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September 12, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“The godly will flourish like palm trees . . .”—Psalm 92:12 (NLT)
Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that God is, among so many other things, an artist. In fact, He is the ultimate artist because He is the ultimate source of all creativity (Genesis 1:1). Keep this aspect of God in mind as we consider . . . the palm tree.
Have you ever considered that the place on the planet where God revealed Himself is dominated by palm trees? Then, as now, the Middle East is closely associated with this particular tree. That’s not by accident. God, as an artist, puts things right where He wants them, and He wanted the region of His revelation riddled with palms.
When we read through the Scriptures, we see that the palm tree was a special reminder for God’s people. As we read above, it represents those who manifest God’s attributes. In Leviticus, palm branches were to be used in the Festival of Tabernacles, which was a celebration of God’s faithfulness (Leviticus 23:40). When Solomon built the Temple, he decorated the walls of the sanctuary with palm trees (1 Kings 6:29). And when God gave the Prophet Ezekiel a vision of the future Kingdom Temple, He also decorated its walls with palm trees (Ezekiel 41:18).
Are you starting to see a connection? The palm tree served as a reminder of God’s presence. Just as fireworks trigger a sense of national independence for Americans, the palm tree triggered a sense of God’s presence in His people.
So it’s understandable why people placed palm branches before Jesus as He entered Jerusalem as its King (John 12:12-13). They also sang from Psalm 118:25-26, which was a confession that Jesus came to them in the name of the Lord. They were recognizing and declaring that God was present and at work in what Jesus was doing.
That was the point of the palm . . . it was a witness to God working through His Son. The Master Artist made sure palms abounded in that place as a perpetual reminder of His presence and power! And in fitting fashion, this witness will even happen in the Lord’s heavenly presence!
“I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands.”—Revelation 7:9 (NLT)
DIG: What does the palm tree represent in Scripture? Why did people bring palm branches when Jesus came into Jerusalem?
DISCOVER: What is a personal reminder to you of God’s presence? Why?
DISPLAY: Be a palm branch today! In your interactions with others, in your attitude, actions, and words, lay yourself down before Jesus and be a witness of God to others.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.