that yields its fruit in its season
Psalm 1:3 ESV
The blessed man, the psalmist says, is like a tree. He is strong and enduring because he is planted beside streams of water that nourish his growth, which are the Scriptures in the life of the Christian. We now move on to the second description that the psalmist adds to his tree metaphor: that yields its fruit in its season.
First, we see that a blessed, tree-like Christian will yield fruit. This biblical idiom means that we will display outwardly through our words and deeds what we are truly like in our heart. Indeed, Jesus warned in Matthew 7 that false prophets also bear fruit, yet because they are corrupt, they yield corrupt fruit. He says in verses 16-18:
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
Everyone’s life bears fruit of some kind. The blessed man’s life is marked by the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). He bears such fruit because He abides in Christ. He is rooted in the streams of God’s Word and is attached to the vine of Christ.
Second, he also yields fruit in its season. In Mark 11:13, Jesus cursed a fig tree that had leaves but no figs outside of fig season. Even though it was not the season for figs, the presence of the leaves indicated that fruit should have been growing. Thus, the fig tree was both fruitless and out of season. We need the wisdom of the Spirit found in the Scriptures to bear seasonal fruit. Let us learn from the life of Moses. During his time in the wilderness of Midian, he learned to bear the fruit of humility, while during his time as Israel’s leader, he learned the boldness and patience of leadership. In the same way, we should strive to learn whatever lessons the Lord has before us and strive to bear the fruit of that season.
Are these things true of you? Does your life bring forth the fruits of the Spirit or the fruits of the flesh (see Galatians 5:19-21)? Are you also bearing your fruit in its season? Are you keeping in step with where the Spirit has you, or are you like a horse or mule that “must be curbed with bit and bridle” to stay near (Psalm 32:9)?