“But I am a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever. I will thank you forever, because you have done it. I will wait for your name, for it is good, in the presence of the godly.”
The psalmist has been speaking of the evil man, who boasts in evil things which do not endure, who will be uprooted by God Himself, because he would not take refuge in Him, instead trusting in his own riches, which are indeed his own destruction. But on the other hand you have the man who has taken refuge in God, who has known (experienced) His steadfast love, which alone endures all the day. This man is the one who is a green olive tree: growing, flourishing, and bearing fruit, in the very presence of God. That is his dwelling place, where there is fullness of joy & pleasures evermore (psalm 16:11).
The next statement is the answer to why he is a growing olive tree. Because he trusts in the steadfast love of the Lord. That word trust is big. He knows that God’s love will not fail him, it has been proven over and over that it won’t. There is hope in that trust, that no matter what else is happening, how many “loves” entice or encircle him, God’s love is greater and stronger and endures it all, therefore this man, too, can endure. God’s love is the only thing that is eternal. So it is the only thing that we can trust, both in life and in death. God’s love endures.
And our only response to this can be thankfulness. God has done it–He has lavished His love over us. And He has established us as that tree, able to rely and depend upon His love forever and ever. Is it still hard? Yes. Winter still comes and tries to steal every ounce of life. But His love endures. We must rejoice in this, with thanksgiving. We must believe this victory we have in His love, that it is not to enslave us, but to set us free. Free from sin, and free to love Him back. Free to live in relationship with Him constantly. Nothing else brings us freedom like He does.
So we wait on His name. On the manifestation of His character (thank you, Joseph A. Alexander, for that beautiful definition of name). We have expectation in that name, because it has been proven to us, as “good.” So we wait in it. We hope in it. We are not disappointed or dismayed, because when we place hope in God, it will not put us to shame (Romans 5). I decided as I read this morning, to look up the word “good.” I love definitions. And this one BLEW ME AWAY (note the emphasis there)! The very first definition of “good” is this….. “to be desired.” Wow. Yes. Do I desire Him above all else? His name, His very character, is good, it is to be desired. So I am living in that desire? Or am I living in my own flesh’s desires…whatever those desires may be, the desire for Him MUST be stronger, deeper, greater. That is only achieved by depending on Him more. Oh how I am praying for this to ring true in my heart.
“Take my heart, Lord, take and seal it, seal it for Thy courts above.”
And that last phrase…”in the presence of the godly.” This morning, in class (Exegesis of Jeremiah/Ezekiel), I just became more & more aware of the lack of true relationship in the community of faith (big-C Church)–both between people & God and people with each other, in community. We need true community with each other. To spur each other on. I talked with 2 separate friends over the past 12 hours, and all 3 of us are struggling with this whole “desiring God and being satisfied in His love alone” thing. We must pray for each other and talk with each other, openly & honestly about this stuff. But only after praying and pouring out our struggles and hearts before God (psalm 62:8). He’s the only one who really gets our hearts, and usually after we talk to Him, not others, we get a better picture of our hearts to be able to share with our friends about how God is speaking to us.
Jeremiah 12:3 “But you, O LORD, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you…”
1st John 3:20 “…for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.”