St Patrick was born in Britain in the 4th century AD. It is believed that as a young man, Patrick was kidnapped and taken into slavery to Ireland. He claimed that his escape from Ireland and his eventual return to Britain was based upon God’s instructions, given to him in a dream. After his return to Britain, he began to study for the Catholic priesthood.
Later in life, as a Catholic bishop, Patrick said that he was called to return to Ireland to win over the Irish who held a belief in many Gods. It is believed that he used the shamrock to illustrate the doctrine of the trinity.
Although originally being associated with the color blue, gradually green became the representative color for St Patrick’s Day. It is believed the color green has been associated with the celebration due to the color of the shamrock and the green vegetation found in Ireland. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick’s_Day
The symbolic use of the color green is not limited to the St Patrick’s Day holiday. In the Bible the color green is often associated with a state of blessing from Almighty God. Psalm 52:8-9 is one example of this usage…
Ps 52:8-9 (KJV)
8But I [am] like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.9I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done [it]: and I will wait on thy name; for [it is] good before thy saints.
In Psalm 52:8-9, we find King David reflecting on his blessed life and the origin of those blessings…
But I [am] like a green olive tree in the house of God:
Here David is recognizing the blessed conditions of his life. He describes being blessed greatly as being “like a green olive tree”. Here, “green” is symbolically describing his flourishing life. As a green tree is filled with health and life; so too, David was thriving having both his physical and, especially, his spiritual needs supplied by His God.
I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.
David, as he recounts his many blessings from God, now looks ahead in faith. He realizes that the Lord can be relied upon for his future physical and his spiritual needs, just as He had met David’s past needs.
The bestowing of God’s blessings is based upon His mercy.
We, as fallen creation, are destined for eternal separation from God. This is because sin cannot enter into God’s presence. However, based upon the mercy of God we can receive forgiveness of our sins and live an eternity with Him. How did our God do this? He sent His Son to take the debt of sin and separation from God upon Himself so that we can live an eternity with Him.
This is all a part of how God had shown mercy to David. This is why David said that he would trust God’s mercy forever. It was because of God’s great mercy to Him that his eternity was now secure, knowing that he had been forgiven of his sins. Once he knew his eternity was secure based on the Messiah’s work. allowing him to enjoy the blessings of God in his physical life on earth and his spiritual walk with the Lord.
I will praise thee for ever, because thou hast done [it]:
David is dedicated to praise and honor his Lord because of all his Lord had done for Him.
and I will wait on thy name;
David continues by vowing to seek His will and obey his Lord. His Lord was going to sacrifice His Son so that David would receive forgiveness. David is now simply offering to be faithful servant based upon all the Lord has done for him.
for [it is] good before thy saints
Faithfully serving God, affects the lives of the saints. It sets a Godly example and is an encouragement and strength to the saints (throughout the Bible a “saint” is describing anyone who has been forgiven of their sins).
THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION
For those who have trusted in Christ…
As we see the “wearing of the green” on this St Patrick’s Day, let all of us be reminded of our blessed life based upon God’s mercy to us. Once reminded of God’s mercy shown to us, let’s appreciate His workings by taking advantage of the opportunities that He places before us. When we have the opportunity, lets be a good example and encouragement to others who have trusted in Christ. This means being careful, even on St Patricks Day, to set a Godly example of holiness in living as others see our lives of faith.
For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
For those who have never trusted in Christ…
This St Patrick’s Day, can hold a new greater meaning for our lives. By recognizing our need of His blessings of mercy upon our lives, and then looking to Him in faith; we can experience the greatest of all His blessings, the forgiveness of our sins.
Trusting in Christ is, basically, handing over our life to Him. It is an action that declares that we know we can do nothing to obtain the forgiveness of our sins. Our turning our life over to Him is an act of faith, trusting Him to forgive our sins and make our future secure through Christ’s work on the cross. It is also coming to a realization that He is Lord of our life and, therefore, we will be submitting to His authority and dedicating our life to fulfill His will.”
May the Lord bless you as you seek His salvation and seek His Lordship for your life.
1Pet 2:21-25 (KJV)
For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed [himself] to him that judgeth righteously: Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
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