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Talk Back to the Storm

Life is Hard/Talk Back to the Storm

How deep are the roots of your faith in God? Are you able to withstand hard times and still bear fruit?

The first Psalm presents an amazing word picture about what we as followers of Messiah need to understand. That tree in Psalm 1, you know, the famous tree illustrated in hundreds of children’s lessons and adult bible studies as a tall flourishing tree by a wide river? The Psalmist had a very different picture he wanted to present.

The Psalmist knew the geography of the land where he lived. He is conveying a word picture of a wadi, a natural drainage path, carrying water from the higher elevation of Jerusalem through the dessert where the shepherd watched his sheep. The wadi was dry most of the time. The tree? It was a small, scrubby looking tree, whose roots descended deep into the ground, some up to seventy-five yards into the ground, seeking water from deep sources. In that manner, it was still able to bear fruit in its season. (This information is explained in greater detail in Dr. Thomas B. Tribelhorn’s book, “Opening the Rabbinic Doors to the Gospels” copyright 2020. I suggest you purchase it and read it.)

It’s no stretch to say life was hard for that little tree. It would not have survived with shallow roots. It would have withered and died without ever bearing fruit. Life is hard in this world as we follow the Messiah. To thrive, our roots need to be deep within the Word of God and Biblical truths. There will be dry times in our lives when the only thing available to draw from comes from our roots descending deep into the whole Word of God. In order to continue bearing fruit in our season we need to understand the Jewish context in which both the older and newer testaments were written, presenting to us the complete Word of God.

Once I understood what that tree in Psalm 1 looked like, what it endured, what it needed to bear fruit, I had a glimpse into why I was struggling to grow in my walk with Jesus. While the roots of my faith were deep, I was failing to draw upon “water” deep inside the Word of God. In short, I was frustrated that life continued to be hard in this broken world. I wanted to be that big, beautiful tree by that wide flowing river in those studies mentioned earlier. I wanted fruit bearing to be easy. Instead, I understood that our study of God’s Word must be consistent and deep and include an understanding of the context in which it was written. Then we can grow deep roots and draw strength for the dry, desert times we will face. And then, we will bear fruit in our season and not wither.

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