PLANTED (Part II)

Helloooooo! How are you???? (In my sing-along voice). As I type these words, I’m reminded of a Nigerian song with the exact same lyrics but that’s not what I’m singing oh. I’m just excitedly sounding out my words because it gives me great delight to write to you each week.

How was last week for you? I’m proud to announce that in the past week, I spent some quality time speaking with some of my best girls and took out some time to action a task I’ve been procrastinating for weeks. In fact, it took me less than 5 minutes to achieve, cost me no money, made me glad, and I’m sure made the recipient feel so loved. Before you start taking wild guesses; it was nothing fancy. I had promised to reach out to a family friend who has now become an avid reader of this blog.  You see this lady has known me for some years, from the days I was a surly teenager to be precise; so having her read, support, and encourage this project has been a humbling experience for me. I’m sure she’ll be shocked reading this, but this is to publicly appreciate your consistent support and words of encouragement. Thank you, ma’am. I probably don’t say this as often as I would like to; but thank you to everyone who clicks on the link, reads my posts, comments, shares, sends me WhatsApp messages, binges on posts, etc. I truly appreciate you. Before we delve into today’s discussion; I encourage you to please take time out to make the people in your life feel valued, loved, and appreciated. Don’t just celebrate them on special occasions, do it everyday because every day you wake up is a special occasion. Tell them you love them even when it seems unnecessarily sentimental, you value them, appreciate them for the little things they do, etc.  Let them feel rooted in your love. Wink!

Alright, let’s go into today’s conversation. Welcome “Planted, Part 2”!

In the first part last week, we discussed the meaning and pre-requisites for being planted. If you missed it, feel free to catch up here.

This week is more like Bible study, so kindly consider Psalm 92:12-14 as our anchor text. I’ll attempt to discuss my learning and insights verse by verse; and then round off with a summary. I trust the Holy Spirit to expand these words in your heart and do what He does best. Let’s begin.

12 The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall flourish like the palm tree [be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful]; they shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon [majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible]. Oh, how I love the detail the Amplified Classic version gives.

From the above, we see verse 12 begin with a promise stating that “the uncompromisingly righteous shall flourish”. The first thing that stands out for me here, is the intensity of righteousness that the scripture states as the qualifier for flourishing. Before you worry about attaining this dimension of righteousness, let me clearly state that this righteousness is only achievable in Christ Jesus. He died for us to be made righteous – He exchanged His incomparable righteousness for us – an impeccable love-based barter that makes us righteous by grace. (See 2 Corinthians 5:21).  Friends, no dimension of moral rectitude and human perfection can even come close to His righteousness; so, please stop trying in yourself. (Galatians 2:19-21 MSG)

The next reference is to the words, “will”, “shall”, etc. depending on the version you’re reading from; and I believe that these words are indicative of a future time – meaning that there is a process/time span required for the fulfillment of this promise. Thinking about that, it makes sense considering that no seed (even with the best fertilizers) can immediately grow into a fully formed tree. It requires time, sunlight, nourishment, evolution, seasonal adaptations, tending, etc. I like to think of this process as a character development process for the tree. Interestingly, this is the same process for us. Yes, you are already righteous in Christ, you’re planted; but you cannot flourish in this dimension within minutes or days of being planted. It demands time, nourishment, seasonal adaptations, tending, too. It requires a character development process, so please discern your season, and wait with faith and patience – so you can obtain the promise. (See Hebrews 6:12b)

That said, the scripture proceeds with a visual comparison between the flourishing referred to here, and the palm and cedar trees. Now, I find the use of simile between the righteous person and these trees very instructive as they are clearly intended to emphasize and paint a visual picture of the manner of flourishing being referred to. Let’s examine the unique traits of the palm and cedar trees.  

TreePhysical Characteristics & Meaning
Palm TreeHas large, compound and ever-green leaves that flourish all year round.  I think this speaks to an ever-flourishing life, no dry or withering seasons.
Its leaves are arranged on top of an unbranched stem. I took this to mean no interruptions between the leaves (you and me) and the root (Jesus) – i.e. direct supply chain.
Inhabits every type of habitat from dessert to rain forest and is extremely adaptable/ resistant to the worst weather conditions. This means that irrespective of the socio-political or economic regime in our world, God’s promise is foolproof.
Is perennial – that is, able to live for more than 2 years. This speaks to how long-lived the plants are, no death in their prime, preservation, etc.
Palm trees are used for several purposes. I identified about 10-15 items including its fruit, raffia/ rattan cane, palm wood, palm oil, sap for vinegar, carnauba wax, its leaves, etc. This speaks to the multi-expressions of our flourishing that God has woven into our DNA.
Cedar of LebanonThis tree is described as majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible. Again, like the palm tree, it is large & evergreen. This again speaks to a long-term approach to flourishing.
Has historic and religious significance and can reach 130ft in height. 130 feet – now that’s really tall! Its branches grow in order and its appearance and form evolves with age. I perceived this to mean that as we grow older, God causes us to evolve in form, character, and expressions – and still be productive.
Like palm trees, the cedar has several purposes. Some of which include: its famed attractive, yellow hued, durable & fragrant cedar wood, which is also resistant to certain insect species; cedar resin, cedar essential oil, etc. Here again, there is a beauty and multi-faceted approach to the flourishing of the cedar.

Friends, I hope you see the depth and bountiful dimensions of flourishing that comparing these trees present for us in understanding the nature of flourishing God intends for us. It is mind-blowing!

13 Planted in the house of the Lord, they shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Verse 13 starts with the word, planted. Can I hear an amen somebody? Be planted first, then, the flourishing will happen. Being planted is the pre-requisite for flourishing like the cedar and palm tree.

14 [Growing in grace] they shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap [of spiritual vitality] and [rich in the] verdure [of trust, love, and contentment].

Friends, God isn’t only interested in your present flourishing; He is insuring your future and ensuring you’re still productive in old age – filled with spiritual vitality and content, lacking nothing. What a legacy! Now, this is the true meaning of “ever-green”.

15[They are living memorials] to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

What a way to end this conversation. Living memorials. Friends, God’s intention isn’t for you to simply read about miraculous encounters in the Bible, He intends for you to be the living encounters people read. A manifestation of His unlimited promises and abilities.

I hope this blesses your heart and gives you insights into the wealth of blessings that is loaded in the simple act of being planted.

Stay planted friends, there is no better place to be.

Remember,

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2 Responses

  1. Thank you for the second edition of Planted. One thing I gleaned from the above passage is that, being planted brings about transformation, that is a Process of change. This change is also about our mindset, translating into bearing fruits from being planted. The beauty and Purpose of plantation is to bear fruit upward while taking roots downward. My prayer is that the Purpose for which God planted me into will be made manifest in the fruits that I bring forth to bring glory to His name and a blessing to my generation. Fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. Thank you and God bless you for this.

  2. I enjoyed reading this. The Amplified version helps to put the verses in perspective.
    My takeaway is “The beauty and Purpose of plantation is to bear fruit upward while taking roots downward.”

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