God is presented throughout the Bible as a husbandman or gardener …… His relationship with Israel is portrayed as that of an owner and dresser of a vineyard (Isaiah. 5).
He is seen diligently cultivating His choice vine, the Hebrew nation …… Those reached by the Saviour are called “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord” (Isaiah. 61:3) …… Jesus also described the Father as the vinedresser and believers as branches of Christ, who is the True Vine.
- The Father’s work in pruning and cultivating fruit is again emphasized …… A believer is also portrayed as a field that is sown and watered, a field in which God produces an increase (1 Corinthians. 3:7-9).
Planted also indicates that the blessed individual is firmly fixed …… Like a deeply-rooted tree, the righteous are secure when the winds and storms of life rage against them.
The strong root system also delivers fresh water from the river, which produces abundant fruit …… The tree flourishes …… Its leaves do not wilt and fall off …… Its foliage is rich, thick, and lush.
- As ones who are blessed, our lives are flourishing and fruitful …… Like a well-watered tree, we produce spiritual fruit when we delight and meditate in God’s Word.
- The blessed man is prosperous in all that he does …… Prosperity may include earthly possessions, but God’s richest blessings have nothing to do with material blessings.
Scripture speaks of a more valuable prosperity, the prosperity of the soul …… True prosperity in our lives is producing the fruit of God’s Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience …… Bearing the fruit of God’s Spirit is the result of loving God’s Word and obeying it.
Also note this: water in the Scripture is a symbol of the Holy Spirit …… It is the Spirit who produces fruit in our lives …… Water is also a symbol of the Word, specifically of the washing and cleansing effect of Scripture.
Sin can quickly make us unfruitful in the service of the Lord …… Living in obedience to God’s Word protects our fruit from becoming contaminated, diseased, and destroyed by sin.
We must constantly evaluate how much time we spend in God’s Word, especially in comparison to the amount of time we spend on other interests.
Our spiritual growth depends on our attention to God’s Word …… as Christians we need to pay attention to the words of the Apostle Peter who wrote:
“As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter. 2:2).