Summary: This sermon analyzes Psalm 92:12-15, showing God's saints who are older what He expects of them while also showing the younger saints what they need to be aiming for in old age.
The scripture reading that I chose will be the text that I will introduce this series of lessons with today, and it will be our scripture reading for the duration of the lessons. I would encourage you as we go through this month of lessons to write this passage down or to meditate on it.
Psalm 92 is given the title, “A Song for the Sabbath Day.” This is one of the few psalms assigned to a particular occasion, and the only one assigned to be used on a specific day. Whenever God’s people came together on the day of rest, they would use this psalm to remember God’s works that He has done for them. This psalm begins and ends with confession or declaration of the Lord and what He has done, and then shows contrasts between the lives of the foolish man and the righteous man. In verses 6-7 we see that the fool has no knowledge and understanding to declare. They may flourish for a short time like grass, but their time will end in destruction.
In contrast, we see in verses 12-15 that the righteous grow and flourish, not like grass, but like palm trees and cedars which can withstand the harshest weather that comes at them. They are long lasting and bear fruit for many decades after they have been planted, and their flourishing lasts much longer than the unrighteous.
I would like to spend time today focusing on verses 12-15. From this text in Psalm 92, I would like to make three points in our lesson:
1. Fruitful Young People make Fruitful Old People
2. God Expects His Older Saints To Be Fruitful
3. God’s Older Saints Declare Him
FRUITFUL YOUNG PEOPLE DEVELOP INTO FRUITFUL OLD PEOPLE
Being fruitful as an older person doesn’t happen by mistake. There may be those select few that become Christians at an older age and become fruitful, but most of the time it takes a lot of hard work for many years to get to the point where you can be fruitful in old age. Verses 12-13, I believe, show us this idea:
12 The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God (NASB)
We see a process in these two verses. The process begins with planting, moves to growing, then to flourishing and becoming strong. The psalmist says that the righteous are planted in the house of the Lord, which is probably speaking of living in His presence and under His protection in a place where one can come to know Him and grow. The righteous are like a tree that is planted where it can receive the greatest amount of nutrients so it can bear fruit and flourish. This same concept is given to us in Psalm 1:3.
“He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3
God’s desire for us is this: as we live before Him and come to know Him as we study His word, we will receive all that we need to be nourished, to grow, and to be fruitful. And the natural thing that will happen is that as one grows older they will continue to bear the fruits that they had borne all along.
Many of the decisions we make now will affect how we are whenever we grow old (if the Lord wills that happens). We see in scripture how God worked in the lives of His servants in their younger years to make them who they were in their oldest years.
Moses: Moses made the decision when he was younger to be identified alongside with God’s people instead of enjoying the extravagant living befitting a prince. This decision would lead him down a path where God would work on him for 40 years as he cared for Jethro’s flock as a shepherd to prepare him to be a shepherd to Israel when He was 80 years old.
Daniel: Daniel made the decision to not be defiled by the world and by what the king offered him when he was taken into captivity. He learned to habitually pray as a younger man to His God. His decisions and habits in his earlier years prepared him to have the kind of trust in the Lord that he needed as he, along with the rest of the empire, received the edict not to pray to any god or man but the king. His many years of being fruitful to the Lord prepared him for one of his biggest tests. He passed the test, was thrown into the lions’ den, and then was delivered by God because of his faith.