I was reading Psalm 92 (I try to read a Psalm each Sunday morning before I leaving the house for church) today. For some reason, I usually read a Psalm in the 80-‘s to 90’s. Perhaps because those were the best years for music, or perhaps because most of them have to do with praise.
Anyhow, I came across a puzzling verse, at least at first.
“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.“
This passage ought to bring one back to the first chapter of Psalms, as the righteous are considered to be like trees planted near a stream. Thus they flourish because the Lord makes them grow.
But what struck me as odd at first was the fact that the trees are ultimately referring to people. You would expect older folks to be those who bear fruit in life, and younger ones to be less fruitful (general trends are that those who grow up in church stop going once college starts).
However, if you really think about it, the parallel for Christians really does make sense. If you get past simple church attendance statistics, it can be very difficult for older folks to bear fruit. Our sinful nature doesn’t get better over the years-if anything I could say it gets worse (there’s quite a battle still ahead for all of us). Someone like me who struggles with an acrid tongue or jealousy, and has struggled with it for a long time, would not find it easy to bear fruit in this areas 20-30 years from now. After all, I would have been battling these for some time. But this verse gives me hope that I can still bear fruit, even in these tough areas.
So in my opinion, on further glance, and a small bit of reflection, this verse really does make a TON of sense to me. Old people, (I’m losing hair and going grey-so I can be called old, even though I’m still ‘hip and down with the times’) do have hope for change despite years of sinful habits. Amen, eh?