Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fat and Flourishing

In Psalm 92:14, we read, "They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing."

‘Fat’ generally has unpleasant connotations in our day, but in the scriptures, it is almost always a positive image. This particular verse is in reference to the righteous older person. The words 'fat and flourishing' basically mean 'full of sap and green.' This gives the picture of a healthy tree that invites people to sit under it for shade or pick the fruit that is on it.

The righteous individual would be of such character that people will want to be around them. The fruit of righteous living and scripture study will be clearly evident. Others will find that they are given wise, kind and loving words, that they are given encouragement, and that they are given comfort by the older righteous person.

Even in old age there are spiritual fruit that can be produced. By their example and counsel, young people can be encouraged to do what is right. Even though the older person may have many and various physical ailments, they can be very healthy and fruitful spiritually. A big thank you to Grandma Thelma Snarr Nielsen (age 93) for modeling “fat and flourishing” so beautifully for her family and all who know her.


  1. I echo your words of gratitude for Thelma. Tell her thanks from me as well.
    And thanks to you for this wonderful blog.

  2. As you mentioned, young people are encouraged to be righteous through the example and counsel of the older ones.

    This line reminded me also of the tree imagery, where with roots firmly planted and watered, the healthy, full-of-life tree can provide shade and shelter from the heat of the day. In other words, the example and counsel of the righteous elderly can protect us from the trials and challenges (the heat) of our day. How much they know, how wise they are! If only we would sit at their feet, resting, and listen...