Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Make Like a Tree

A stark contrast appeared in two books which liken men to types of trees. The first comes from a relatively well known passage in the first chapter of the Psalms. The man who relishes God's Word is like a well-watered, fruitful tree. But in Isaiah 1, the prophet speaks of the opposite kind of man--rebels and sinners--who are also like trees. These trees, however, are parched--drained of their life, ready to be set ablaze by the kiss of a spark.

These trees did not suddenly appear where they stand. The have been cultivated by seasons of choices. One grew to be lush by its deep roots--roots which drew in the refreshing drink of life. The antitype cut off its nourishment, forsaking the goodness of the Lord, withering to become nothing more than firewood.

How will you find nourishment, fruitfulness, life itself this new year? Can you find it of your own wisdom, or will you live off of every word that proceeds from the mouth of God?

[Psalm 1:1] Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
[2] but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
[3] He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.

[Isaiah 1:28] But rebels and sinners shall be broken together,
and those who forsake the LORD shall be consumed.
[29] For they shall be ashamed of the oaks
that you desired;
and you shall blush for the gardens
that you have chosen.
[30] For you shall be like an oak
whose leaf withers,
and like a garden without water.
[31] And the strong shall become tinder,
and his work a spark,
and both of them shall burn together,
with none to quench them.