Friday, January 18, 2013

Weekly Devotion: Men As Trees

“And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.” Mark 8:24

While being healed by Jesus, a blind man makes a keen observation, “I see men as trees”. All the way through the Bible and even in our culture today, parallels are made between people and trees. For example, our torso is called a “trunk”; our arms and legs are called “limbs”, when we have children, we are said to “bear fruit”. We use terms like “rooted”, in reference to where we live, and each of us have a “family tree” referring to our ancestry, although some are “saps” (ha ha). The sweet Psalmist develops this teaching and gives great hope to the one who delights and meditates in God’s word.

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:3

Israel is likened unto three different trees in the Bible; a fig tree (Hosea 9:10), an olive tree (Jeremiah 11:16, 17), and a vine tree (Ezekiel 15:6). John the Baptist builds on this imagery when he warns Israel of their impending danger of being cut down for not being fruitful to God.

“And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Matthew 3:10

Jesus illustrated this truth when he cursed a fig tree (Matthew 21:19) and caused it to wither. This miracle pictured Israel’s condition, which had a godly exterior, but an ungodly interior, void of fruit. In Romans 11:13-24, Paul likens the Gentile church to a “wild olive tree” which has been grafted into the “good olive tree” (Israel) after some of its natural branches were broken off, and warns the church of being cut off if they “fall” too. Now consider the first time that trees are mentioned in the Bible.

“And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so…And the evening and the morning were the third day.” Genesis 1:11, 13

Notice that trees were created on “the third day”, and that it is a “fruit tree”, “whose seed was in itself”. It is very instructive that life came forth on “the third day” with the ability to reproduce itself! This represents Christ’s resurrection, because he too came to life on the third day with the ability to give life to “after HIS kind”! Now this same “hope” dwells in the heart of every believer.

“For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease… If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. Thou shalt call, and I will answer thee: thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands.” Job 14:7, 14, 15

Friend, Job had this “blessed hope” (Titus 2:13) of being changed one day, do you? If you do have hope in the resurrection of being with Christ, are you being watered with God’s word (Isaiah 55:10, 11) to the point of bringing “forth fruit unto God” (Romans 7:4)? These are elements necessary for us to grow like a tree, toward the sun / Son, in preparation for His joyous return.

“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Isaiah 55:12

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