Reflecting upon the picturesque imagery of Psalm 92:12’s “the righteous flourish like the palm tree” yields rich food for thoughtful contemplation. In yesterday’s post, we considered three morsels to meditate upon—palm trees are distinctive; palm trees are hearty; palm trees are abundantly fruitful. In today’s post, let’s consider three more:
Palm trees mature graciously. According to one Bible dictionary, the palm tree “bears its best fruit in old age.” The older the palm grows the better and sweeter its fruit. Unlike the Christians addressed in Hebrews 5:12—who ought to have matured in their knowledge and faith to become teachers of God’s word but needed milk, not meat—the palm tree improves with age. The righteous do likewise.
Palm trees are quite useful. The Syrians have over 300 different uses for the palm tree. Its fruit, its sap, its leaf fibers, and its leaves can be employed in many beneficial and practical ways. The righteous are helpful in like manner. The hungry, thirsty, needy, naked, sick, and imprisoned receive from the righteous more than empty platitudes (Matthew 25:34-36; James 2:15-17), because every new creature of God has been “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).
Palm trees are immovable. Because its roots are quite deep, rarely does a palm tree get uprooted. When hurricane winds blow, a palm tree may be leaning over and almost parallel to the ground, but, rarely is any of these trees uprooted. The wise man—rooted and grounded in obedience to God’s truth (Colossians 2:7)—can withstand the rain, floods, and fierce storms of life (Matthew 7:24-25); he can be steadfast and immovable (1 Corinthians 15:58) like a palm tree.
How much do you have in common with a palm tree?