September 03, 2012

Deep Roots

Psalm 1

Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked… That person is like a tree planted by streams of water …
—Psalm 1:1-3


In desert and semi-desert areas there are bushy plants called tumbleweeds. After a season of growth and meager rainfall, the plant dries out, breaks free of its root, and rolls across the open land, blown by winds and scattering seed as it goes.

Not long after World War II something similar happened to some of the friends I grew up with. Blaming God for the great tragedies and horrors of the war, they cut themselves off from anything that had to do with their Jewish or Christian roots. They became like tumbleweeds, committed to no moral principles, or to constantly shifting principles, and they scattered destructive seeds of skepticism and radicalism wherever they blew.

We don’t understand why God allows evil to happen. But it is a mistake to try to shift the blame from human sin, which causes wars, onto the one righteous God who “breaks the bow and shatters the spear” (Psalm 46:9).

Those who trust in the Lord and delight in his law are like trees planted by streams that don’t run dry. Their leaves stay green, and they bear fruits of righteousness. They have deep roots that sustain them in times of drought, and they are not blown here and there, as scoffers are. And when the Lord’s Word convicts people of sin, they repent and grow in faith.

Lord Jesus, thank you for the living water you give, that quenches our deepest thirst and keeps us alive in the barren times we sometimes must live in. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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