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FLOURISHING LIKE AN OLIVE TREE

Psalm 52 was written by David when Doeg the Edomite went to leak the secret to Saul that he met him with Ahimelech the Priest who gave him bread and the sword of Goliath. We should be aware that this singular action led to the destruction of Nob, the city of the priests by wicked and envious Saul. David used this psalm to reflect on the wickedness of some men (of course as Doeg). Such men boast in evil (1), their “tongue devises destruction, like a sharp razor, working deceitfully, (2) and they “love evil more than good, lying rather than speaking righteousness” (3). The end of such men is that God will destroy them forever, he will pluck them out of his dwelling place, and uproot them from the land of the living (5). But what happens to the righteous while the wicked suffers this? David says, “The righteous also shall see and fear, and shall laugh at him, saying, “Here is the man who did not make God his strength, But trusted in the abundance of his riches, and strengthened himself in his wickedness.” Now verse 8 is very interesting. David singled himself out because he belongs to the generation of the righteous and this is what I want us to see. He said, “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.” Why did he use the GREEN OLIVE TREE as a symbol of the reward of the righteous here? It is because of the nature of the tree. William F. Dankenbring in “The Mystery of the Olive Tree” helps us to understand the significance of this wonderful creation of God. He wrote, “The Hebrew word for “olive tree” is “es shemen,” which literally means ‘tree of oil.” It is from a primitive root meaning “to shine.” It means “richness, anointing, fat, fruitful, oil, ointment, olive.” It is related to the word “shemesh,” “to be brilliant,” and which also is the Hebrew word for the “sun,” that brightly shining orb in the sky. Another Hebrew word for “olive” is “zayith,” meaning “an olive,” as “yielding illuminating oil.” Its related to the word “ziv,” meaning “to be prominent,” “brightness.” He further stated that, “the olive tree may seem like any other tree, rather ordinary in appearance and size – some might say even a little bit “ugly,” and at certain seasons of the year even a little “messy,” with olives littering the ground beneath the tree! The foliage of the olive tree is dense, and when it becomes old the fairly tall trunk acquires a unique pattern of twists and turns, protuberances and knots, on its bark and in its form, giving the tree a very interesting appearance… “There are trees in Israel estimated to be 1,000 years old that still produce fruit…. Interestingly, if the trunk is cut down, the shoots from its roots continue to grow, ensuring its continued existence. Olive wood is very hard, and beautifully grained. It is very desirable in the manufacture of smaller wooden objects, pieces of furniture, and ornaments.” Good news then! Once you belong to the generation of the righteous, you are like this OLIVE TREE, shinning, rich, anointed, fruitful, prominent and bright. You are established to flourish from generation to generation, producing fruit in old age and becoming a source of VALUE and blessing to your world. It pays to be righteous!

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