THE TRAITS OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Sunday, 23 June 2019
The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. -Psalm 92:12
This Psalm talks much about the righteous. In the New Testament context, a righteous person is the one who has willfully and sincerely repented of his/her sins, accepted the Lord Jesus as his/her Lord and Saviour. Such a person walks in the newness of life, overcoming sin, living in obedience to the word of God with a steadfast hope of eternal life in God.
The Psalmist compares the righteous man to a palm tree drawing similar traits in the life of the righteous:
It has deep roots which goes down until they strike springs of water. This signifies nourishment of the righteous- who is deeply rooted in Christ and His Word and draws constant nourishment from Him.
It is an evergreen tree which typifies the constant freshness of the Spirit-filled life- fresh in all seasons, unlike other Christians who are only vibrant for the Lord in one season and wither away spiritually in seasons of drought.
It usually grows tall with leaves at the top, beautiful to behold, giving shade for people from the heat of the sun-bringing comfort and joy to many. Similarly, the Holy Spirit imparts to the righteous, a Christ-like character, graceful speech, a powerful influence that draws people to them bringing comfort and joy in the lives of others.
It has many uses-almost every part of the tree is useful not just the fruit. Its many parts are used to make things in and for the house and outside. Similarly, the life of a believer is relevant and profitable in many aspects of life- he will be put to use in the home, in the Church, in the place of work, and the outside world.
It will grow in the desert which not only means shade and shelter from the heat, but where a palm grows, signifies a source of water nearby. Similarly, a believer is equipped to survive in any harsh condition without losing his relevance. (Rom 8:35–38)
It is easily spotted and identified; can’t be hidden. Palm trees don't blend in with their environment. Jesus said a city built on a hill can’t be hid; a believer is easily identifiable by his distinctive and godly lifestyle, different from the corruptible lifestyle of the world. He cannot be made to conform to the worldly values, traditions and sinful pleasures. (Rom 12:1–2)
Can we ask ourselves as believers, how much we display signs of maturity as the palm tree? Do we continue to bear fruit for the Lord? Are we still fresh and green with His life in us? If you are still counting your own righteousness to get you to heaven, let it be understood that you can get right with God only through His Son Jesus Christ. Acknowledge you are a sinner and trust in Jesus Christ, who died in your place for your sin and seek God's forgiveness; He will give you a new life and fill you with the presence of the Holy Spirit by which you will be alive spiritually—then you will be like a tree planted in the courts of God's house and you will flourish and grow. And even in old age you will still bear fruit, staying fresh and green proclaiming, "The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him."
“For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield.”
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