Sunday July 26, 2020
Jeremiah had a very compassionate heart for his people and prayed for them even when the Lord told him not to do so. Yet he delivered a harsh word to a rebellious people, having only their best interest at heart. He knew that God was a God of covenant and that breaking that covenant would bring destruction. But he also stressed that obeying the covenant would bring amazing blessing. These verses reveal the promise of an everlasting covenant…one of planting, deep roots, and fruit bearing…a tree-mendous promise! See WORD WISDOM for a deeper study of delivered)
There are over fifty different trees mentioned in the Bible. Each one had a specific purpose and function, perhaps even a destiny. Certainly, the tree on which Jesus was crucified was planted and grown for that very reason.
Through Jeremiah, the Lord calls those who trust in Him “trees planted by waters.” But what kind of tree are we supposed to be? Shade trees? Fruit trees? Evergreen trees? Some of us might be mighty oaks while others are weeping willows. Some of us have deep roots and yet others have a shallow root system. So which tree are we supposed to be? I think the answer is: many different trees.
As we look at “biblical” trees, we will see a beautiful tapestry of revelation and a divine insight into the eternal significance of all creation. If each natural tree had a divine purpose, so should we, as spiritual tress, have an even greater kingdom purpose. So let me show you some trees.
Balsam tree (Gen.37:25, Jer.8:22) – this tree produces healing balm.
Algum tree (1 Kin.10:11-12, 2 Chr.9:10-11) – this tree has a dark bark on the outside (like the filth of sin) but is red on the inside (like the cleansing of the blood of Jesus).
Box tree (Is.60:13) – this tree was used to beautify the Temple.
Fir tree (Is.41:19) – this tree was figuratively used to describe the blessings of God.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree; And it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. (Is.55:13)
Mulberry tree (Lk.17:6) – this tree produces a refreshing drink.
Poplar tree (Gen.30:37) – when stripped, this tree reveals a beautiful white wood.
Sycamore tree (Lk.19:4) – this tree has leaves that are heart-shaped.
Acacia tree (Ex.36:20) – this tree repels destroying insects.
Myrtle tree – this tree was used to season food and also symbolized peace and joy.
I will open rivers in desolate heights, and fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar and the acacia tree, the myrtle and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the cypress tree and the pine and the box tree together, that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it. (Is.41:18-20)
Olive tree (Neh.9:25) – this tree grows slowly and continues to bear fruit after it reaches (excuse the pun) a ripe old age.
But there seems to be a deforestation occurring in the Church today. Many are falling away or are planting themselves in non-sustainable places. Some of us have allowed the world to chip away at our roots and have caused many to die from lack of spiritual nourishment. Some have even allowed a wholescale timbering of families. Don’t you think it’s time we replant ourselves for God?
So what kind of tree should we be? All of them! This is what I strive to be…a healing, blood-cleansed, beautiful, refreshing, stripped-of-sin, heart-shaped, that-does-not-destroy, seasoning-for-the earth, who-continuously-bears-fruit kind of tree! Old, young, mature, or just saved, Methodist to Baptist to Pentecostal…we can all be valuable trees.
For those of us who trust in the Lord and obey His commandments, God promises an abundance of fruit, not just for our own needs, but for the needs of others. In planting ourselves near the Living Water we remain strong and steadfast even in times of drought and trouble.
Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper. (Ps.1:1-3)