Our back yard is pretty sparse as far as landscaping goes. We have two fig trees that have grown over the years but not much else. Earlier this year my husband planted a small vegetable garden. About two weeks later we had torrential rains. The ground couldn’t dry out before another round of storms would come in bringing heavy downpours of rain, gusting winds, and threats of hail.
We were concerned about the small plants in the garden. Would they be beaten down by the hail? Would the winds and rain uproot or drown them? But never once did we worry about the fig trees. They are strong and deeply rooted in the ground. The gusty winds made the branches bend back and forth, and they lost a few leaves. But they are strong. We weren’t worried.
This reminded me of how we survive the storms of life. Are we more likely to be beaten down, uprooted, or drowned?
Jesus gave an example of two types of homes during a storm. One was built on a rock foundation and stood firm when the storms came. The other was built on the sand and was washed away. The contrast given represents the difference in our lives when we are obedient to His words, and it all starts with knowing His words.
I love the imagery in Psalm 1:3 of the man who delights in and meditates on God’s word. The psalmist says that man will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water bringing forth fruit in its season.
The same imagery is repeated in Jeremiah 17:7-8 after a contrast from vs 5-6.
Thus says the Lord: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land.
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust IS the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water that sends out its roots by the stream and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit."
You’ve probably had to make decisions before where you listed the pros and cons of a choice. You contrast the good and bad. Let’s do that here.
Trust in man results in – a shrub in the desert – will not see good – inhabit wilderness
Trust in the Lord results in – a tree by the river – will not be anxious – yield fruit
The choice of strength is ours. Trust in man or trust in God.