But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God's unfailing love for ever and ever. (Psalm 52:8)
With over a 100 benefits documented in literature regarding the olive, it's no surprise that David, the Psalmist here, compares himself to an olive tree. "The Sisters Olive Trees of Noah" located in Lebanon is said to be the world's oldest living olive tree, around 6000-8000 years old and the average life expectancy of an olive tree is 300-500 years. The olive tree thus serves it's innumerable beneficiaries quite well and similarly David too in his lifetime was one who was a blessing to many. Not only during his earthly life, but even after his death, through the many psalms that he sang and which are placed in the Word of God, he still serves and enriches believers through several generations in many ways. One can identify with the many problems that he faced and find comfort from the fact that, the God who saved and delivered David can do the same in other lives too.
David, the shepherd king of Israel, was indeed like a flourishing olive tree because he trusted in God's unfailing love. His fruitfulness is evident and we must ask ourselves how fruitful we are and how our fruitfulness benefits others.
God chose us to bear fruit and he expects the fruit that we bear to have lasting effects.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit; fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (John 15:16)
How wonderful it is that Jesus gives us a promise and a blessing for bearing fruit that will last.....Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
Lasting fruit can be borne by a believer only by abiding or remaining in Jesus. He says,
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
So then, let's abide continually in Jesus, dear brothers and sisters, so that we bear much fruit and fruit that is lasting, for that will bring glory to our Father in heaven and he, according to Jesus' promise (John 15:16) will answer our prayers.
Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men. (Proverbs 22:29)
The task that you think is difficult maybe easy after all. Just a few steps of learning and there you are. Another skill will be added to your life. But if you do not try or take a single step you become a failure. Failures are not them who try and fail, but them who fail to even try. David was willing to learn and he was transformed from shepherd to shepherd king. It took a while and several heartbreaks, but succeed he did.
Once he felled a giant with a sling and a stone, but then he learned to fight and war with sword and shield and he was victorious then too. For a Christian believer, the Holy Spirit is a good teacher; he not only teaches us the ways of God, but he is there as Counselor to guide us in our daily tasks too. God who sent his Spirit on men in the Old Testament to fight and win wars also anointed men then with special skills to achieve other purposes, like we read in the book of Exodus......Then the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts - to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship. (Exodus 31:1-5)
God can empower you with the Holy Spirit in the daily work or job that you do. Do you think you are a failure when it comes to your job or the work that you do? Pray to the Father in heaven to pour out his Holy Spirit on you. He gives to them who ask. The Holy Spirit of God can empower you like no one else can. As you give yourself in the Spirit's hands, he will do great things through you. You will be a changed person. No more a failure, but a success. And the glory will be God's.
If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:11)
Joshua 24:17 NIV
It was the Lord our God himself who brought us and our parents up out of Egypt, from that land of slavery, and performed those great signs before our eyes. He protected us on our entire journey and among all the nations through which we traveled.
The antivirus that I use on my android mobile usually says, "You are fully protected." Great to hear that, but there may be viruses or other infections that it may fail to detect or control.
In the above verses that we read from the book of Joshua, the Israelites acknowledge the full protection that God Almighty provided them in their entire wilderness journey from Egypt to Canaan. He did not fail them; no, not for a single moment. 40 years of journeying; he was there always for them. Even when they sinned, he did not utterly forsake them. He punished them for their sins, yet had compassion on them.
In your wilderness journey to the Heavenly Canaan, remember that Jesus is always there with you and for you, no matter what your circumstances are.
Trust in him; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
O Lord my God, I take refuge in you; save and deliver me from all who pursue me, or they will tear me like a lion and rip me to pieces with no one to rescue me. (Psalm 7:1, 2)
Ever seen a lion rip its prey to pieces? David, once a shepherd, knew all too well what a lion could do to it's prey and he sees himself in such a helpless situation and cries out for deliverance to the Lord. The title of the Psalm reads....of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning Cush, a Benjamite. Cush was one of the many many enemies that David had but not much details are found in the Word of God regarding this enemy of his. That he was a formidable enemy is for sure, because David compares him to a dangerous lion that was out to tear him apart.
David prays several prayers in this Psalm.....
..Save and deliver me (v.1)
..Arise, O Lord, in your anger; rise up against the rage of my enemies. Awake, my God; decree justice. (v.6)
..Rule over your people from on high (v.7)
..Bring to an end the violence of the wicked and make the righteous secure. (v.9)
He then sings how God is going to deal with his enemies.....their defeat and utter destruction being the eventuality......and ends the Psalm on a high note by singing......I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7:17)
Child of God, if you are being pursued by the enemy, who, you think, will tear you and rip you to pieces, trust in Almighty God, like David did and he will save and deliver you. Nothing is impossible for God. However strong the enemy be, God is stronger and he is able to deliver like no one can.
Remember...The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. (Psalm 32:7)
In several Psalms, David, the psalmist, affirms that God is his hiding place and that God hides him from the enemy. He, for one, knew that unless God protected him, all other protection was of little or no use. He was hunted by his enemies often and sought God as his hiding place.
In Psalm 17, he prays for protection in this manner.....
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings (v.8)
God is Almighty. He is able to protect his children at all times from all the attacks of the evil one. In the prophecy of Daniel, we read of how God closed the mouth of lions and protected his servant Daniel when he was thrown into a den of lions (Daniel Ch.6). Daniel testified...
My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, O king." (Daniel 6:22)
God also protected the 3 Hebrew youths who were thrown in to the fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar because they defied his orders of worshipping his idol (Daniel Ch.3). The king who had ordered that they be thrown in to the fiery furnace later testified....
"Praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who has sent his angel and rescued his servants! They trusted in him and defied the king's command and were willing to give up their lives rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. (Daniel 3:28)
God has not changed. He will deliver you from the attacks of the enemy by sending his angel.
Confess aloud what the Psalmist said when confronted by troubles innumerable and gain victory over your situation this day...
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.(Psalm 27:5)
Yes...God will keep you safe in his dwelling, he will hide you in the shelter of his tabernacle and set you high upon a rock.