The first Psalm compares a tree planted by rivers of water and the chaff driven by the wind (vv. 3-4). In similar fashion, Psalm 92 compares the wicked to grass that is destroyed (v. 7) and the righteous to a flourishing palm tree (v. 12). The psalmist writes: “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” (vv. 12-15). Consider how befitting this inspired simile is.
Palm trees are distinctive. All the branches and fruit of palms are at the top of the tree. This makes them quite distinct from other trees. In a crooked and perverse generation, the righteous ought to be equally unique and distinct in their manner of life (Philippians 2:14-16)
Palm trees are hearty. They can grow and flourish where no other tree can survive. The only tree that grows in a desert oasis is a palm. Righteous people can live anywhere in the world. Lot lived righteously in Sodom. Jeremiah lived righteously in idol-filled Jerusalem. Jesus grew up pleasing before God (Luke 2:52) while living in notorious Nazareth (John 1:46).
Palm trees are abundantly fruitful. The average tree produces 300 to 400 pounds of fruit per year. Their deep roots and unique internal design for transporting water and nutrients through the heart of their trunks enable them to be bountifully fruitful. The righteous watch over their heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23) and hide God’s word in their heart (Psalm 119:11); therefore, they produce an abundant harvest of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). These godly virtues ensure that they are neither barren nor unfruitful in their knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:8).
How much do you and a palm tree have in common?