Palm Tree Christians:
Palm Tree Christians:
“The Righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” (Psalm 92:12)
“The righteous shall flourish”, this is the emphatic declaration of holy scripture, it is the lasting decree of the Almighty and in spite of whatever seems to get in the way or happens to contrary this will be the happy lot of the obedient people of God. The gates of Hell shall never prevail against the Church. She shall never be beaten, but will flourish in midst of a godless world, as we as in the Courts of God. Evil forces will finally at some point be thrown into disarray and be defeated, for the battle is the Lords.
Notice the figure being used here to describe the good fortunes of Godly men and woman. Their thriving healthy state is likened to the palm tree. This is was we call a “representative tree”. What the Oak is to England and the Pine is to Canada the Palm Tree should be to the church of God.
For usefulness the Palm Tree is quite possibly unrivaled. Gibbon tells us that the natives of Syria once claimed some 360 uses for the tree. Its abundance often springs from the scorching dust of the desert. It stands tall, majestic and beautiful. Its leaf canopy and waving plumes is an incredibly cheery site to the tired traveler. The botanist tells us that it is able to bear such an abundance of fruit because of the way its roots are fed by the hidden springs of water flowing deep below the surface of the dry desert. Its roots drink deep and are able to sustain the whole tree. Its an incredible thing this tree, neither weight not violence can stop this tree from growing, the more conditions seem to oppress it, the stronger and higher it seems to grow, and what is more its ever green!
What could be a more fitting emblem for the true saint of God? A picture of dignity, usefulness and strength. In one of the sermon of Dr Jowett he described a Christian leader as “ a hiding place from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the showdown of a great rock in a weary land” What a bonus the righteous have been to every generation.
Not the word “righteous” and for a moment let us carefully think about this subject, for this is the key to everything I am trying to say. It is used lots of times throughout the bible to remind us of its importance.
God has made it 100% clear how we should be living, uprightness, loyalty, purity and fidelity are the very virtues we should be cultivating, yet much of early 21st century life seems to reject such principles. Unfortunately folk who live according to those standards mentions leave themselves wide open to the sarcasm and scorn of those who power ridicule upon biblical ethics, but nonetheless the maxim that “righteousness exulted a nation” still holds good. This is not, of course referring to “self-righteousness”, but rather the kind that Paul speaks of “not having mine own righteousness…but…the righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil 3:9) This alone produces lasting and qualitative prosperity.
What an encouragement and hope is expressed to the saints by the words of this promise Nothing is more certain in this world than the ultimate triumph of the godly, we see this mentioned in Isaiah 61:3 as “Trees of Righteousness”. They WILL like the Palm and grow as a Cedar.
A real challenge is that we the faithful must not allow ourselves to become despondent because of a current situation. It is always wrong for us to draw conclusions from the way things can seem at the moment. It looks as though irreligious and profane men are gaining ground but remember well the words of King David, who used the same simile of a tree to describe evil men, but, note the difference, “I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree. Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found” (Psalm 37:35) How true it is that the pleasure of sin are only for a season.
The plain simple truth is that Justice WILL prevail; the eternal counsels of God cannot and will not ever be thwarted. There is never any need for the child of God to fear what the outcome is going to be as long as he follows, “righteousness, faith, charity and peace.” (2nd Timothy 2:22) then the Lord of Hosts will walk with us, the God of Jacob will be our refuge and this is the promise/guarantee that we will overcome.
Thanks for listening folks, see you soon or at my website. www.biblicalthoughts.org.uk