Flourishing

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the House of the Lord, they will flourish in the Courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; He is My Rock, and there is no wickedness in Him!’” (Psa. 92:12-15)

What does it mean to flourish “like a palm tree”? The Psalmist is speaking of a tree called the date palm. There are 5 powerful lessons from this palm tree that encourage us to become all God has called us to be. Today it really is our choice, we can flourish and be blessed… and show forth the praises of God even to the end of our natural life.

1. Remaining Strong:

The palm tree grew to a great height, up to 75 feet tall or 23 meters, reaching ages of 100-200 years. The promise of remaining strong all of our days is God’s will for us, because we walk by faith and not sight… by supernatural strength rather than natural energy.

2. Abundant Fruitfulness:

Throughout its life, the fruit of the date palm produced every year, and in great abundance. The fruit was released in clusters and with exceptional taste. This is God’s plan for the Believer; fruitful and consistent, so the unbelieving heart will see the abundant lifestyle. We are Blessed in the Beloved (Eph. 1:3-6)!

“I am the Vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (Jn. 15:5)

3. Nothing Wasted:

An amazing fact about the date palm is that every part of it was useful. The palm leaves were used to cover homes and as material for fences. They were also useful for making baskets and other items. Even the seeds, when ground, produced food for camels. The richness of God’s resources; as it flows from the Child of God, is an inheritance that is both complete and enduring. Nothing passes into our lives that God would want to see wasted, because His creative nature is to redeem and uncover the “glory” within.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)

4. A Testimony of Praise:

The palm represented praise, victory and salvation. As a Believer, we are known from the platforms of our testimony. We overcome the devil by it, advance in the Kingdom with it and stand against our enemies for it… the testimony of the believing heart is praise! We shall praise the Lord no matter what and no matter when, for when God is on our side there is always victory and peace within our hearts. Peace is the Jewish word “Shalome” which means “nothing missing, nothing broken”.

  • Palm trees were a symbol of peace - the establishment of “Shalome”.
  • Palm trees were carved into the temple décor (1 Kings 6:29)
  • Palm branches were used in the feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:40)
  • Palm leaves were thrown upon the ground in front of Jesus as He rode into Jerusalem. (Jn 12:13)
  • In Revelation, the great multitude of people saved from every nation wear white robes and hold palm branches in their hands. (Rev 7:9)

5. Planted in the House:

In the New Testament context, being planted in the House of God speaks of being firmly established in Christian community, in spiritual fellowship. We flourish, not in isolation, but together. As God’s People we are called to live in the cluster, where the fellowship is sweetest (Isa. 65:8). God tells us there is blessing in it.

“not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  (Heb. 10:25)

Emphasis: Strong and Fragrant like the Cedar

The psalmist also describes God’s People as the cedar; a tall, evergreen tree that produced a fragrant gummy sap. Its wood was strong and long lasting, so it had many uses, including furniture and ship masts. Due to its qualities, cedar wood was used in the construction of the temple.

We can joyfully embrace the power of God’s illustrated language. He describes our strength; and when we read what God has declared in His Word, we feel equipped to become more! To flourish like the palm tree or like the cedar built into a temple. We have the privilege of being used by our Father to help build His Church and establish His Kingdom. And to remain strong where He has placed us throughout our lives… flourishing!

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper.”  (Psa. 1:3)

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