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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

September 13 2023

Today, Wednesday September 13

The Righteous Shall Flourish

Psalm 92:1-15 A Psalm. A song for the Sabbath day.

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness every night, On an instrument of ten strings, On the lute, And on the harp, With harmonious sound. For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of Your hands. O LORD, how great are Your works! Your thoughts are very deep.

A senseless man does not know, Nor does a fool understand this. When the wicked spring up like grass, And when all the workers of iniquity flourish, It is that they may be destroyed forever. But You, LORD, are on high forevermore. For behold, Your enemies, O LORD, For behold, Your enemies shall perish; All the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. My eye also has seen my desire on my enemies; My ears hear my desire on the wicked Who rise up against me.

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.”

Have you ever noticed how God in the economy of time has divided it up for us. God created the physical and natural world with seasons. Our year begins with winter, which blends into spring, then summer and autumn, and then ends with winter again. Our life is measured by the years, yet we live it out by the days. We have twelve months on our calendar which then is broken down into weeks. We have a new week every seven days, and a new month every 30 or so days, and a new year every twelve months.

I’m convinced that God had a divine plan and purpose for us with His division of time. He designed us to work and labor for six days and then to rest one day and prepare for the next six days. God knew that we needed to stop and reflect on the previous six days and remember both His lovingkindness and His faithfulness (v. 2). Of course, we should do this every day, but we needed to especially have a day set apart once a week where we recognized that all that we are, and all that we have is a gift from God. God only gave ten commandments, yet one of them is the commandment to set apart a day each week to rest and remember the source and strength of our life. For the believer in Christ today, that day is Sunday, the first day of the week!

Psalm 92, written by an anonymous person, is a song that is dedicated to helping us experience true worship of our great Most High God on that special day each week! In the first five verses, the song reflects on our worship of God in thanksgiving and the singing of praises to His name, as we remember His lovingkindness, His faithfulness, and His wonderful and great works. And even His thoughts (v. 5). Because we take time to worship, we enjoy and experience a life of overcoming our enemies of the world, the flesh, and the devil (vv. 6-11).

I love these final verses in 12-15, that highlight the truth and reality that the “righteous” worshippers are also a flourishing people. God often uses contrast in Scripture to teach us the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, the broad path that leads to destruction or the narrow way that leads to life everlasting. This Psalm does the same in the final verses.

The senseless brutish crowd is like grass (v. 7), but the righteous are like trees (see 1:3; 52:8; Prov. 11:30; Isa. 1:30; 61:3; Jer. 11:16; 17:8). The wicked may look like sturdy trees, but they don't last (37:35-36; 52:5). The word "flourish" of the workers of iniquity in verse 7 means "to be conspicuous, to shine," while the word “flourish” of the righteous in verses 12-13 means "to be vigorous, to flourish richly." The stately date palm and cedar were highly valued by people in the Near East, the palm for its fruit and the cedar for its wood. Both were appreciated for their beauty, and both trees can survive for many years. Not all godly people live long; some, like Robert Murray M'Cheyne and David Brainerd, die very young. But generally speaking, those who obey God avoid a great deal of the danger and disease that can cause an early death.

The promise in verses 13-14, to stay "fresh and green" in old age and not spend one's life complaining and demanding is a mark of God's special blessing. Read Ps. 71 for a description of an older saint who is fresh, fruitful and flourishing. We change as we grow older, but the Lord never changes. He is our Rock (Psalm 32:4, 15, 18, 30-31), and what He wills for us is perfect, so we will not complain.

Yes, the “righteous” person who delights and meditates in the Word of God “will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth fruit in its season, whose leaf will not wither, and whatever they do will prosper” (Psalm 1:2-3).

God bless!

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