One prospers when one succeeds in what one sets out to do. We call it prosperity when everything goes well and we go forward in enjoying life. The opposite of prosperity is adversity. Then all goes against us, and we lose the things we were enjoying.
David in Psalm 1:3 gives us a beautiful picture of prosperity. He writes of the man who delights in God's law, "And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of waters, that bringeth forth its fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."
This does not mean that we are going to prosper materially when we keep God's law. It does not mean that our flesh is going to have a good time, and that we are going to succeed financially. The very opposite will in most instances be true. Walk in God's law and you may be ridiculed. That is especially true when you keep the first table of the law. Hallow the Sabbath and you may lose your job, when the unbelieving employer insists that you desecrate the Sabbath by working for him. Be honest in your business dealings and you will not be able to compete with those who break God's law. But even apart from what men may do to us, we have no promise from God that if we keep His law we will not have sicknesses and diseases. And we all are going to die and lose all our earthly goods.
Yet note that David speaks of a tree planted where it will get plenty of water and bring forth abundant fruit. It gets what it needs for life and does what it was created and designed to bring forth, and remember that we depend upon God's grace and were created and designed to love and serve Him every minute of our lives. The ungodly are not so. They receive none of God's grace and bring forth not one good work.
Of the one who keeps God's law we may sing:
That man is nourished like a tree
Set by the river's side;
Its leaf is green, its fruit is sure,
And thus his works abide.
That man will receive God's grace and prosper in good works.
Devotions on the Heidelberg Catechism
Song for Meditation: Psalter number 353
Why not sing along??
Quote for Reflection:
…Yet he grew to an immeasurable height, like a large tree from a small and feeble seed, as he himself shows, ( Matthew 13:31,32 ; Mark 4:32 ) and as we see by daily examples; for in the uninterrupted progress of his kingdom the same things must happen as were seen in his person. – John Calvin
- Date: 14-January