[Note: The following was a devotion given at the 2014 Soup Supper at Midlane Park ARP Church and also appears in the Spring 2014 Newsletter. The Scripture text was Psalm 92:12-15.]
Psalm 92 is unique among the psalms because of its title, which calls it “A Song of the Sabbath Day.” This mention of the Sabbath reminds us of two things: worship and rest. And both of these point us back to the Lord. That is because the Lord is the object of our worship. Psalm 92 begins by reminding us that: “It is good to give thanks to the LORD; and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning and your faithfulness by night.” We are to thank the Lord and to give Him praise at all times. In addition, the Lord is the One in whom we find our rest and comfort.
In verse 12 of this psalm, the righteous man is compared to two different kinds of trees. He will flourish like the palm tree, and he will grow like the cedar of Lebanon. Both of these are trees that live a long time, but they also grow very slowly. The Lord is saying His people are like that. The one who seeks to follow the Lord will find that this means a lifetime of Christian growth, holiness, and maturity. Sometimes this is difficult growth, in the midst of trials. But a palm tree is able to withstand hot, dry, drought-like conditions, and a cedar of Lebanon is a mighty tree, able to withstand the strong winds and storms. Again, the Lord is saying that His people are like that if they are following Him.
Verse 13 is a key to understanding this psalm. For God’s people to flourish, they must be in the Lord’s house, in His presence, rooted to Him, and united with Him. If we are rooted in the world, we will not prosper. But if we are in the Lord, we will bring forth much fruit.
Verse 14 says something interesting: even in old age, God’s people will be fruitful in Him. Like a healthy tree, they will be full of sap; they will still be very green and alive. How is that so? This is exactly the opposite of the way the world would look at the aged. God’s people must be different. Seeing godly saints, who have lived a lifetime of faithfulness to the Lord and have not departed from Him even in old age is a great encouragement to all believers. Charles Spurgeon once said, “Aged believers possess a ripe experience, and by their mellow tempers and sweet testimonies they feed many.” Thus, godly saints can be of great service to the Lord, even in old age.
The last verse of this psalm shows the great duty of all of God’s people. We are to declare (to show forth) that the Lord is upright, that He is good and keeps His promises and does not abandon His people. Even when they are older and the world may tend to forget about them, the Lord does not forget. He is a rock; He can be trusted. He is a sure, secure, firm foundation that we can build our lives on. This is what our Lord Jesus Christ tells us at the end of Matthew 7. The man who builds his house on the rock is likened to the one who hears Christ’s words and does them. The storms will come, but he will be able to endure because he has trusted in Christ and His word. We are being called to a lifelong trust here. Our faith must be in the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our righteousness, He is our salvation, and the promises we find in His word are sure and secure.
So what lesson can we get from Psalm 92? We are to rest in the Lord and give all praise to the Lord. The lesson for all believers is that we will persevere in the Lord; that is a sure promise from the Lord, and therefore our lives are to be lived to His glory.