THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL FLOURISH LIKE THE PALM TREE
“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree” Psalms 92:12
The “palm-tree” is common in warm climates, and was abundant in the East. The finest grew about Jericho which was called the city of “palm-trees.” The palm has a long and straight body, a spreading top, and an appearance of very great beauty. It produces an agreeable fruit, a pleasant shade, a kind of “honey” little inferior to the honey of bees, palm oil, kernel seeds mixed with other things to make livestock feed, fire starting fiber, palm fronds used to make mats and baskets, precious palm kernel oil and from it was drawn a pleasant “wine”.
Every part of the palm tree was useful. It was held in such high regard for its beauty and practicality, that it was a common name given to women in the Old Testament “tamar”. They will bend under extreme conditions but they rarely break or become uprooted. In the same token believers are supposed to be abundantly fruitful, strong like the Cedar, nothing wasted but all useful, multi talented and gifted, and long-lasting.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” 2 Cor. 5:21
Righteousness or right standing with God is imputed in us through the righteousness of Christ. All believers are created anew in righteousness and true holiness, and live soberly, righteously, and godly, among other godly characteristics and are hereby described or compared to the flourishing palm trees; which grow upright, and under the greatest pressures or contrary harsh weathers, and rise upwards towering towards the sun and against the greatest weight upon them. Thank God for the imputed righteousness but we have the mandate to live in holy reverence of God and make sure that we maintain our right standing in God.
Righteousness is the opposite of being wicked, the righteous must turn away from sin and shun profane and wicked acts. People like Abraham, Elijah and Daniel. Such trusts the Lord and live a life that pleases Him. Palm trees stand out in their environment and cannot be hidden, so is a righteous believer, fragrance and acts of Christ likeness make him to stand out as a godly person wherever he finds himself.
The potency and spiritual stamina of the righteous like a palm tree is on the top of them, which being cut off, they die in that the essence of life is thereby cut off. Palm trees delight in hot climates and sunny places, they bear delicious fruit and sap, are ever green, very durable, and their branches used as tokens of joy and victory especially at Easter season depicting the triumphant entry of The Lord Jesus into Jerusalem at the beginning of the passion week.
These trees are not like perennial corn or maize plant that bears fruit within three months and dies off; they are the wicked that springs up like a grass and withers away. The righteous like palm trees must mature through growth, bear root deep down before bearing shoot upwards and eventually fruitfulness [Gal. 5:22-23] which is guaranteed every harvest season for life. We like Palm trees that are very economically viable must be spiritually viable filled with fruit of the Spirit, gifts of the spirit, wisdom, knowledge, understanding, strength, favor, grace and glory from the throne room of grace.
When we see a “upright” palm tree standing erect, with one bold pillar supporting the weight of the leaves and the fruit at the top, and growing amidst the drought and famine of the desert, it depicts a godly man, who in his uprightness aims alone at the glory of God looking away from all things that distracts and ensnares but focusing on Jesus alone, the author and finisher of his faith; and, liberated from outward circumstances and magnetism to do evil. The “upright” is made by
divine grace to live and thrive in this perilous times, where all things else perish or fall away.
The good man shall flourish, and flourish after the gallant manner. “He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” This is another upright and long-lived tree. “As the days of a tree are the days of my people,” saith the Lord. On the peak of the mountain, exposed to the gust and harsh weather, the cedar waves its mighty branches in perpetual lushness, and so the truly godly man under all adversities retains the joy of his soul, and continues to make progress in the divine life. Palm trees produces tasty fruit, so they symbolized fruitfulness. Cedars were not subject to decay, so they stood for long life. They represent people who delight in drawing near to God [Psalms 1:3; Psalms 52:8].
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sit on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Coll. 3:1-10
Palm trees are said to be perfect image of a godly man, and in many ways to resemble him.
