And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither…
1. Piety and gratitude to God contribute in a high degree to enliven prosperity. Gratitude is a pleasing emotion. The sense of being distinguished by the kindness of another gladdens the heart, warms it with reciprocal affection, and gives to any possession, which is agreeable in itself, a double relish, from its being the gift of a friend. Not only gratitude for the past, but a cheering sense of God's favour at the present, enter into the pious emotion.
2. Religion affords to good men peculiar security in the enjoyment of their prosperity. By worldly assistance it is vain to think of providing any effectual defence, seeing the world's mutability is the very cause of our terror.
3. Religion forms good men to the most proper ,temper for the enjoyment of prosperity. A little reflection may satisfy us that mere possession, even granting it to be secure, does not constitute enjoyment. We all know the effects which any indisposition of the body, even though slight, produces on external prosperity. The corrupted temper and the guilty passions of the bad frustrate the effect of every advantage which the world confers on them. None but the temperate, the regular, and the virtuous know how to enjoy prosperity. Prosperity is redoubled to a good man by his generous use of it. It is reflected back upon him from everyone whom he makes happy.
4. Religion heightens the prosperity of good men by the prospect which it affords them of greater happiness to come in another world. What is present is never sufficient to give us full satisfaction. To the present we must always join some agreeable anticipations of futurity in order to complete our pleasure. Let this be our conclusion, that, both in prosperity and in adversity, religion is the safest guide of human life. Conducted by its light, we real) the pleasures and, at the same time, escape the dangers of a prosperous state.
(Hugh Blair, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.