Destiny of Grass vs Cedars

Scripture Focus: Psalm 92.4-7, 12-13
For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!
Senseless people do not know,
fools do not understand,
that though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.

12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, 
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 
13 planted in the house of the LORD, 
they will flourish in the courts of our God. 

Reflection: Destiny of Grass vs Cedars
By John Tillman

There are purposes for the flourishing of the wicked and one of them is that one day the world will see them fall. 

The success of the wicked is like grass that will spring up and then be destroyed. There are purposes for suffering and lowliness and one of them is that one day the world will see the humble exalted. The righteous are not likened to grass but to a “cedar of Lebanon” planted in God’s house. The cedar and the grass may seem a similar height when they sprout, but the cedar’s growth and longevity are much different. 

The psalmist recognizes that wickedness will often flourish in this world. So should we. The writer sees through the illusion that worldly power and success indicate heavenly endorsement. So should we. Whether prospering or suffering, thriving or failing, surviving or dying, gains in this world are meaningless.

The psalmist testifies that senseless people, fools, do not understand this. So we should ask God for wisdom, and he will answer us with understanding.

We should cry out to God to deal with the wicked according to his justice, but let us not wish for a tit-for-tat God. If we got what we deserved, all would be destroyed.

We should praise God for what he has done, but not only for seeing the wicked brought low. We should praise him that despite our wickedness we can be raised up in the righteousness of Christ. 

It is only in emptying ourselves in confession that we can be filled with his righteousness. There is joy and love that God has for us in Christ Jesus. 

The wicked will fall because they will not kneel before Christ. When we fall to our knees in repentance, there is strength to lift us up, carrying us to sanctification. Our arms are too short to grasp what we need but Christ is the arm of the Lord. This powerful arm, bared before the nations, is never too short to save

With the psalmist, may we sing for joy at what his hands have done, working righteousness, showing mercy, and being with us in suffering.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
You are my hiding place…you surround me with shoults of deliverance. — Psalm 32.8

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime by Phyllis Tickle

Today’s Readings
Ezekiel 41  (Listen – 4:40)
Psalm 92-93 (Listen – 2:09)

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Compassionate God, we are sinners in need of forgiveness. The emptiness within us can only be filled by your love.

Read more about The Thriving Tree
Our path to salvation and restoration follows the steps of the suffering, crucified servant, Jesus.

King of My Heart :: Worldwide Prayer

Psalm 92.1-3
It is good to praise the Lord
   and make music to your name, O Most High,
proclaiming your love in the morning
   and your faithfulness at night,
to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
   and the melody of the harp.

Reflection: King of My Heart :: Worldwide Prayer
By John Tillman

The prayers that form the psalms are the emotional heart of our scriptures. It is no mistake that worship is a time of poetry, music, and art.

This simple, poetic prayer from Canada leaves no doubt that our source and supply for life, for freedom, for healing, for guidance, and for strength is in Christ. Christ is our King of Kings and stands with us through whatever we face.

How true it is that our human striving, cannot compete with the life Christ won for us through his death. May we never stop praising him for that. One of the gifts of poetry is brevity and this prayer brings that gift as well.

Prayer for strength from Canada
God of all gods
I tried, you died
King of them all
Stand by my side

King of my heart
You hear my call
Holder of hands
Cushion my fall

Lord of my life
Your strength I seek
Best friend indeed
Guide me, I’m weak

Love of my life
Oh what a treat
Precious Redeemer
Your face to meet

Prayer: The Greeting
You are my hope, O Lord God, my confidence since I was young.
I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength; my praise shall be always of you. — Psalm 46.11

– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.

Today’s Readings
Deuteronomy 9 (Listen – 5:06) 
Psalm 92-93 (Listen – 2:09) 

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It is not all right to be a Christian. And if we ask why, the answer is a sad one; Christians have given Christianity a bad name.

Read more about Artful Prayers
One of the reasons that the psalms are so engaging to any reader of God’s Word is that they are works of art and carry with them the inherent timelessness that great artworks possess.