Sunday School Lessons

Appreciating and Being God’s Creation

The last four verses of Psalm 92 remind me of an earlier study of Psalm 1, describing some of what what God can – and often does – provide for the righteous.  Described using a metaphor of trees in Psalm 92, the righteous are strong, healthy, and productive, even when it seems like time should have taken a toll on them.

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The LORD is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
Psalms 92:12‭-‬15 NIV

I find it interesting in verse 13 that these trees are described as being in God’s house.  I have traditionally thought of the temple as being largely made of stone, maybe with gold decorations, but what if there were lots of plants around it and throughout its courtyard?

The Lookout (a study guide cited below) suggests that this is just a metaphor, and maybe the author of the Lookout is correct.  However, wouldn’t plants and trees make a house of worship a richer, more pleasant place to be?  What if people – including us – didn’t glorify God in a building that was merely built for Him (even if certain parts of it were made to His specifications), but one where His glory would also be seen in His creativity of the natural world, too?  (In fact, I suspect that many churches already incorporate this as they put flowers on a table in front of the sanctuary.)

I wonder if the Western idea of keeping the “indoors” separate from the “outdoors” has caused us to miss out on worship experiences that those who praise God among His creation continue to enjoy.  Whether a Christian is praising God on the savannas of Africa, among the mountains of Switzerland, in the jungles of Southeast Asia, or anywhere else outdoors in the world, I believe that we should probably pause to worship Him within His creation, and not only in buildings.

Don’t get me wrong: I help sweep the floor in our kitchen from time to time, so I’m not saying that we all need to live in a tent, but once my wife brought in the plants from her greenhouse last Fall, it can feel like living in a conservatory (or a jungle!), and I’ve found that it’s actually pretty nice, even for an “indoor parent” like me.

So, do you want to be healthy – to “thrive” (per NASB, v14) – in advanced age?  Let’s go back to verse 12 and ask who the person is who experiences this blessing?  It is one who is “righteous”, and verse 10 reminds us that God is the one who provides this gift.

Finally, what is the end result of the success of the righteous person?  God is further praised and honored.  Thus, we find that the psalm starts with a pronouncement in verse 1 (to praise God) and – through God’s grace – the righteous can do exactly that in verse 15.

Enjoy some of God’s creation today, if you can, and don’t forget to praise Him for it, too!

From Sunday School lesson prepared for October 30, 2022


  • The Lookout, October 30, 2022, © 2022 Christian Standard Media.
  • Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
  • Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.
  • The College Press NIV Commentary, Psalms, Volume 2, Walter D. Zorn, © 2004, College Press Publishing Co., Joplin, MO.

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