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Monday, August 26, 2013

Be Like a Tree

I have a good friend who would like to fly. He watches sea gulls and wants to join them. Have you ever felt the same way? I have. The idea of soaring up above everything, riding on currents of air, with little or no effort . . . .

It’s interesting, though, that the Bible says we need to be rooted—like a tree.

Read these passages and see God’s vision for us:

Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 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 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

Psalm 92:12-15 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

I think we can learn something from the common thoughts in these passages:
  • The trees are alive: green, leafy, frondy (I made up that word!), and needle-y (this word, too).
  • They are planted, rooted—on a rock, in the house of God, in the courts of God.
  • They are flourishing.
  • The trees bring forth fruit, different kinds of fruit: olives, dates, berries.
  • They don’t wither or suffer weakness from old age. They seem to live on. 

What are the practical lessons for people who want to please the Lord, for us?
  • Be righteous. Keep sin confessed, and do right.
  • Delight in God’s law, God’s Word.
  • Avoid running around with sinful friends who are against God and His law.
  • Meditate on the Bible.
  • Be faithful all your life.
  • Go to church joyfully and serve the Lord there.
  • Share your faith with others. God will bring forth fruit in your life and in the lives of others. 

What does a tree look like? Here, we have at least four kinds of trees:
  1. one near a river—Surely this tree was light, airy, easily blown in the wind. It bears some kind of fruit. It’s flourishing.
  2. an olive tree—We live in Spain, so this is very familiar. Olive trees are sturdy. They last seemingly forever, are resistant to disease and fire and extreme temperatures. They are also usually somewhat irregular in shape with lots of character. The leaves are silvery green.
  3. a palm tree—Beautiful and graceful. The palm also is a hardy tree that bends in the wind and resists all but the harshest weather.
  4. a cedar of Lebanon—A huge, hardy evergreen, the cedars of Lebanon are known for their excellent wood and their longevity. The shape of a Lebanese cedar is symmetrical and elegant.

I know I would love to be a “tree” with those qualities: flourishing, fruit bearing, hardy, resistant, beautiful and graceful, with excellence inside, elegant, pleasing to the eye. When we think of these qualities spiritually, we begin to appreciate what God has in mind.

Be like a tree!


  1. Es bueno ser como un árbol, aunque nos doblamos y retorcemos, si somos firmes en nuestra fe y mantenemos nuestros pecados confesados como tu dijiste, Seremos como un árbol, como el árbol que Dios quiere que seamos.

    1. Thank you, Tere, for your thoughtful comment. God bless you!


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