“The righteous shall flourish like the palm
tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house
of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring
forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To
show that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness
in him.” Psalm 92:12–15.
In Heavenly Places, 34; Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, 18.
“The tree of the desert is a symbol of what
God means the life of His children in this world to be. They are to guide weary
souls, full of unrest, and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to the living
water. They are to point their fellow men to Him who gives the invitation, ‘If
any man thirst, let him come unto Me, and drink.’ John
1 What does
the word of God say about the righteous? Who will be fat and flourishing? Psalm
Note: “Prove the promise of God that ‘those
that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our
God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; and they shall be fat and
flourishing; to show that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no
unrighteousness in him’ [Psalm 92:13–15].
your heart and mind young by continuous exercise.” The Review and Herald, April 6, 1886.
2 We want
to be as a “cedar in Lebanon” as mentioned in Psalm 92:12; Psalm 104:16, 17.
How do we become that cedar?
Note: “The cedar of Lebanon was honored by
all the people of the East. The class of trees to which it belongs is found
wherever man has gone throughout the earth. From the arctic regions to the
tropic zone they flourish, rejoicing in the heat, yet braving the cold;
springing in rich luxuriance by the riverside, yet towering aloft upon the
parched and thirsty waste. They plant their roots deep among the rocks of the
mountains and boldly stand in defiance of the tempest. Their leaves are fresh
and green when all else has perished at the breath of winter. Above all other
trees the cedar of Lebanon is distinguished for its strength, its firmness, its
undecaying vigor; and this is used as a symbol of
those whose life is ‘hid with Christ in God.’ Colossians 3:3. Says the Scripture, ‘The righteous … shall grow like a cedar.’
Psalm 92:12. The divine hand has exalted the cedar as king over the forest. …
The cedar is repeatedly employed as an emblem of royalty, and its use in
Scripture to represent the righteous shows how Heaven regards those who do the
will of God.” Patriarchs
and Prophets, 450.
3 If the
righteous shall grow like a cedar, what is the first prerequisite or condition
in ourselves we need to experience before we can receive righteousness, a
condition acceptable to God, as found in Matthew 5:6?
Note: “We are to come to God in faith, and
pour out our supplications before Him, believing that He will work in our
behalf, and in the behalf of those we are seeking to save. We are to devote
more time to earnest prayer. With the trusting faith of a little child, we are
to come to our heavenly Father, telling Him of all our needs. He is always
ready to pardon and help. The supply of divine wisdom is inexhaustible, and the
Lord encourages us to draw largely from it. The longing that we should have for
spiritual blessings is described in the words, ‘As the hart panteth
after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after
thee, O God’ [Psalm 42:1]. We need a deeper soul-hunger for the rich gifts that
heaven has to bestow. We are to hunger and thirst after righteousness.
that we might have a consuming desire to know God by an experimental knowledge,
to come into the audience chamber of the Most High, reaching up the hand of
faith, and casting our helpless souls upon the One mighty to save. His loving
kindness is better than life.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1146, 1147.
4 From Whom
only should our soul’s expectation be?
Note: “A divine element unites with human
effort when the soul reaches out after God.” Gospel Workers, 99.
5 What is
it that we need to drink if we do not want to ever crave the world’s advantages
and attractions? John 4:14.
Note: “ ‘Whosoever drinketh
of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst’—never crave the world’s
advantages and attractions—‘but the water that I shall give him shall be in him
a well of water springing up unto everlasting life’ [John 4:14].” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 5, 1134.
6 What is
the water that Christ referred to in John 4:14? The water of life flowing from
whose heart will water the hearts of others? What are we to seek for and why?
Note: “You must seek to have an indwelling Saviour, who will be to you as a well of water, springing
up into everlasting life. The water of life flowing from the heart always
waters the hearts of others.” Ibid., 1134.
should we want to be a “palm tree” Christian? Explain what a “palm tree”
Christian is. Psalm 92:12.
Note: “The palm tree well represents the life
of a Christian. It stands upright amid the burning desert sand, and dies not;
for it draws its sustenance from the springs of life beneath the surface.
the weary traveler toiling over the hot sands of the desert, with no shelter to
protect him from the rays of a tropical sun. His water supply fails, and he has
nothing to slake his burning thirst. His tongue becomes swollen; he staggers
like a drunken man. Visions of home and friends pass before his mind, as he
believes himself ready to perish in the terrible desert. Suddenly those in
advance send forth a shout of joy. In the distance, looming up out of the
dreary, sandy waste, is a palm tree, green and
flourishing. Hope quickens his pulses. That which gives vigor and freshness to
the palm tree will cool the fevered pulses, and give life to those who are
perishing with thirst.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1151.
