Sunday, July 3, 2016

The Trees of the Lord

UV 1801/10000 The Trees of the Lord
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Psalm 92 v 12

The words and metaphors of scripture are employed with great attention to detail. There is no one who is righteous, states scripture but yet this uni-verse says that the righteous flourish.. There is no one righteous in terms of motives, words, thoughts or actions but we are declared righteous when we believe Jesus and accept Him as Saviour and Lord. Such a person is anointed as with the oil of the palm tree. We are anointed with the oil of gladness and joy. To be anointed is to be consecrated, to be declared sacred or holy.

A good number of people grow in terms of stature, status, wealth and fame but they remain sterile or fruitless. But we are ordained or destined by the Lord to grow tall and strong like the cedars of Lebanon and fruitful like the date palm and not nutty like the coconut palm. The cedar in India is known as deodhar or the tree of God. We are the trees of the Lord and are full of sap or spiritual attitudes and power by virtue of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The roots of our thoughts and emotions run deep into the soul and further into the Word of God. The roots drive the sap up our shoots and branches and turns it into spiritual fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self control. Our words, thoughts, actions and reactions should consistently reflect these spiritual qualities regardless of the environment or the provocation. If we keep growing like the cedars, we are beautiful and if we are cut for our wood, we are useful.

There is a difference between the growth and prosperity of the worldly or the unbeliever. They grow rapidly like the grass but will not last long. They flourish only to perish. We perish only to flourish. The Lord is not against our physical or financial growth and prosperity but we need to offer everything back to the Lord. Our growth may be incremental or slow and gradual but our prosperity will continue into eternity. Not only should we grow but we should allow and actively encourage others to grow. We are to be like the “oxygenal” banyan tree that constantly gives out oxygen and allows others to grow around us. Jesus cursed few things in His sojourn on earth like the fruitless fig tree. The withering of the fruitless fig tree is a warning to each of us and tells us that Jesus regards fruitfulness and growth as next only to faithfulness.

Prateep V Philip

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