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The righteous has a guaranteed promise because of this great gift, righteousness, which is a divine nature. So we can set our expectations on the basis of the promise in a way that will always ensure the establishment in our lives.

Reference: Psalm 92:12-15 New International Version (NIV) "The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, "The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him."

The second promise the Psalmist analysed in the above verse is: "The righteous will grow like a cedar of Lebanon." Two main expressions are used to describe the cedar of Lebanon, one of which is a symbol of wealth and the other, a symbol of luxury and both of them are true. Although some famous poets and artist have used it as an emblem of strength and eternity, Cedar is recorded to have been used throughout the Scriptures, especially in the Old testament as a symbol of wealth and luxury. For instance, the Bible says, "And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies was with him. Then King Hiram of Tyre sent messengers to David, along with cedar timber and carpenters and stonemasons, and they built David a palace. And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel" (2 Samuel 5:10-12 NLT).

The king of Tyre sent messengers to David, carpenters and masons, to construct his palace, which was panelled with cedar woods, giving his kingship world prominence. Solomon also sent a message to the same King, Hiram the king of Tyre, to send him cedar logs as he did for his father, David, when he sent him cedar timber to build the palace he lived in. The Bible says, "Solomon gave orders to build a temple for the Name of the Lord and a royal palace for himself. He conscripted 70,000 men as carriers and 80,000 as stonecutters in the hills and 3,600 as foremen over them. Solomon sent this message to Hiram king of Tyre: "Send me cedar logs as you did for my father David when you sent him cedar to build a palace to live in. Now I am about to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God and to dedicate it to him for burning fragrant incense before him, for setting out the consecrated bread regularly, and for making burnt offerings every morning and evening and on the Sabbaths, at the New Moons and at the appointed festivals of the Lord our God. This is a lasting ordinance for Israel. The temple I am going to build will be great, because our God is greater than all other gods" (2 Chronicles 2:1-5 NIV).

In fact, King Solomon made cedar as plentiful as sycamore-fig trees in the foothills, because the abundance of cedar conveys a sign of prosperity (1 King 10:27 NIV; 2 Chronicles 1:15). Beloved, cedar trees are greatly beloved and cherished, just the same way the righteous are greatly loved by God. And this is the same tree the Lord compared the growth of the righteous with. How does the Cedar tree grow? They grow in strength with a resinous wood surface and a beautifully perceived aroma like a spicy scent. The leaves are evergreen with solid, wide-spread branches that flatten out as they mature. Their growth is significant and majestic in beauty because as they spring up, they grow tall and lofty like a tower on high, with leaves that are needle-like in shape and arranged into spirals. And they are specially recognised by their flat tops, with a splendid view of stretching branches that shoot up horizontally, overshadowing the forest.

The Lord ensures the growth of the righteous like Cedar trees through His grace bestowed on them which exemplifies the glorious quality of this nature - righteousness, and our ability to tap into its glorious riches. So our union with Christ and the manifestation of His grace are evidenced by our spiritual growth. When we give ourselves to the knowledge of the word, we receive the ability to grow in grace and get nourished like the Cedar of Lebanon. Shalom!

Scripture Reading - Psalm 80:10; Psalm 104:16; Isaiah 14:8; Ezekiel 27:5.

Exuberant Declaration: I grow in strength like the Cedar of Lebanon and my growth is established on the bare height, like the height of cedars, beautiful in its greatness and spreading abroad by the power of the Spirit. I spring up in the midst of the valleys, well-grounded and rooted in a pool and fountain of eternal water, which is the Word of God. Hallelujah!


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