The prophet in a matter of fact way spells out the consequences of ignoring the maker’s instructions. He is not saying that difficulties will never come to those who seek to obey God. He is suggesting that being rooted and planted in the will of God is like being sustained and strengthened in times of trouble and difficulty. The rhythm of blessedness comes from keeping good company. Knowing all will be well because God has the last word. It is this that sustains us. Knowing this is the key to understanding the rhythm of blessing.
We pray with the faithful who feel hard pressed
For those who feel they’ve seldom been blessed
Let heaven touch earth and give them rest
We pray with those who speak out for peace
The children whose voices are counted the least
Let heaven touch earth and give them their say
We pray with the lonely, despised, and confused
Walking a road they didn’t choose
May heaven touch earth and grant them courage
We pray with all who need sanctuary and food
For those struggling to keep on the road
May heaven touch earth and grant them strength.
5 Thus says the Lord:
Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals
and make mere flesh their strength,
whose hearts turn away from the Lord.
6 They shall be like a shrub in the desert,
and shall not see when relief comes.
They shall live in the parched places of the wilderness,
in an uninhabited salt land.
7 Blessed are those who trust in the Lord,
whose trust is the Lord.
8 They shall be like a tree planted by water,
sending out its roots by the stream.
It shall not fear when heat comes,
and its leaves shall stay green;
in the year of drought it is not anxious,
and it does not cease to bear fruit.
9 The heart is devious above all else;
it is perverse—
who can understand it?
10 I the Lord test the mind
and search the heart,
to give to all according to their ways,
according to the fruit of their doings.