12 The righteous flourish like the palm tree
and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13 They are planted in the house of the LORD;
they flourish in the courts of our God.
I’ve always loved this Bible verse in Psalm 92 where it says that the righteous will flourish like palms and cedars because it reminds me of my children and my role as a parent. Every Christian parent wants their children to be righteous and to flourish in the Lord. To “flourish” means to grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment. We as parents need to provide the environment for them to flourish into a righteous follower of Christ. But why does the psalmist use the imagery of a palm and a cedar tree to represent righteousness?I moved to Florida almost eight years ago. I can say in all honesty that I’ve never seen storms like I’ve seen here in Florida. This past summer we endured Hurricane Irma. I’ve come to understand one of the significant reasons why the palm is used in this psalm. During these incredible storms, with torrential winds and rain, a palm tree will blow and fold and bend, but it will rarely break. God designed the palm tree in such a way, with its spread-out roots, foldable fronds, and wiry trunk, to survive the storms of life. And not only do these beautiful palm trees just survive, but they thrive in this climate! They grow tall and stately, and historically they represent victory and celebration. Palm trees flourish in adversity!
Now, on to cedar trees. These aren’t just any cedar trees, though. The Lebanon Cedar is a magnificent and massive tree. Its wood is strong and has a pleasant odor, and is resistant to rot and insects. Many Biblical woodworkers desired this wood, including Solomon for his Temple.
If you’ve met my three teenage boys, you might understand why I’ve always said that they were like Cedars of Lebanon. They are BIG boys! They eat me out of house and home, especially my youngest. They are massive and strong like cedar trees. Plus, we used to live in Lebanon, Pennsylvania (not the same as the Mediterranean Lebanon), and two of our three boys were born there. So they are strong and big like the cedar trees of Lebanon (PA).
Perhaps this passage is saying that the righteous will flourish physically, like my boys have grown strong and healthy; but it is more likely to be saying that they will flourish spiritually. Since it uses the palm and cedar analogies, we can understand more specifically how they will flourish. They will be resilient in adversity, they will have a strong faith, they will be resistant to temptation, and they will be foundational in building God’s kingdom. In order to truly flourish like this, I need to provide the environment for my children to grow, to plant them in God’s court. That is my responsibility as their parent!For this page, I journaled in my Little Psalm Book, and I used several Sweet ‘N Sassy Stamps sets: Brotherly Love, Be a Flamingo, and Bitty Minnie Alpha. I stamped them with black ink and colored the images with Intense Blocks. The Brotherly Love set is so much fun because you can individualize the finished look. Two of my boys saw this and couldn’t believe how much it looked like them! (The other was indifferent.) I finished it off with some washi tape, a tab, a date stamp, and journaling. (Affiliate links within the hyperlinks will take you to the products I used. This week, through June 22, 20% off site-wide Sweet ‘N Sassy Stamps with code THANKS.)
What are some ways that you are helping your children flourish in a righteous environment?