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Bearing Fruit…Mature Fruit

“To declare, 

‘Indeed, Righteous is Yahweh!’

‘My Rock!’

‘There is no injustice in him!’

(Psalm 92:16 {verse 15 in English})

Thus, what is the ripe fruit of spiritual maturity? Indeed, it is a declaration of praise that God is righteous and that he is the rock upon which you base your life. It is the declaration that not only that there is no injustice in Him, but that there is nothing unjust in his Word. Thus, that world is followed and obeyed in life … not begrudgingly, but joyfully. And from that joyful obedience flow the many fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, knowledge, virtue, hospitality, generosity, mercy, peacefulness, reasonableness, sincerity, impartiality, obedience, and things like these… (Galatians 5:22-23; Colossians 1:6; 2 Peter 1:5-7; 3 John 8; 2 Corinthians 9:7; James 3:17; John 15:8-11). Indeed, if a tree is known by its fruit (Matthew 7:15-20), this is the fruit that ought to identify our lives as mature and Christian…not the crosses that we wear as decoration or the Jesus-stickers on our cars.

Yet, how often we find people who speak of this on Sunday but completely ignore this on the rest of the days of the week. Trees do not bear one fruit on Sundays and a different fruit the rest of the week…indeed, trees bear fruit the whole season of their maturity. And so shall we. As we began this psalm we highlighted that it was written for the Sabbath. Indeed, it is our Sabbath rest and worship that ought to plant us (as trees) firmly upon the rock of Christ, but so planted, we then engage the rest of our week on the basis of that foundation, not in spite of the foundation laid Sunday morning.

Really Good Fruit

“Even now, they prosper in their gray hair;

They are plump and juicy.”

(Psalm 92:15 {verse 14 in English translations})

While I can’t say that I know anyone who would like to be described as “plump and juicy,” we must remember that the analogy of the tree bearing good fruit is still before us. Thus the “plump and juicy” is a reference to those who are mature in their faith bearing the fruit of faith that is rich and desirable — pleasing to those in their midst. Such fruit, the psalmist reminds us, belongs to the grey hairs in our midst, who have made their lifestyle one marked by walking in faith and obedience.

How radically different the Biblical perception of age is from the current western perception of age. Now in my mid-forties, I am still a comparatively young man (though it definitely depends on who you talk to). Even so, I (and those of my age) often look back and focus on all the things that I am no longer able to do, that I used to be able to do when I was in my twenties. Back when I was a younger man, I was stronger and had better endurance than I do today. In fact, while I was never in the running to win “Athlete of the Year” or anything remotely like that, I was in probably the best shape of my life and I was able to do things then that, when I try to do them now, leave me sore and regretting the action for days. Yet, these are all physical things.

The Bible presents a different picture. The physical is not bad…indeed it has some value (1 Timothy 4:8)…but the spiritual is more profitable for us. Thus, instead of looking back at what we used to be able to do physically, the Bible presents us as looking forward to the spiritual maturity that we will one day have if we remain faithful in our walk of faith. And the gray hairs do not signify wasting away, but instead they signify growth and maturity…dare I say…they are something to be celebrated, not detested. This is the reward for a life of faithfulness. And this is how one grows good fruit…really good fruit.

Enemies shall Perish!

“For behold your enemies, Yahweh!

For behold your enemies shall perish!

All those who do iniquity shall be scattered!

(Psalm 92:10 [verse 9 in English])


Indeed, in the end, all of God’s enemies will be tossed into the lake of fire where they will be tormented forever…bringing an end to their torment of God’s own, their mocking of God’s name, and their flagrant sin and wickedness. In that end, all the enemies of God will know and intimately understand the finality of God’s wrath. And in that time, we will not weep. We will not mourn. We will not grieve. We will celebrate the victory of our Lord and the destruction of his enemies.

Yet, these words are not purely words that speak of the end times. Even in this life, God brings his hand of judgment upon the wicked and scatters them just as he scattered the wicked people who built the tower of Babel. For a season, from our perspective, they seem to prosper, but they are bereft of life and truth. They suffer their own sorrow and loneliness as they seek to find satisfaction in anything but the one who can bring satisfaction to their life. God even gives them over to their wickedness and allows them to become so mired in their wretchedness that they cannot see anything but their sin before their eyes. He robs them of satisfaction and he robs them of rest.

Beloved, we are all so often tempted to envy the wicked and their abundance. Do not be tricked into doing so. Their pleasure is fleeting and their satisfaction is empty. But in Christ, satisfaction is full and pleasure is eternal. Though we may suffer for a season, there is an eternal weight of glory before us that is beyond compare.

Rejoicing in Yahweh’s Divine Actions

“For you make me rejoice constantly, Yahweh, in your divine action; in the works of your hands, I continually exult.”

