The tree that doesn’t wither

The 'Tree of Life' in Bahrain
The 'Tree of Life' in Bahrain, by Flickr user potomo

I’ve recently been watching some lectures on the Holy Land on iTunes U (Northern Sites, Southern Sites and Jerusalem. Don’t like iTunes? There’s YouTube!). Watching the footage shot in the parched Judean wilderness gave me a fresh appreciation for the picture in Scripture of the well-watered tree that never withers. We encounter this tree in Psalm 1:

Blessed is the one
  who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
  or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
  and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
  which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither–
  whatever they do prospers.

–Psalm 1:1-3, NIV 2011

The prophet Jeremiah says something similar:

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
   whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
   that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
   its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
   and never fails to bear fruit.”

–Jeremiah 17:7-8, NIV 2011

The prophet Ezekiel in a vision saw a new temple in Jerusalem from which a river flowed, and:

Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear fruit, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.

–Ezekiel 47:12, NIV 2011

John also saw a vision:

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

–Revelation 22:1-2, NIV 2011

Isn’t that a wonderful picture? Bearing fruit brings glory to God (John 15:8). The fruit we bear benefits others, not just ourselves (Galatians 5:22-23). May we always delight in and trust the God of the Bible, and so be trees whose leaves are always green!

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