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Planted in the House of the Lord


By Benjamin H. Liles

          The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. ~ Psalm 92:12-15, New King James

          Is there any one of us who worries about how they will stand before God at the end? I know I do. The psalmist here is talking about a type of person who has endured to stand before God. He likens this "righteous" man, and I'll get to how we can be in that state in a moment, to a Lebanon cedar tree. 

          The Benson commentary says of this tree that it is "constantly green and flourishing, spreads its branches very wide, and grows to a vast size, affording a most refreshing shade to travellers. It also produces dates, a very sweet, luscious, and grateful kind of fruit; is a most beautiful tree, and every way an invaluable treasure to the inhabitants of those hot countries, and therefore a fit emblem of the flourishing state of a righteous man."

          It continues on to say, "The cedars in Lebanon are immensely large, being some of them thirty-five, or even forty feet in the girt, and thirty-seven yards in the spread of their boughs. They flourish for ages, and are always green; and, when cut down, yield a most beautiful kind of wood, inclining to a brown colour, solid, durable, and, in some sort, incorruptible. These then, as well as the palm-trees, compared with the short-lived and withering grass, are a striking illustration of the well-founded, durable, and continually increasing virtue and happiness of the truly righteous."

          Knowing this, about how the psalmist likens a righteous man, we can say alongside the psalmist, "They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright." It is even better, especially in the faith which we have to be found like Abraham. Remember, we're told that "By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise" (Hebrews 11:8-9, New King James). 

          You see God who called Abraham righteous due to his faith in Him to do His will, how much more blessed are we when we hear the word of God spoken in our lives? By allowing it to quicken us, leading us to repent of our sins and former deeds so we can also share in His righteousness, sharing the good news of Jesus with others, we will be just like the two trees that the psalmist writes about.