A STUDY IN THE PSALMS–Psalm 92:12-15
The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the PALM TREE…(verse 12).
In preparation for this blog, if I were going to address how it is to “flourish like the palm tree,” researching the PALM TREE’S characteristics was important to the study.
There are over 300 species of Palm trees, growing from 3 to 100 feet tall. The DATE PALM produces over 300 pounds of dates annually. That’s a lot of fruit.
When growing up in Southern California, there was always the presence of palms–along side beaches, front yards, landscapes, everywhere. In fact, there are towns and cities named for the abundance of PALM TREES.
My wife and I went on our honeymoon to PALM SPRINGS California. There’s even a town in the desert called 29 Palms. An OASIS in the desert.
HISTORICALLY, the Palm Tree has been called the REPRESENTATIVE TREE of Palestine, where it has stood through the years as a symbol of the land of our LORD.
At the triumphal entry of Jesus as He made His entry to Jerusalem before His death, people broke off palm branches and waved them in front of Him.
Looking at a picture given to us of the victorious Children of God, given to us by John in Revelation 7:9, he says among other things, that they were “clothed with white robes and PALMS in their hands.”
The Bible says in Psalm 92:12, the PALM TREE has several characteristics that gives us pictures in the life of the Christian.
#1. THE PALM TREE BREAKS THE BANDS –
Unlike other trees, as the tree grows, it breaks the band surrounding the trunk.
In most other trees, bands placed around the wood when young, dig into the trunk. I’ve seen pictures of an old clothesline wire wrapped around the tree when young, sunk deep into the wood as it appears to be strangling the life out of the tree as it grew.
While in Hawaii, wide bands are placed around the Coconut Palm Trees to prevent rodents from attacking the fruit; the “bands” are broken by the growth of the tree and periodically must be replaced in the groves.
The true CHILD OF GOD can claim victory through Christ–
We don’t have to continue in sin…
Romans 6:1-2, 6, 11-14;
1 Corinthians 15:57;
#2. THE PALM TREE WILL BEND–BUT NOT BREAK!
Even in HURRICANE FORCE WINDS, the palm tree is able to withstand the storm.
And as the storms of life approaches, it causes many disasters for those not serving God.
But the child of God, like the PALM TREE will bend, but doesn’t break in the storms that will come our way.
#3. THE PALM TREE IS A SURVIVOR–
Not only does the PALM TREE grow in the desert, it flourishes!
The roots go deep below the burning sands, finding moisture down deep below the surface, anchoring its stability in the bedrock.
“…and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that ROCK WAS CHRIST” (1 Corinthians 10:4 NIV).
Although the HURRICANES we are familiar with come ashore to large populations and not deserts, the principles still apply–DEEP ROOTS.
As a child of God, we must go DEEP with God if we’re to flourish.
Without a deep tap-root, and only surface feeding roots…fibrous roots, it will do nothing but cause unstableness to the tree in the storms of life.
To go deep, we must live the Christ-like life:
“I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 King James Version).
To go really deep…we must fervently PRAY.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Be unceasing in prayer–praying perseveringly” (Amplified Bible).
So it is NOT theology, NOT psychology, but “kneeology” that encourages our deep rooting.
MANY CHRISTIANS today are not flourishing…
BECAUSE, they’re seeking nourishment on the surface only–running their ROOTS of life out laterally.
Shallow rooted believers look to the world for refreshment and come away still thirsty.
True Believers send their TAP ROOT deep in into the Word of God and prayer.
#4. PALM TREES GATHER TOGETHER IN THE WILDERNESS–
One tree standing alone will never produce much shade in the wilderness’ hot sun.
But a group of PALM TREES gathered together, forms an OASIS–stay together and stand as BELIEVERS.
Orange and lemon trees can be found growing in the desert beneath the SHADE of the PALM TREES grouped together.
When we group together, as the church gathers together, we can provide shade for those who are spiritually weaker than ourselves. That’s why HEBREWS 10:25 is so important in a dry and thirsty land:
“Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching” (Amplified Bible).
Since “we are the church,” whether gathered together in a large building, or a private home, or in an underground meeting place in China, we are to gather together as an OASIS.
#5. THE HEART OF THE PALM TREE IS ALIVE!
The life of the palm tree is on the inside. Outward abuse doesn’t affect the life or quality of the tree.
Because the child of God has a life deep within the HEART (soul and spirit)–they are free from a sin nature.
Romans 6:17-18 NIV Bible:
“But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become saves to righteousness.”
Our lives as God’s children is seeded within us (2 Corinthians 4:16).
#6. THE OLDER THE PALM TREE–
The Encyclopedia Britannica says this about DATE PALMS longevity: “Palms are known to live as long as 150 years. Though their fruit production declines, with scared trunks visible, the fruit produced in the later years is often sweeter!
Though I don’t want to live to the age of a palm tree, I do hope and pray as I grow older, my FRUIT will still be as SWEET.
** [Biblical verses pertaining to FRUIT: Matthew 12:33; Luke 8:14-15; John 15:1-8; Galatians 5:22-26.]
As Christians grow older, our fruit should grow sweeter.
The SCARS OF LIFE produce the fruit of holiness and the TRIALS OF LIFE conform us, prunes us into the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29).
#7. THE PALM TREE CAN’T BE GRAFTED–
I remember my father-in-law telling me about his small avocado ranch in Vista, California. “Root Rot” destroyed many groves one season, forcing him to make a difficult but necessary decision: Sell the farm, or…he took the “or”.
He cleared the diseased avocado trees, planted lemon trees in their place. But after a few years, lemon prices dropped below market cost, and another decision was undertaken.
He GRAFTED limes on to the lemon rootstock because limes were more valuable wholesale and citrus trees are compatible to graft.
HORTICULTURALISTS say, to GRAFT a palm tree is to kill it.
THE PALM TREE, unlike the lemon and lime trees, is distinctive and unusual. That’s why grafting kills it.
To GRAFT A CHRISTIAN into the world, kills one’s testimony and influence.
As a true believer, the Christian is to be unique and easily distinguished from the world.
“I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren…” (Romans 12:1-2).
#8. THE PALM TREE IS AN EVERGREEN–
“They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green” (Psalm 92:14 NIV).
I have lived in the Evergreen State (Washington State) now for over 35 years. Coming from Southern California originally, I have come to enjoy the evergreen trees that are in abundance and part of the landscape; seen from every home and automobile window.
EVERGREEN is a symbol of immortality.
The child of God will never die spiritually, having an everlasting life (John 3:16, 18, 36).
When I awake every morning, I give THANKS to my God and Savior that I am “planted in the house of the Lord”; that like the PALM TREE, my fruit is growing sweeter every day by the renewing of my mind daily (Romans 12:2), in Christ Jesus; that the Word of God will keep me fresh and green as the PALM TREE.
It is good to praise the Lord…to proclaim your love in the morning and your faithfulness at night…How great are your works, O Lord, how profound are your thoughts! The righteous will flourish like a PALM TREE, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon… [Selected verses from Psalm 92]
I hope an pray that this blog has given you encouragement in whatever you are going through in life and a testimony to others around you.
DATE PALM FACTS: Wikipedia the Date Palm; Encyclopedia Britannica.
PHOTOS: Photo Pin, Google Search.