(13) Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
(14) They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
“Planted in the house of the Lord.” Isn’t that an interesting phrase? What does it mean? When applying scripture to life, we have to keep in mind that while there is only one interpretation, there are typically many applications. I can see this phrase meaning to be rooted in heaven because the believer has a permanent place established for them there. However, this particular Psalm has aspects of immediate application as well as anticipation for the future.
We should be praising God each day for His provision, and it should lead to joy in our hearts all day long. But, it may be a bit unrealistic to expect those who oppose us to be utterly destroyed right before our eyes in the near future; although that could happen. It is more reasonable to expect the utter destruction of those who oppose God and His followers upon His return. At that time, we will witness them getting what they are due. Before you think that I’m a bit too brutal in my thinking, we will see it happen and the Bible is clear that it will, but our desire should be to see our enemies become fellow Children of God instead of continuing on their path to destruction.
So, I want to focus on the immediate application of verses 13 and 14. The phrase, “planted in the house of the Lord” can be taken to mean those who are established in a local church – those who have put down roots in a local body of believers and are there to produce fruit in that church. The picture painted here is one of someone who has deep commitments to a church, someone who has sunk their supply chain into the resources available to them through fellow believers, and is not easily moved away from the nourishment found there. The church needs more people like this.
The winds of change blow through churches regularly. The floods of controversy and conflict sweep through. Those who are not rooted are damaged and swept away because they have nothing to hold onto. They are the ones who attend sporadically and never get involved in the activities of the church. They may even be Sunday morning only attenders who sit on a pew, but are out the door as soon as the service is over. They have no commitment to the church itself because they don’t fellowship with other believers. They don’t know what’s truly going on in the church, and many times, don’t care. They are open to the influence of rumor and innuendo because they don’t know the heart of the other members.
Those who are rooted in the church not only take from it, but give back to it. “They shall still bring forth fruit.” They supply the needs of others in the church. They provide sustenance to those who visit either looking for a new church or those looking for a Savior. They produce fruit through the influence of the Holy Spirit. Any thriving church must have some who are exhibiting the special characteristics given to them by the Holy Spirit. Without them, the church eventually dwindles away.
But, notice the next part of that phrase, “in old age.” Spiritual fruit can be produced at any age. Sold-out teenagers have an influence on people around them for the benefit and glory of God. Young couples, and those with young families, have the energy of youth to be involved in activities; and that energy is a blessing when it is directed to benefit the church. But this passage makes it clear that there is no retirement age to producing spiritual fruit. Those who have served their entire lives have experience and wisdom they can pass along to those coming up to take their place. Everyone has talents and abilities that they can use to benefit the church. There is no expiration date on those.
A vibrant and growing church must have members who are rooted – unmovable with the influences of the world – and willing to continue to produce spiritual fruit in whatever way they can. At your age, whatever it is, are you using your God-give abilities as He would want?