Key verse: Verse 3.
“He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.” (ESV)
I picked this scripture as the key verse because of the youth group I grew up in. Our group was called E.P.I.C. (before epic was an overused word). The acronym was Eternally Planted In Christ and this was our verse. While I have many sour feelings about my time in that youth group, I believe this verse was a good life verse. I want to be eternally planted in Christ. Being eternally planted doesn’t mean I can pull up my roots and run around like an Ent all day and then come come back to Jesus when I need him. It means I am firmly planted in Christ always. That’s where I want my walk to go. I want to be always by that source of water, so that I may yield my fruit and never wither.
Now that I’ve skipped straight to verse three, let me backtrack a little. I thought it pertinent to give you some of my history on translation preference. I grew up a devout NIVist. I should clarify that- NIV84. The new NIV is complete rubbish, but that’s another story. My tastes have changed a little and I find myself dwelling more in the ESV. With that said, I was reading this Psalm on bibegateway.com and discovered a parallel tool. I decided that as part of my digging deeper, I should explore the other translations. So that takes us to a new line:
Translation Preference of the Day: The Voice (VOICE)
(Do you like how I bolded that so it would feel all important and offically?)
I’ve never heard of this version, but I rather enjoy the verbiage. I posted a nice little image of the parallel below.
I found it interesting in verse 1 where the Voice says, “when judgement and sarcasm beckon you, but you refuse”. This translation makes the ESV phrase “sit in the seat of scoffers” really come alive to me. How often do I succumb to judgement and sarcasm? Nearly 46,000 times a day. I am reading a book called Secrets of the Secret Place by Bob Sorge. He describes the word Iniquity as “the hidden faults we don’t see, the wicked residue of our fallen nature that discolours the fabric of our thoughts, motives, feelings, responses and desires.” Judgement and sarcasm may be my greatest of iniquities. I’m sure I have no idea how many times I judge a person throughout my day.
As I dig into this new translation more, it seems to me like it describes in better detail what the ESV is saying. Verse 2 in the ESV says “his delight is in the law of the Lord”. Well, what does that mean to me? It means his word “is my happiness. It is my focus–from dusk to dawn.” What a glorious place in my relationship with God will I have reached if verse 2 can become completely true in my life.
I love the italic in verse 3 that says “that never run dry”. This all the more confirms to me that Jesus is the stream by which I need be firmly planted. He never runs dry. Our leaves will never fade nor curl in the summer sun. The Voice conjures beautiful imagery.
I thought for verse 4 we should check out the definition of chaff: