As the author of this Psalm seeks to illustrate in the most vivid way how extravagantly favored we are, he claims that they (the righteous) “shall grow as a cedar in Lebanon” (v12). First, he states that we flourish (v12). Then he says, we shall grow, (v12); We are planted (v13) and that we shall bring forth fruit (v14). There is no stopping the righteous. You may not like them, but the righteous according to His unchangeable word, are destined to flourish and thrive even when life seems against them, they rise.
The prophetic word declares “.. . . he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon”(v12). Concerning the cedar in Lebanon, apart from other impressive qualities, it is revealed that the cedar tree symbolizes Resilience, Immortality, Strength and Elevation. When placed together, the initial letter of these four words, spell the word RISE. The righteous Rise, they keep on rising. They cannot be held down or suppressed forever. Like their resurrected Lord they rise and in spite of all the hardships and oppositions of this lie, they thrive. They keep on rising and there is nothing the enemy of their souls can do about it.
As we have seen and learned from our salvation history, we are indeed Resilient. If nothing else was proven or has been deduced from 2020 – is that we are resilient. I think I speak for many when I say that this has been an “annus horribilis” – a most terrible year! How the demons of darkness raged, determined more than ever to sink and destroy every single one of us – but praise be to God, we are still here – stronger and more resolved to fight back and win! Stretched beyond measure, we recovered and shall continue to recover from every illness, depression, adversity, trouble, heartache, pain or grief! We bounce back. We are the resilient ones! Somebody needs to know, the devil needs to know, we shall rebound! Hallelujah!
Immortality has been deposited within us. Like the psalmist we keep on declaring “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord” (Psalm 118:17). We have indeed fellowshipped pain, but somehow we know that pain does not have the last word. Life, the life placed within us, prevails. We shall remember that God has designed and decreed, “life” upon us. Not made to die, we therefore live. In Him life and immortality have been brought to light (2Timothy 1:10). Death has been abolished. Yes, we are the immortal ones! Therefore let us live and live abundantly (John 10:10)!
Strength is ours in Him. Like the cedar tree, we are strong. The word resoundingly declares “. . . let the weak say, I am strong.” (Joel 3:10). Honestly Saints, now is no time for weakness! We renounce weakness! Every notion of weakness and puniness is summarily dismissed and militated against in Jesus’ Name. We are strong in Jesus’ might and power.
In Him we experience Elevation. We are gloriously made to sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus our Lord, through His glorious resurrection and exaltation. No longer from the earth-realm, we daily understand the implications of what it means to be citizens of the heavenly Kingdom, far above principalities and powers and might and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come (Ephesians 1:21). We climb mountains. We Rise! Growing like the cedars of Lebanon, we triumphantly, persistently Rise! Raised up with Him, we continue to Rise in 2020 and in this brand New Year 2021.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Bishop – Northeast Region
December 12, 2020
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region