Bringing the Text to Life

Stream Living Psalm 1

Stream Living

The image of a tree planted by a stream provides a simple lesson in happy, godly living.

At a Glance

Before discussing the meaning of this psalm and the idyllic scenes suggested in the opening stanzas, we start with the recent drought in California. This provides a contrast to the scene of verse 3, in which the "blessed" are those who are "planted by streams of water."

Editors' Pick

For material based on today's epistle text, see "Invisibility or Flight?", September 21, 2003, at

They are like trees, planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season.

--Psalm 1:3a.

California is a garden of Eden, a paradise to live in or see,
But believe it or not you won't find it so hot,
If you ain't got the do re mi.

--Woody Guthrie.

California did sound like the Garden of Eden to 1930s dust-bowl refugees in Woody Guthrie's famous protest song. The "do" (dough), of course, is money -- which the hardscrabble farmers of Kansas and Oklahoma didn't have. "Better stay home," is the song's message, "if you ...

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