Righteous persons are upright in heart and life, they grow up into the head of the Church who is Jesus Christ, and rise up heavenwards in their desires and affections for supernatural godly lifestyle. For us to bear fruit though, we must be permanently attached to the Lord Jesus and be continually pruned so that virtues of the old stock or old man still residing in our lives like sexual immorality, lying, anger and inordinate affections must be pruned off so that we can put on the NEW MAN which is renewed in knowledge looking like the image and likeness of God in Christ
“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” 2 Cor. 4:16-18
We know that we are hard pressed in our bid to mature spiritually sometimes passing through the wilderness experience or waiting excruciatingly for the promises of God, God will make all things to work together for our good and we shall get to the Promised Land flowing with milk and honey if we faint not. Certain ungodly character traits or outward man must perish so that Christ likeness may show forth and we will blossom and be blessed accordingly.
The more the righteous are pressed with the weight of afflictions and trials of life, the more they grow and are glorified; their grace and strength, their life and rigor, lie in their spiritual head, who is Christ. The righteous flourish under him, the sun of righteousness, and his warming rays of love, and bring forth the fruits of righteousness by him, to the glory of God; their leaf of godly living does not wither, but is always green [Psalms 1:3].
“For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favor wilt thou compass him as with a shield” Psalms 5:12
“The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry…Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD delivers him out of them all” Psalms 34:15, 19
The righteous are not just flourishing like a palm tree or growing sturdy like a cedar but they are favored by God, His eyes is watching over them for good, God compass them with favor as with a shield and delivers them from all their afflictions.
“…because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.” Ephesians 2:5
Paul says above that we have been made to live long life eternally and spiritually like both palm tree and the Cedar tree. These plants are planted in the temple, the place of the Presence of Jehovah signifying their closeness to God and fruitfulness verbalized below.
“Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing” Psalms 92:13-14
We were transplanted or brought near by the blood of the Lamb [Eph. 2:13]. We are brought forth into a place of honor and glory where the Shekinah glory of God resides now. We have been brought into in a place of protection. A tree transplanted in the temple courts would be protected from exposure to violent winds. It would be protected from those who might want to chop it down for firewood or lumber. The temple courts would be just about the safest place in the world for a tree to be. God promises that the righteous will still bear fruit in old age and stay fresh, fat and green [verse 14]. They will be healthy spiritually.
Well, one reason an old tree stays fresh and fruitful because it is getting enough water. And in the same way, you will be fresh and fruitful in old age if you are being watered by God’s Word [Ephesians 5:26]. Psalm 1 talks about the person who meditates on God’s Word day and night. It says he or she is “like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.” So this is a great promise of spiritual health and fruitfulness in your old age.
And then God also promises that in their old age righteous people will proclaim the LORD’s faithfulness. Verse 15 says they will proclaim, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
So if you are righteous, then when you get old, you will praise the LORD who planted you in his courts. You will praise him for protecting you and making you fruitful. You will tell the world that the LORD is upright. In his relationships with you, God does what is right. And you will tell the world that he is your Rock. In other words, the LORD is a solid, dependable Person you can rely on totally. And you will say that there is no wickedness in him. There is no trace of evil in him, no trace of perversity. So you can depend on this God to do what he says. You can depend on him to keep his promises. If you are righteous, you will proclaim that great is God’s faithfulness. Eventually you too must become like Him!
The following is what we can learn from the palm tree.
Resiliency that is the ability to return to original form after being bent; how to flourish meaning to be prosperous, to thrive; deep roots which is good foundation, strong grounding; inner strength having to do with strength from who you are in Christ, not just what you do; and longevity which is the ability to remain constant in the long-term.
In a bad storm, the palm tree can be bent over, to the point of almost touching the ground, yet when the storm is over, the tree will bounce back to its original form. It is amazing to see this happen, as if the storm never occurred. This is true resiliency.
The heavenly Father wants to awaken dreams and fulfill prophecies in us. He wants to restore an expectation of fruitfulness in your life, and He wants you to know that it’s not over. As you surrender to Him and yield to His Spirit, the best days of life are ahead of you. He is set to use you to fulfill kingdom mandate. Get set for kingdom exploits. You are well able!