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…
A very practical lesson arises from these words. We are not to look even in Christian life for what is ordinarily understood by "fruit" all the year round. Upon this point many Christians disquiet themselves unnecessarily. There is a time for rest, for recruital, and time spent in legitimate sleep is time made for larger and harder work. Let the tree be the symbol and image of our life. It has its season of fruitfulness, but not of fruitlessness in any blameworthy sense. The tree is part of the great course of things — a speck in an infinite system, and it keeps all the time and law of the stupendous universe. So it is with the Christian heart. There are times of abundant labour, of almost excessive joy, of hope above the brightness of the sun, and of realisations which transform the earth into heaven. There are times when our energy seems to be more than equal to all the exigencies of life; we can work without weariness, we can suffer without complaining; we are quite sure that the morning draweth nigh, and that in the end the victory will he with God. At other times there are seasons of depression, almost intolerable weariness, somewhat indeed of sickness of heart, as if a great pain had fixed itself within us; at other times we know that we are not bringing forth fruit to the glory of God or for the use of man, and in such times we call ourselves cumberers of the ground, and urge our idleness against ourselves with all the force of a criminal accusation. The Christian should deal with himself reasonably in all these things. The year is not one season, nor is human life one monotonous experience. We are not to be judged by this or that one day or season, but by the whole scope and circumference of life.
(Joseph Parker, 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.