Now Playing: Are we truly flourishing in our lives?
Any farmer or gardener can tell you about when their efforts flourish or result in a disappointing outcome. Much intricate effort goes in to every stage of the process. Ploughing, tilling, planting, watering, weeding, hedging, are all part of the process, well before the final outcome. Today we will look at some verses in scripture about what does and does not flourish.
David wrote in the Psalms, "(v.5) They shall fear thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations. (v.6) He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass: as showers that water the earth. (v.7) In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. (v.8) He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. (v.9) They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. (v.10) The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents: the kings of Sheba and Seba shall offer gifts. (v.11) Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him. (v.12) For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. (v.13) He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. (v.14) He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight. (v.15) And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised(v.16) There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. (v.17) His name shall endure for ever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in Him: all nations shall call Him blessed. (v.18) Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, who only doeth wondrous things. (v.19) And blessed be His glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with His glory; Amen, and Amen." (Psalm 72:5-19)
"(v.1) IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH: (v.2) To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, (v.3) Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. (v.4) For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands. (v.5) O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep. (v.6) A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this. (v.7) When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: (v.8) But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore. (v.9) For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. (v.10) But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil. (v.11) Mine eye also shall see my desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me. (v.12) The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (v.13) Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. (v.14) They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; (v.15) To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him." (Psalm 92:1-15)
Solomon recorded in the Proverbs, "(v.24) There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. (v.25) The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. (v.26) He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it. (v.27) He that diligently seeketh good procureth favour: but he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him. (v.28) He that trusteth in his riches shall fall; but the righteous shall flourish as a branch. (v.29) He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart. (v.30) The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." (Proverbs 11:24-30)
Solomon also wrote in the book of Ecclesiastes, "(v.1) Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; (v.2) While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain: (v.3) In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, (v.4) And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low; (v.5) Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets: (v.6) Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern." (Ecclesiastes 12:1-6)
He also wrote, "(v.10) I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me. (v.11) Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. (v.12) Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves." (Song of Solomon 7:10-12)
The prophet Isaiah warned, "(v.7) At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect to the Holy One of Israel. (v.8) And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images. (v.9) In that day shall his strong cities be as a forsaken bough, and an uppermost branch, which they left because of the children of Israel: and there shall be desolation. (v.10) Because thou hast forgotten the God of thy salvation, and hast not been mindful of the rock of thy strength, therefore shalt thou plant pleasant plants, and shalt set it with strange slips: (v.11) In the day shalt thou make thy plant to grow, and in the morning shalt thou make thy seed to flourish: but the harvest shall be a heap in the day of grief and of desperate sorrow. (v.12) Woe to the multitude of many people, which make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! (v.13) The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind." (Isaiah 17:7-13)
"(v.12) For thus saith the LORD, 'Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. (v.13) As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem.' (v.14) And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. (v.15) For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. (v.16) For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many. (v.17) 'They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine's flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together,' saith the LORD. (v.18) For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory." (Isaiah 66:12-18)
The prophet Ezekiel anticipated, "(v.22) Thus saith the Lord GOD; 'I will also take of the highest branch of the high cedar, and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will plant it upon an high mountain and eminent: (v.23) In the mountain of the height of Israel will I plant it: and it shall bring forth boughs, and bear fruit, and be a goodly cedar: and under it shall dwell all fowl of every wing; in the shadow of the branches thereof shall they dwell. (v.24) And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD have brought down the high tree, have exalted the low tree, have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree to flourish: I the LORD have spoken and have done it'." (Ezekiel 17:22-24)
May the Lord give us each to flourish in our spiritual lives and bear fruit for Him!
Work in progress...