Psalm 92:12-15 - The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
The Word of God speaks much about palm trees. Psalm 92:12 says the righteous shall flourish like a palm tree. During the Feast of Tabernacles, the children of Israel were to live in shelters made of palm branches.
Jericho was known as the "city of palm trees," according to Deuteronomy 34:3. In the New Testament, when Jesus was making His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, the people took palm branches, went forth to meet Him and cried, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" (John 12:13b). Palm leaves are an emblem of victory.
Most other trees have a bark under which the sap flows, and they grow up by an increase just under the bark. This could typify "surface" Christians. Their lives are only bark deep, so they are deeply affected by outside circumstances, persecutions, and trials. However, the coconut palm has its life hidden in the center. God has created it to draw its life up through the center of its trunk. This is a beautiful picture of Christians who have Jesus at the center of their lives. Their lives are hidden in God, not dependent on outward circumstances.
The coconut palm is a constant fruit-bearer. It bears fruit every month, and always has at its top both fruit in every stage of development and fresh blossoms.
As Paul says, by God's presence the fruit of the Spirit is nurtured in our lives, too: "love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22b-23a).
The Lord also wants us to be fruitful spiritually, bringing the increase of God's Spirit by witnessing to others what Jesus has done in our lives and directing them to the saving knowledge of our Lord.
The coconut palm has attractive beauty. It has no limbs, but long, graceful leaves that stretch out from the top with beauty and grace unmatched by other trees. As we abide in Christ under God's holy guidance and spend time in His presence, something happens within us. We are being changed. People see in us more and more of the beauty and radiance of our Lord.
The coconut palm has long life. A palm tree that is 100 years old will still yield beautiful foliage and as fine a fruit as in its younger years. So also God wants His children to live full and satisfying lives for His glory.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, make us flourish like the palm tree, bearing spiritual fruit, reflecting the image of Christ, and living with purpose through all of our days. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, June 1979 issue, "Living as 'Palm Tree' Christians," by Frances Hurst
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