Summary: The Palm tree serves as a vivid symbol of the Christian.
The Palm Tree
INTRODUCTION: There are over 300 species of Palm trees growing from 3 to 100 feet tall with over 3,000 species.
1. The date palm produces over 300 pounds of dates annually.
2. The African oil palm, very widely cultivated in the tropics, gives a higher oil yield per hectare than any other oil plant. It produces two quite different types of oil, and that from palm kernels, used for making margarine and soap, and that from the fleshy part of the fruit, used more widely for industrial processes. This is one of the most rapidly expanding plantation crops today.
Historically the palm tree has been called the representative tree of Palestine. It has stood through the years as a symbol of the land of our Lord. In the Middle Ages, large groups of people made pilgrimages to the Holy Land. The name Palmer was given to these pilgrims. At the triumphal entry when Jesus made His entry into the city of Jerusalem before His death, the people broke off palm branches and waved them in front of Him.
When a picture of the victorious children of God is given by John in the 7th chapter and the 9th verse of the Revelation, he says, among other things, that they were "clothed with white robes and palms in their hands" (Gray 2).
The Bible says in Psalm 92:12, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon." The palm tree has several characteristics about it that picture the life of the Christian.
I. THE PALM TREE BREAKS THE BANDS
A. Other trees do not break the bands put around them. As the tree grows, the bands dig into the wood. Many of us have seen an old clothesline wire sunk deep into the trunk of a tree.
B. The palm tree breaks the bands as it grows.
C. The child of God can claim and have the victory through Christ.
1. We do not have to continue in sin: Romans 6:1-2,6,11-14.
2. I Corinthians 15:57: "But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory ..."
3. Romans 8:37: "...In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."
II. THE PALM TREE WILL BEND BUT NOT BREAK.
A. The strong winds of storms uproot and break ordinary trees.
1. In 1979, Hurricane Frederick’s winds broke thousands of pine trees in the South.
2. The storms of life cause many disasters for those not serving God.
B. The palm tree will bend, but it does not break.
III. THE PALM TREE NOT ONLY SURVIVES BUT FLOURISHES IN THE DESERT.
A. The palm tree does not simply grow in the desert; it flourishes. We can make it in this desert world.
1. The roots of the palm tree go deep below the burning sands and find moisture down deep below the surface.
2. The Christian must go deep with God if he is going to flourish.
a. To go deep, we must live the Christ life (Galatians 2:20).
b. To go deep, we must be prayer warriors. I Thessalonians 5:17 says; "Pray without ceasing." Not theology, not psychology, but kneeology.
B. Many Christians are not flourishing because they are seeking nourishment on the surface. They are running their roots of life out laterally.
1. Shallow Christians look to the world for refreshment and come away thirst. The world will never satisfy. NEHI
2. The fashion, literature, and entertainment of the world are shallow and unfruitful.
Child of God, send your taproot deep in the Word of God and prayer.
IV. A GROUP OF PALM TREES FORMS AN OASIS.
A. One palm tree standing alone will not provide much shade from the burning sun.
B. A group of palm trees forms an oasis. Stay together and stand as Christians. Get in and stay in the N.T. church.
1. The oasis provides shade for the weary traveler.
2. Often in the desert, you will find orange and lemon trees growing beneath the shade of the palms grouped together. When we group ourselves together in the church, we provide shade for those weaker than ourselves. This is why Hebrews 10:25 is so important to us. "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together..."
V. THE PALM TREE CAN WITHSTAND ABUSE.
A. The heart of the ordinary tree is dead. The vulnerable area of an ordinary tree is the outside. Hollow, empty-- weed eater.
B. The heart of the palm tree is alive.
1. The life of the palm tree is on the inside.
2. Outward abuse does not affect the life or quality of the palm tree.
3. Because we have life deep within, in our hearts, we are free from sin (Romans 6:17-18). "You hath He quickened..."
C. The life of the child of God is within. II Corinthians 4:16 says, Though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day."