I know a lot of you are facing some really tough times right now. Some of you are in situations where you are at odds with people. Some of you are fighting disease. Some of you are facing devastating discouragement. Some of you feel like you’re in the devil’s cross hairs. Others like you are carrying around the weight of the world. And we’ve all got to deal with that nasty ol’ flesh.
David went through a time like that. Well, he went through lots of times like that. Quite a few of the Psalms emerged from his episodes of hardship. If you can take a moment, read through 1 Samuel 22 and then through Psalm 52, our psalm for prayer this week. It’s a gut-wrenching scene. I can only imagine how David felt afterward as he penned the words of this psalm.
Psalm 52:8 (ESV) – But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.
So, what does that mean? Where’s the consolation in being a “green olive tree”? Why not a mighty oak? Or a weeping willow? Seems like those trees would be better word pictures for what David needs of feels at a time like this?
A green olive tree, fruit bearing and full of foliage, standing in the house of God is the picture of faithfulness and fruitfulness, signs of God’s great blessing on his life. And in that order. In the end, those who live by sight will be uprooted, and those who live by faith in the love God will stand, bearing fruit in their season (Psalm 1). Faithfulness opens the way to fruitfulness. Those who trust in the flimsiness of wealth, who lie to gain something they covet, will have no enduring root that keeps them standing upright through the storms of life. But those who are first faithful in their trust of God’s love will eventually be fruitful.
Dear friend, stay faithful. Don’t be distracted by things that you can see. Walk by faith in what God has said. Keep your eyes on Jesus. God’s love for you is steadfast even if you feel ransacked by the devil, thwarted by the world, or weak in the flesh.
In time, in God’s good time, when all else around you has been uprooted and discarded, we will have a kingdom which will remain. And you will find yourself standing in the presence of God, green and fresh. And you will say, with fervor like you’ve never known before, “I will thank you forever, because you have done it” (Psalm 52:9).