Saturday, April 28, 2007

The Breakthrough of the Righteous

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.
(Psalm 92:12-15)
Many people are looking for a breakthrough in their lives. This psalm talks about a breakthrough that will endure as long as you live. It is the breakthrough of the righteous.

The Hebrew word for “flourish” used in the first two instances is parach and means to break forth and spread. It is breakthrough. When used with the metaphor of a palm tree, it refers to how it breaks forth with buds, blooms and bears fruit. When used with the metaphor of an eagle or some other bird, it refers to the spreading of wings to fly.

The righteous are those who live in awe of the LORD, who love, honor and trust Him. They declare His lovingkindness in the morning and His faithfulness every night (v. 2). By faith they have been planted — transplanted into the house of the LORD, to bear fruit in His courts. That is, they have come to a new place in their life, not by their own striving, but by a work of the Lord. That in itself is a breakthrough. The psalm writer uses the analogy of the palm tree. A full-grown date palm can bear three or four hundred pounds of fruit, and in some cases even up to six hundred pounds. That’s abundance!

To live in house of the Lord and dwell in His courts is a rich life indeed. It is delighting in His law and meditating in it day and night (Psalm 1:2). Those who do are like trees that have been planted beside rivers of water, always bringing forth their fruit in season. Their leaf shall not wither, and whatever they do shall prosper (Psalm 1:3). They enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise (Psalm 100:4). They dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1), and in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11).

This is the breakthrough that lasts forever, for even in old age they shall still bear fruit. They shall still be fresh and flourishing. The Hebrew word for “flourishing” in this case means to be green and new, even luxuriant. It is the picture of health and prosperity, and it declares that the Lord is upright.

Who are the righteous ones? Those who live by faith, just as Abraham believe God “and He accounted it to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Even as the prophet declared, “The just shall live by faith” (Habakkuk 2:4). The apostle Paul said, “God made Jesus, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God has breakthrough for all those who love and trust in Him, for those who delight in His Word and mediate in it continually. They will enter His courts with praise and live in His house forever. It is a breakthrough that will last forever — the breakthrough of the righteous.