Tumbleweeds and trees are as different as can be. Tumbleweeds are short. Trees are tall. Tumbleweeds are blown about by the wind. Trees stand their ground. Tumbleweeds have no roots. Trees have deep roots. Tumbleweeds are seasonal plants. Trees undue damage through the seasons. Tumbleweeds plant their seeds for further tumbleweeds. Trees bring forth fruit.
Psalm 1 uses these sorts of images to describe the righteous and the wicked. The righteous are described as the tree, firm, established, immovable, and fruitful. The wicked are as tumbleweeds (or more technically, chaff), unsteady and driven about by the wind.
“[The righteous man] 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.
The wicked are not so,
but are like chaff that the wind drives away” (Psalm 1:3-4).
The righteous have nothing to fear. The storms of life may blow, but they stand secure. The wicked have everything to fear. That’s why they they flee at the rustling of a leaf (Leviticus 26:36).
While this is true of life, it is especially true of the judgement. The righteous have nothing to fear when it comes to facing the Lord. By God’s grace throughly Christ, they will experience forgiveness and the abundant life. They will stand secure. However, not so with the wicked. They will face the wrath of God, apart from grace. They will not stand.
“The Lord knows the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish” (Psalm 1:6).