Driving down a country road one day, I marveled at how the trees lining the road on either side reminded me of people lining a parade route. There were tall trees and small trees. Handsome trees and plain-looking trees. Some were well dressed. Others had a minimal amount of leaves.
They also could have been soldiers or civilians honoring a soldier or first responder for their service along a parade route. And when the wind began blowing, the arbor army began waving, some forward, others backward and side to side.
What Kind of Tree Could We Be?
As I passed through that tree-lined gauntlet I wondered which one of those trees could represent me. I glanced at my Bible sitting on the seat beside me and started thinking about trees in the scriptures. What does Scripture have to say about trees being part of God’s plan? What would Scripture say about trees and my Christian walk?
The word “tree” has no formal definition. However, we all know one when we see one. Tradition has it that trees represent nature, life, and fertility. When we think of trees, we think of peace, harmony, and strength. We often marvel at how they withstand storms and mighty winds. And we can be thankful for trees when we relax on a backyard wooden swing.
Trees of all kinds play supporting roles in the Bible. Some are major supporting actors. Others are character actors adding context to the scene. Still others are on the periphery as part of the crowd. There are over 56 verses in which a tree of some kind is mentioned.
What Kind of Fruit Do We Bear?
Isn’t it interesting that you can often tell what type of tree it is just by looking at the shape and color of their leaves, or the kind of fruit it bears? In the same way, those around you can tell what kind of person, and more importantly, what kind of Christian you are, by looking at how you act and the kind of fruit you bear.
Listen to God's Words
No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers.
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 3:10)
Also Read: Proverbs 13:12, Ezekiel 17:24, Daniel 4:10-12
In the Words of Others
“We can learn a lot from trees: they're always grounded, but never stop reaching heavenward.” Everett Mamor
“Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.” Kahil Gibran
“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” Martin Luther
Think About It
What kind of tree are you? Consider these references to trees in the Bible and the kind of tree or trees that best represent you and the fruit you bear as a Christian.
Are you 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 17:8)
Perhaps you are a tree of the forest that sings for "joy before the Lord?" (1 Chronicles 16:33)
Are you a hopeful and resilient tree? “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail." (Job 14:7)
Are you a healing tree, one whose "leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations?" (Revelation 22:2)
Are you a trusting tree? "But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God. I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever." (Psalm 52:8)
If you’re in your later years, are you still making a difference in people’s lives? “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,” (Psalm 92:14)
Or, are you a "bad tree" that "bears bad fruit?" (Matthew 7:17)