Psalm 1 begins by talking about how blessed is the man who delights in G-d’s law and who meditates on it day and night. I would like us to take a minute and look at verse 3 that describes this man.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers. (Psa 1:3, NASB)
That word planted is the Hebrew word SHATAL which also means transplanted. In other words, this tree was at a different location at one time, but now has been transplanted to a better location. Where is he planted? By streams of water. This tree that probably was standing in a dry arid area has now been planted by streams of water. Now, the common word for river in Hebrew is the word NAHAR, but here the word used is PELEG. The word PELEG pictures a small channel of water as in irrigation. It is a stream or watercourse that has been purposely dug to water plants; these streams were created artificially. They are created by a crack in the ground or by a person digging the channel by hand.
What the Pslamist is saying is that a person who has chosen the ‘Torah for his way of living,’ G-d transplants him and G-d hand digs a channel, even if He has to crack the earth to supply a water source to him. Why would G-d do that? So that this stream will provide him life-giving water for his needs. Even if other lakes and rivers dried up, this one will not run dry.
Ps 1:3 goes on to say that its leaf does not wither. This is the righteous man, the one who orders his life according to Torah. His leaf does not wither. That word for wither is NAVEL. It comes from the root word which means to clump together. We have seen in the fall months that when leaves whither and fall, they get wet and kind of clump together. There is no life in them. But here the psalmist says that the righteous man yields his fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither. It does not clump together, but each leaf is individual. There is life and life abundant in that tree.
What an awesome G-d we serve. We were once pictured as trees standing in dry arid areas. But, through His Son (the Living Torah), He transplanted us into His garden. As a result, we now meditate and delight in His written Torah. G-d has dug rivers of living water for us. And through His Son He has given us life and life abundantly! He will take care of us no matter what we encounter.