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The 40 Shades of Green

“The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree,
He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Planted in the house of the LORD,
They will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green.”
Psalm 92:12-14 (NASB)

‘The Forty Shades of Green’ is a term associated with the beautiful island where I live. It originated in 1959 when Johnny Cash wrote a song of that name while on a trip to Ireland. This land is known as the Emerald Isle, and renowned for the ‘Wearing of the Green’. I’m not sure if there are forty shades of green here. I remember from art school that there are different shades of green such as viridian, olive, mint, jade, lime, apple, avocado, bottle green, emerald, Cadmium Green and Prussian Green. But forty?

The colour green represents freshness, life, flourishing, fruitfulness, vibrancy and being full of sap. It reminds me of Psalm 92 where the righteous are described in verse 14 as being “full of sap and very green”. How does this happen? It tells us in the previous verse, “…they will flourish in the courts of our God.” It is in His courts, in His presence, that we flourish! It is in close relationship to Him. No wonder the Psalmist said in Psalm 84:

How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
For the courts of the LORD;
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God…
Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.
Psalm 84:10 (NIV)

We flourish and stay fresh and green when we are vitally connected with our Lord, abiding in His word and walking in His ways. Without Him, we can neither live nor grow, much less will we flourish and bear fruit! But notice in our Psalm today the lovely words “flourish”, “fruit” and “full of sap”.

Stay fresh and green. Stay connected.

Father, Thank you that all life and wholeness are in You. May I be so deeply connected within You and abiding in Your Word that I will bear much fruit for Your glory. I don’t just want to exist, I want to flourish! Amen.

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