The outcome of the godly
❖ He bears fruit in his season (John 15:8).
In this psalm, we see that a comparison is made between the godly and a fruit tree that is planted by a river. Now if a fruit tree is planted by a river and there is enough water, it will bear fruit in its season. In other words, the tree will fulfil its reason for existence: to bear fruit and so be helpful to humans and animals and provide them with necessary vitamins and nutrients to keep them healthy and prevent sicknesses. When I was in Ghana a few years ago, I was amazed when our host, Daniel, who is a farmer, explained to me the healing and nutritional value of papayas, coconuts, bananas, apples and other fruit. I was pretty amazed! It made us want to eat coconut, papaya, tomatoes, apples and bananas every day!
The man who abides in Christ, who takes in His word (John 15:7), is the man who will bear fruit in his season. There is no question about it. It cannot be otherwise. Just as a fruit tree with enough water cannot not bear fruit. If our lives are anchored in the word of God and Christ, an increasing amount of love and peace and joy and patience and goodness and kindness and humility and self-control and faithfulness (Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit) will be on display in our lives. And the more we stay in the Word, and the more we abide in Christ, more of these things will “hang” from our lives that will benefit and help and nourish the souls of men! It cannot be otherwise.
❖ His leaf does not wither. Photosynthesis.
Now fruit trees do not always bear fruit, do they? It only bears fruit sometimes in the year. Sometimes it doesn’t bear fruit, but it prepares itself to bear more fruit the following year. But some fruit trees always have leaves on them. Now leaves have many benefits for the human race. If there were no leaves on any tree in the world, life on planet earth would cease to exist because the leaves on trees are responsible for the process called photosynthesis. This is the process by which the leaves of the trees absorb carbon dioxide in the air and release oxygen into the atmosphere. If there were no absorption of carbon dioxide and no release of oxygen into the atmosphere, we would all sooner or later die! This psalm tells us the godly is like a tree whose leaf does not wither. Now I don’t know if the writer who wrote this palm knew this, but God certainly did! And he inspired the writer to write this down. A tree whose leaves do not wither is, therefore, of enormous value to our planet and for life on this earth. And so are the godly, those who abide in Christ, those who meditate on the word, day and night, and those who repent of being influenced by the world’s evils. What we say and how we say it exudes life because of the life within us, who is Christ. The gospel we preach brings life and presents life—the Christ we proclaim, and the life in us helps people to be cleansed. We are clean through the Word that Christ has spoken to us! The godly’s life greatly benefits the church and unbeliever, even if they don’t know it.
❖ Everything he does prospers
Our text tells us that whatsoever the godly do prosper. Now certainly, this is a beautiful promise to believe. And it can certainly be applied to ordinary things we do in the business world or our different professions, whether we are doctors, teachers, plumbers, homemakers or engineers. And we see examples of this in Scripture. Joseph and Daniël were successful in all they did and were promoted in heathen kingdoms to rule over people because God was with them. But even they had much opposition that they had to face respectively. Look at David and Paul, the apostle. David was a victorious king, and Paul was a successful church planter, but that didn’t mean they didn’t face much opposition and persecution because they abided in Christ and his word.
But instead, this prospering is meant spiritual. When we abide in Christ, and his word abides in us, what we ask, we will receive because we ask the things that are on God’s heart and mind. We are more transformed into the likeness of Christ, and we increase in the graces and knowledge of Christ because that is what we long for!
❖He is forever blessed. He has salvation in Christ
And because we repent of sin and abide in Christ, we are blessed because we have salvation.