Thursday 13 March, 2014

Psalm 52

1 You think you are such a big, strong man! Why do you brag about the evil things you’ve done? You are a dishonor to God all the time. 2 You plan ways to destroy others. Your tongue is like a blade that has a sharp edge. You are always telling lies. 3 You love evil instead of good. You would rather lie than tell the truth. Selah 4 You love to harm others with your words, you liar! 5 So God will destroy you forever. He will grab hold of you and throw you out of your tent. He will remove you from this life. Selah 6 Those who do what is right will see it and learn a lesson from it. They will laugh at you and say, 7 “Just look at this fellow! He didn’t depend on God for his safety. He put his trust in all his wealth. He grew strong by destroying others!” 8 But I am like a healthy olive tree. My roots are deep in the house of God. I trust in your faithful love for ever and ever. 9 I will praise you forever for what you have done. I will put my hope in you because you are good. I will praise you when I’m with your faithful people.

In this psalm David is contrasting the results of a life lived in pursuit of wickedness and a life lived in pursuit of God. As David notes in Psalm 37, sometimes the ungodly can actually look like a flourishing tree, but this is a tree with all leaves and no fruit. This tree has no lasting value.

On the other hand, when we live a life of trust and obedience to God, we are like an olive tree, flourishing with fruit in the house of God. There is a big difference between a tree with just leaves (earthly prosperity) and a tree with fruit (things of eternal value).
It’s tempting to want an earthly “flourishing tree” of money and an affluent lifestyle and to value that above a fruitful life of serving God and self-sacrifice. But God has promised us that if we are faithful to Him, we will have treasure in heaven beyond anything we could wish for here on this earth.
I find that the older I get, the more I think about heaven. I don’t have to try and get everything I want here on this earth – God has a glorious future planned for me. May my heart be set on eternal things and may my life be like a fruitful tree that flourishes in the house of God.
Written by Shelley Witt

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