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Wednesday, December 07 2022

Contributor: Alex Kokobili

INTRODUCTION
The study of God’s righteousness is inexhaustible as its exposures us to numerous dimensions of His essence and its associated benefits. The emphasis on fruitfulness in the previous lesson gives us clarity on enjoying the blessings of God’s righteousness by living a fruitful life. Fruitfulness brings transgenerational benefits because each fruit contains multiple seeds with the potential to give life to others (John 15: 5-8). Righteousness is a race that comes with both earthly and spiritual great rewards “Psalm 5:12 For thou, Lord, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield”.
Today’s study expands the previous discussion on fruitfulness dwelling on the concept of progress as part of the blessing of righteousness. Both fruitfulness and progress are synonymous with each other based on contextual application.

Psalm 92: 12 “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon”.

Righteousness is aligning rightly with God’s way of life. This is the direction of holiness, purity, and obedience. You cannot attain holiness, purity, and obedience without God’s righteousness in you. i.e., It is God’s own way of doing things and not how we feel things should be done. The focus on PROGRESS in relation to the life of a righteous person insinuates advancement in diverse spheres of life without stagnation. Most often we hear people saying “As poor as a church rat” which is idiomatically used to link poverty with followers of the Christian faith due to some emphasis on pious living by certain groups. However, the scriptures tell us about the great gain of Godliness (1 Tim 6: 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain) and we further see that righteousness also comes with the gain of life and honour (Proverbs 21: 21 Whoever pursues righteousness and love finds life, prosperity, and honour).

THE BLESSINGS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS AND PROGRESS
PART A. Psalm 92: 12a (The Righteous Shall Flourish Like A Palm Tree)

• God recognizes the righteous: The first benefit of living in God’s righteousness is being recognized by the Lord Himself (Psalm 1: 6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish). The blessing of God’s recognition is weightier than any material gratification. Based on these promises God is able to commit unto the righteous all other forms of blessings that pertain to our comfort and sustainability because He knows it will bring Him glory (Mathew 6: 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you).

• The righteous shall flourish (Psalm 92: 12a). Flourish refers to a wholesome development void of deadness or corrupt cells. It means a righteous man experiences
an unusual pace and pattern of life likened to the PALM TREE (The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree).

The symbolism of the Blessedness of the Righteous and the PALM TREE
• The palm tree was symbolic in its inscription in the sanctuary that housed the Ark of Covenant in Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 6: 29-31).

• The palm tree was symbolic as a way of honour in Jewish culture. John 12: 12- 13 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: “Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!’ The King of Israel!”

• The palm tree is an embodiment of fresh life, productivity, prosperity, fertility, etc.
o Psalm 1: 2-3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3He 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.

Part B. Psalm 92: 12b The Righteous Shall Grow Like A Cedar In Lebanon (Progression)
• The cedar tree has a strong ability to resist moisture, and decay and it is extremely durable for construction and furniture. Though the cedar tree might not grow as fast as so many others it will outlive most trees without losing its integrity and glory.

• The cedar was also used by the priest for burning incense to God in the Old Testament (Leviticus 14) due to its aromatic fragrance and also the rebuilding of Jerusalem the temple (Ezra 3:7) by those who were in captivity from Lebanon under Cyrus.

• The blessings of the righteous will be distinct and visible as the gigantic cedar. The cedar tree is always very visible and it gives coverage and comfort to other trees in the woods. No wonder when cedars are cut down in the forest smaller trees will be exposed to crosswind and the aggressive side of nature. In the same manner, the blessings of the righteous stand out in grace, comfort, mercy, favour, health, finances, etc.

• The fall of Egypt was like the cutting down of a giant cedar! What a Shame.

Ezekiel 31: 3 – 8
Indeed Assyria was a cedar in Lebanon, With fine branches that shaded the forest, And of high stature; And its top was among the thick boughs. 4 The waters made it grow; Underground waters gave it height, With their rivers running around the place where it was planted, And sent out rivulets to all the trees of the field. 5 ‘Therefore its height was exalted above all the trees of the field; Its boughs were multiplied, And its branches became long because of the abundance of water, As it sent them out. 6 All the birds of the heavens made their nests in its boughs; Under its branches all the beasts of the field brought forth their young; And in its shadow all great nations made their home. 7 ‘Thus it was beautiful in greatness and in the length of its branches, Because its roots reached to abundant waters. 8 The cedars in the garden of God could not hide it; The fir trees were not like its boughs,
and the chestnut trees were not like its branches; No tree in the garden of God was like it in beauty.

Part C. The Blessings Of Righteousness And The Nationhood Of Abraham
The righteous are considered God’s representative on earth. The righteous shall glow as long we remain in God’s concentration exponentially, numerically, geometrically, spiritually, unto quantum Infinitum until eternity to the fullness of likeness and image of God.
Proverbs 14: 34 - tells us that righteousness elevates a nation and brings a nation into prosperity, but sin is a reproach to any people. God considers the ability of the righteous as having the ability and capacity of a NATION. Also in 1 Peter 2: 9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

This metaphoric usage of a nation represents unique people with its cultural institution, an embodiment of prosperity, etc. The nations become the coordination of our civilization. This is the magnitude of value that God sees in those who live in righteousness.

• God’s promise to bless Abram by making him a great nation provided he (Abraham) followed His righteousness and guidance.
Genesis 12: 1- 3 The LORD had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.

• Abram’s faith in God was a testimony of righteousness.
Genesis 15: 6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness. Like Abraham, the first hunger for righteousness is for us to please God without putting ourselves in the equation or trying to seek profit from God.

Righteousness is the testimony of Jesus Christ!
Hebrews 1: 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. (Psalm 45: 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions). Philippians 3:9 - And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.
We have to acknowledge the testimony of Christ in relation to how He prospered in His assignment of redemption of humanity due to righteousness.

• The righteous man like Abraham is able to access God’s agenda due to intimacy.
Gen 18: 17 The LORD said, “Shall I keep secret from Abraham [My friend and servant] what I am going to do). The testimony of righteousness is greater than any material substance because it is only.

• God helps the righteous man to overcome defeat for the purpose of reigning in God’s righteousness (Proverbs 24: 16 For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again). We see things we Abraham erred (Genesis 16: 4) by having an affair with Hagar his wife’s maid. However, we will later discover God’s mercy and help showed forth urging Abraham back to righteousness – (Genesis 17: 1 “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect”).

• The blessings of the righteous are generational, transferable, and quantum Infinitum. This is the Abrahamic blessing that we enjoy today because God willed this type of blessing to Abraham and his seed forever.
Galatians 3: 6-9 Just as Abraham “believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 7 Therefore know that only those who are of faith are sons of Abraham. 8 And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.

CONCLUSION
As believers, the reward of righteousness may seem unpopular but it is worth living for (Mathew 6: 33). As we serve God, He will also and always make His blessings available to God at each journey of our life. Let us be reminded in accordance with Proverbs 34: 4 that righteousness exalts and elevates a nation and as long as we keep in such part, we become a city with blessings that cannot be hidden shining forth His glory (Mathew 5:14-16).

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:31 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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