(Psalm 92:5 [verse 4 in English])


The question that we must raise is whether or not we can really say, with the psalmist that we rejoice and exult in the works of God. On the surface level, our first response is probably to say that we do rejoice in God’s works, but in saying that we need to take a closer look at what we are suggesting. Indeed, it is easy to rejoice in the blessings that God brings into our lives, but what of the trials? What of those times when everything is falling apart and we just cannot figure out which end is up in life? Is it not harder to rejoice in God and exult in his works when such things take place? Yet this, too, is in sight of what the Psalmist is saying.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do, when things fall apart in our lives, is to praise God in the midst of such things. Yet, in times of distress like this, such is what our soul most needs. We need that communion and worship and we need to affirm that God’s work is continually a good thing in my life because it is used to conform me into the image of his Son, Jesus.

One of the great reminders of this principle is the setting aside of the Sabbath day. A day where we join with the body of Christ and worship together — where we even lift one another up in worship, standing in the gap for the brother and sister who is broken and cannot stand (spiritually) on their own feet to do so. That joined with the promise that if we count the Sabbath a delight, God will raise us up from our depths and give us a taste of his glory (Isaiah 58:13-14).

What is Good…

“It is good to praise Yahweh;

To sing to your name, Most High.”

(Psalm 92:2 [verse 1 in English])


Indeed, it is good to give God praise. How often, though, we seek to define for ourselves what is good rather than seeking obedience to God’s word about what is truly good. Scripture tells us that it is good to be in the presence of the godly (Psalm 52:9), to give thanks to our God (Psalm 54:6), to be near God (Psalm 73:28), to be afflicted that we might learn the statutes of God (Psalm 119:71), to wait quietly on the Lord (Lamentations 3:26), to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8), to discern the will of God (Romans 12:2), to not cause a brother to stumble (Romans 14:21), and to remain orthodox in your theology (Hebrews 13:9).

And while we could go on, isn’t it interesting how many of the things listed above take place in the context of our gathered worship on the Sabbath day. We pray, we gather, we sing, we learn the statutes (even sometimes in affliction), and we learn to wait on God’s time and his deliverance from trouble. It indeed is good to praise Yahweh, and not just on the Sabbath day, but with every waking breath and with our rest at night.

And in the context of praise, the psalmist also speaks of singing those praises. The term that we translate here as “sing” is the Hebrew word rmz (zamer), which refers to singing while accompanied by a stringed instrument like a harp or a lyre. It is the root from which the word rOwm◊zIm (mizmor), which is translated as “Psalm” comes from…a reminder that instrumentation is appropriate for the worship of God’s people.

Most High is one of those rich names for God amongst God’s people. It reflects his majesty and the loftiness of his name and person. When the Messiah was announced to Mary by Gabriel, he is referred to as the Son of the Most High, again a reminder of Jesus’ divinity (Luke 1:32). How rich and good it is to sing praises and proclaim the name of our most high God!

“If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your own pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, holy to Yahweh, and honorable; honor it from doing your own things and finding your own pleasure and speaking words, then you shall delight in Yahweh and I will cause you to ride on the high places of the earth; I will feed you with the inheritance of Jacob your father, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.”

(Isaiah 58:13-14)

A Song for the Sabbath

“A Psalm: A Song for the Day of the Sabbath”

(Psalm 92:1 [superscript in English])


That which we identify as Psalm 92 begins with a clear statement of its purpose. It is written for use on the Sabbath day. And, presuming that superscripts are given to us as indicators of purpose and groupings of psalms, it follows that this introduces Psalms 92-97 as a grouping of psalms (given no superscripts until psalm 98) that are all designed for worship on the Sabbath day.

Sadly, in the western world, we have largely lost any sense of the Sabbath’s significance. Stores are open for business (even stores that purport to be Christian stores!), it is often the busiest day of the week for restaurants, amusement parks are open for business, athletic teams are practicing, and there is no abatement in the worldly junk that passes for television entertainment. We fill our lives with so much activity that we are beyond busy and then we buy into the lie that if we just rob ourselves of the Sabbath day and make that day busy as well, then we will find the satisfaction and fulfillment that we crave. Yet, falling into this pattern is a downhill race to self-destruction.

Probably even sadder is that teaching on the Sabbath in our culture is often ignored or avoided because of fears of stepping on toes. Yet, the scriptures have no hesitation about speaking of the Sabbath Day. The other challenge in our culture is that teaching on the Sabbath only tends to be received in terms of negatives and not in terms of positives. People hear “DON’T” and then they shut their minds off and never hear the “DO.” Yet, the scriptures place far more emphasis on the “DO” and the blessing of the Sabbath day. We don’t seem to have a problem hearing the words: “You shall no Murder” or “You shall not commit adultery” but when people hear the Sabbath spoken of, they seem to shut down and miss the blessing of the teaching.

While there are entire books and treatises written on the Sabbath, for the devotions that will follow, we will let this psalm guide our thoughts and hopefully challenge our practices. Though the day of the Sabbath has changed from Saturday to Sunday, the principle behind the Sabbath day remains the same; may the Spirit move our hearts as we reflect and meditate on these words.

“Remember the Day of the Sabbath and continually consecrate it.”

(Exodus 20:8)