Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—
-Tree in Hebrew is written as ets & it means wood, timber, pole etc. More than 30 species of trees have been mentioned in the Bible & have different meanings. Apart from human beings, trees are the most mentioned of Gods’ creation to symbolise shelter, support, provision, strength & capacity, which are also attributes of God. Trees play a major role in our lives. They provide oxygen, shelter, medicine, food for human beings & other creatures, attract rain, provide moderate global temperatures as they pump water from the ground out of the leaves, provide beauty to the environment & remind us of Gods’ magnificent power of creation.
-The tree of life is among the first & last tree mentioned in the Bible. Unlike the tree of knowledge of good & evil whose fruit brought forth death, the tree of life has fruits which provides life. The tree of the knowledge of good & evil produced apple fruits that ignited a mental change in knowledge of good & evil & nothing physical. Man thereafter gained access to knowledge that only God possessed. The tree of life provides immortality & will only be accessible to Christs’ elect (Rev 22:14). Through Christs’ redemptive power we have access to His grace; Who is the beginning & the end.
Lord our Father, we thank You for Your mercies & everlasting love upon us. Your magnificent power & marvellous works are evident in all Your creation. Increase wisdom in our hearts so that we may meaningfully explore & preserve all created things. Renew our minds to always realise Your will in our lives. You are our source of health, provision, shelter & all good things, we trust in You & give You praise. Amen
“You shall not plant for yourself any tree, as a wooden image, near the altar which you build for yourself to the Lord your God. You shall not set up a sacred pillar, which the Lord your God hates.
-Wooden images were crafted to duplicate worship of the Lord & was very common among the neighbouring Israelite communities, who at the time were more powerful than them. They included the Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites & Jebusites, & gradually lured Israelites to adopt idol worship. God instructed the Israelites to destroy their sacred pillars & wooden images with fire & cautioned against intermarrying with them (Deu 7:5). The worship of God did not allow for any secret rites or anything leading to the adoption of heathen idolatry & could not be permitted near His altar. Apostle Paul states that they professed to be wise but became foolish by changing the glory of the incorruptible God into images & made like corruptible man, birds, four-footed animals & creeping things (Rom 1:22-23). Jesus brought out the complexities of idolatry when He cautioned against love of mammon, the god of money which is a by-product of timber.
Lord our Father, You are the most High God & nothing can be compared to You. Have mercy on us & forgive us for any form of idolatry in our lives, in our way of worship, in our political leaders, in our nation & the whole world. Shepherd us by Your divine power to know You more & worship You in spirit & in truth. You are worthy of all glory, honour & praise; now & forever. Amen
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
-Imagery has been used where man has been compared to a tree. A tree that is well watered to represent mans acts of holiness & the fear of the Lord; yielding prosperity. This is a cause & effect relationship where one who avoids evil advice, avoids sinful ways, stay away from mockers & takes heed to & meditates on Gods’ precepts; will be planted by the rivers of water, a sign of the presence of God. His leaves will always blossom & remain healthy, fruits will be produced in due season & prosperity found in all his ways. Additionally, the same man who fears the Lord will be happy & healthy to eat the fruit of his labour. His wife will be a fruitful vine & children like olive plants, a sign of success in wine & oil production; which are all symbolic (Ps 128:1-3). The results are truly desirable as good health, access to resources, fruitfulness at work, in the family & society are evidenced. These blessings extend to his wife & children who will be successful in all their ways.
We humbly implore You Father, with humility in our hearts. You are our hiding place & shield; instruct us by Your precepts & establish Your word in our hearts. You are the way, truth & life, plant us by the rivers of water that Your blessings may never depart from us & our families. We place all our hope & trust in You, walk with us in all things. Amen
1 Peter 2:24
who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.
-Christ in His own sinless body offered Himself laden with our sins on a tree at Calvary. He was beaten, bruised & scourged to death as a sacrifice for our weaknesses that by His stripes all diseases of our minds, bodies & souls are healed. Having died for our sin, He helps us to die to sin as well; to a point where sin has no more power over us, through His righteousness. As our true vine, He calls us to abide in Him as He abides in us for we cannot bear fruit without Him. As His branches; we abide in Him & bear much fruit for without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:4-5).
We thank You Father for Your sacrifice for our salvation & loving us; we are nothing without You. Help us to love You with all our hearts, minds, souls & strength, so that we may abide in You always. Have mercy on us, our country & leaders, that we may regain political & economic stability. You are our sovereign sustainer, righteous Father, merciful King, eternal provider & Holy God; we give You thanks now & forevermore. Amen
Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!” Nathanael said to Him, “How do You know me?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” Nathanael answered and said to Him, “Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”
-Nathanael was under the fig tree probably a place of prayer oblivious of the fact that Jesus had identified him before Philip called him. It is very interesting how Nathanael responds to Jesus’ words, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”. Nathanael asserts that Christ is the ruler of Israel & totally submits to Him. Many questions can be asked here, but what is clear is that Nathanael’s life changed positively after Christ came into his life. We also have hope in God for He transforms our lives by His everlasting love & mercy.
-Tree in Hebrew is written as ets & it means wood, timber, pole etc. More than 30 species of trees have been mentioned in the Bible, over 500 times. They symbolise shelter, support, provision, strength & capacity, which are also attributes of God. They provide oxygen, shelter, medicine, food for human beings & other creatures, attract rain, provide moderate global temperatures, provide beauty to the environment & remind us of Gods’ magnificent power of creation. Neighbouring Israelite communities including; Hittites, Girgashites, Amorites, Canaanites, Perizzites, Hivites & Jebusites, curved wooden gods & worshipped them. At the time they were stronger than Israelites & this lured them into idolatry. God instructed the Israelites to destroy these sacred pillar & wooden images with fire & warned them against intermarrying with the neighbour’s (Deu 7:5). Jesus cautioned us against love of mammon, the god of money which is a by product of timber. Imagery has also been used to describe man as a tree or a part of it; to pass important messages. In Ps 1:1-3, a man who avoids evil advice, sinful ways, mockers & meditates on Gods’ statutes; will be planted by the rivers of water, symbolising Gods’ presence. His leaves will always remain green & healthy, he will produce fruits in due season & prosper in all his ways. In the fear of the Lord; he will be happy & healthy to eat the fruit of his labour, his wife & children will be blessed & extremely resourceful. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Wisdom is a tree of life to those who take hold of her & happy are all who retain her (Pro 3:18). A critical question to ask, what if Adam & Eve ate the fruit of the tree of life & not from the tree of knowledge & evil? There would be no sin & the Bible narrative would be totally different. This is precisely because; the tree of life provides eternal life & is preserved for Christs’ elect (Rev 22:14). Because of the original sin therefore; Christ suffered & died as a sacrifice for our redemption, so that we may have eternal life in Him. He hang on a tree carrying all our burdens that we may be free from any form of bondage. As our true vine & we His branches, He calls us to abide in Him as He abides in us, so that we may bear much fruit, otherwise we remain fruitless (John 15:4-5).
Lord Jesus Christ, You are our source of life, our living water. You came to give us life & life more abundantly, wash away all our burdens. Help us to abide in You as You abide in us that our love for You will remain unshaken. We have many prayer petitions, have mercy on us, our families, nation & the world. May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. We believe that our leaves will never dry up despite the political & economic drought in our country. All glory & honour belong to You Father, now & forever. Amen