Psalm 92 is known as, “A song for the sabbath day”. It is recited by the Jewish people no less then three times during the Sabbath. Once at night to usher in Sabbath, and twice the following morning. This Psalm is a beautiful expression of praise to God and His wonderful works. But what struck me the most, was verse 14. “They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green.”
My Grandmother died when she was 92. Her life revolved around her love for God and her desire to serve Him. And she did so faithfully. When she was struck with dementia and had to go to an assisted care facility, it broke her heart that she could no longer serve the way she used to. It was in those times that I had to remind her that God still had a purpose for her. She had more “conforming to His image” to do (Romans 8:29), and more “glorifying God” to do (Psalm 86:12). And although she might not be physically able to serve as she had before, she could still be an example to others by bearing the fruit of, “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control”, (Gal. 5:22). No physical infirmity can stop the Spirit of God from working in us and through us.
Bodies grow old and frail, but God wants us to bear fruit as long as we live on this earth. Psalm 92 mentions two strong trees; the palm and the cedar. Both are known for vitality in old age. A tree that is carefully planted and cultivated may be expected to live long, and to bear fruit when it is old. Even if it’s cut down, the tree can resprout and the new growth can develop leaves and provide the roots with the fuel to continue growing. And just as certain crops improve as the tree ages, years of a faithful walk with Jesus will yield a greater harvest.
An older woman is a blessing from God to those around her. Her wisdom, experience, counsel, and prayers are beneficial to all. And she is to share her gifts freely and eagerly. Titus 2:3-5 instructs, “Older women are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husband, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.”
Psalm 92 assures us that the blessings of God are not reserved only for the young. We are promised that those who walk in righteousness will flourish like the palm tree, grow like a cedar in Lebanon, and the most wonderful of all, be planted in the house of the Lord. There we will flourish in the courts of our God, and be full of sap and very green.
I love what President George H.W. Bush once said about getting older. He said, “Satchel Paige was right when he said, ‘Don’t look over your shoulder. Something might be gaining on you.’ So I look forward. I want to give something back. I want to live life to its fullest. Every night Barbara and I say our prayers and we count our many blessings and we give thanks to God.” And that’s a good place to end; where Psalm 92 begins. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.”