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Mighty Oaks and Small Stumps - God makes them All
by Elaine Pierce
I have never done a study of trees in the Bible, but I have no doubt you could spend a lot of time looking at how trees are used. A few examples:
-The Tree of Good and Evil is placed in the middle of the Garden of Eden
-Psalm 1:3 says that the godly man will be "like a tree firmly planted by streams of water."
-Psalm 52:8 says "I am like a green olive tree in the house of God."
-Jesus talks about trees in Matthew 7:17-19: "So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."
And these are just scratching the surface. In today's passage, we see tree imagery very clearly:
"See, the Lord, the LORD Almighty, will lop off the boughs with great power The lofty trees will be felled, the tall ones will be brought low...A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. (Isaiah 10:33, 11:1).
And what happens to this stump, the root of Jesse? This lowly stump will bear fruit The Lord's people will live in plenty and not want for anything. All of nature will bow to the Lord. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on the stump. The Israelites in exile will be called home. It will be a tine of great rejoicing, "for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea." (v. 9b).
Trees provide shelter. They provide food. They provide refuge from the rain. They provide beauty. But most important, Isaiah is calling the people to recognize God's goodness, God's authority, and God's power. He is calling us to him. In this advent season, as you anticipate the birth of the baby Jesus, take time to reflect on all he has done for you and will do. Yes, a little child will lead them Come worship that child, our savior.
Lord, you created the heavens and earth, and everything in it. Thank you for the good gifts you give us. We ask you now to delight in your will and walk in your ways, so that we can bring glory to you in this most holy advent season. Amen.