8 What is the gift of God and the living
water? John 4:10.
Note: “The water that Christ referred to was
the revelation of His grace in His Word. His Spirit, His teaching, is as a
satisfying fountain to every soul. … In Christ is fullness of joy forevermore …
Christ’s gracious presence in His Word is ever speaking to the soul,
representing Him as the well of living water to refresh the thirsting. It is
our privilege to have a living, abiding Saviour. He
is the source of spiritual power implanted within us, and His influence will
flow forth in words and actions, refreshing all within the sphere of our
influence, begetting in them desires and aspirations for strength and purity,
for holiness and peace, and for that joy which brings with it no sorrow. This
is the result of an indwelling Saviour.” “Ellen G.
White Comments,” The Seventh-day
Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 5, 1134.
9 A “tree
of the desert” draws the thirsty traveler because there is water where that
tree is. Where does a Christian go to satisfy his thirst? John 7:37.
Note: “The tree of the desert is a symbol of
what God means the life of His children in this world to be. They are to guide
weary souls, full of unrest, and ready to perish in the desert of sin, to the
living water. They are to point their fellow men to Him who gives the
invitation, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me,
and drink.’ John 7:37.” Education, 116.
10 If we are
to be a sturdy “tree of the desert” in these last days under very trying
circumstances, where should our root be? Ezekiel 31:7; John 7:37.
Note: “As the palm tree, drawing nourishment
from fountains of living water, is green and flourishing in the midst of the
desert, so the Christian may draw rich supplies of grace from the fountain of God’s
love, and may guide weary souls, that are full of unrest and ready to perish in
the desert of sin, to those waters of which they may drink, and live. The
Christian is ever pointing his fellow-men to Jesus, who invites, ‘If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.’ This fountain never
fails us; we may draw, and draw again.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary,
vol. 3, 1151.
the Christian thrives and progresses at all, he must do so amid strangers to
God, amid scoffing, subject to ridicule. He must stand upright like the palm
tree in the desert. The sky may be as brass, the desert sand may beat about the
palm tree’s roots, and pile itself in heaps about its trunk. Yet the tree lives
as an evergreen, fresh and vigorous amid the burning desert sands. Remove the
sand till you reach the rootlets of the palm tree, and you discover the secret
of its life; it strikes down deep beneath the surface, to the secret waters
hidden in the earth. Christians indeed may be fitly represented by the palm
tree. They are like Enoch; although surrounded by corrupting influences, their
faith takes hold of the Unseen. They walk with God, deriving strength and grace
from Him to withstand the moral pollution surrounding them. Like Daniel in the
courts of Babylon, they stand pure and uncontaminated; their life is hid with
Christ in God. They are virtuous in spirit amid depravity; they are true and
loyal, fervent and zealous, while surrounded by infidels, hypocritical professors,
godless and worldly men. Their faith and life are hid with Christ in God. Jesus
is in them a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Faith, like the
rootlets of the palm tree, penetrates beneath the things which are seen,
drawing spiritual nourishment from the Fountain of life.
the love of Jesus is abiding in the soul, many who are now but withered
branches will become as the cedars of Lebanon, ‘whose root is by the great
waters.’ (Ezekiel 31:7.) The cedar is noted for the firmness of its roots. Not
content to cling to the earth with a few weak fibers, it thrusts its rootlets,
like a sturdy wedge, into the cloven rock, and reaches down deeper and deeper
for strong holds to grasp. When the tempest grapples with its boughs, that firm-set
tree cannot be uprooted. What a goodly cedar might not every follower of Christ
become, if he were but rooted and grounded in the truth, firmly united to the
Eternal Rock.” “Ellen G. White Comments,” The
Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, vol. 3, 1151.
are certain conditions upon which we may expect that God will hear and answer
our prayers. One of the first of these is that we feel our need of help from
Him. He has promised, ‘I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods
upon the dry ground.’ Isaiah 44:3. Those who hunger and thirst after
righteousness, who long after God, may be sure that
they will be filled. The heart must be open to the Spirit’s influence, or God’s
blessing cannot be received.
great need is itself an argument and pleads most eloquently in our behalf. But
the Lord is to be sought unto to do these things for us. He says, ‘Ask, and it
shall be given you.’ And ‘He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up
for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give
us all things?’ Matthew 7:7; Romans 8:32.” Steps to Christ, 95.
maintaining a connection with God we shall be enabled to diffuse to others,
through our association with them, the light, the peace, the serenity, that
rules in our hearts, and set before them an example of unwavering fidelity to
the interests of the work in which we are engaged.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 460.