Sulam Ya'aqov Messianic Fellowship (The Fellowship Of Jacob's Ladder) LARGE TITLE
Tuesday, 18 December 2018

WHEN GOD PLANTS

TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, THE PLANTING OF THE LORD, THAT HE MIGHT BE GLORIFIED (ISAIAH 61:3 )

When God builds, none can tear down and when he plants, none can uproot!

The above text and the two verses which precede it in Isaiah chapter 61 are prophetical. Written some seven hundred years before the birth of Christ, they refer to him as the one promised for the purpose of bringing liberty to those held captive by Satan and sin. You can read how these verses were fulfilled by Jesus in Luke chapter 4 v 16—20.

When Isaiah prophesied that the Lord would plant trees of righteousness, what did he mean? In some instances the Bible uses figurative language and Jesus himself sometimes uses trees metaphorically, when in fact he is really referring to people. For example in Matt 7:17 ‘LIKEWISE EVERY GOOD TREE BEARS GOOD FRUIT, BUT A BAD TREE BEARS BAD FRUIT’ Therefore what God is saying through the prophet Isaiah is, that one day he would enter into human affairs in a very special way. This of course is precisely what he did when Jesus came into the world. His plan was to take hold of lives, in some cases of the worst kind, in order to change them. Transforming them into trees of righteousness, He would bring glory to His holy name.

But how does this happen? We know that the most fruitful trees have come into being due to man’s ingenuity. He carefully selects, cross—pollinates and makes grafts until the end product is bountiful crops of large and succulent fruit. Whilst wild trees produce small, sour and generally inferior fruit. It is rather like this when God intervenes in people’s lives, but with a major difference. Whilst man will select the best he can find in his quest for improvement, God often takes the worst he can find and transforms it into something both beautiful and fruitful. A fine example of this is found in Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians Chapter 6 v. 9—11. Consider what he says ‘DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THE WICKED WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD? DO NOT BE DECEIVED:NEITHER THE SEXUALLY IMMORAL NOR IDOLATERS NOR ADULTERERS NOR MALE PROSTITUTES NOR HOMOSEXUAL OFFENDERS NOR THIEVES NOR THE GREEDY NOR DRUNKARDS NOR SLANDERERS NOR SWINDLERS WILL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD. AND THIS IS WHAT SOME OF YOU WERE. BUT YOU WERE WASHED, YOU WERE SANCTIFIED. YOU WERE JUSTIFIED IN THE NAME OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST AND BY THE SPIRIT OF OUR GOD.’

The members of the Corinthian church had been plucked from the dregs of society. God had taken them as individuals, granting them faith in his Son’s death and resurrection, thus justifying them, forgiving their past sins, no matter how vile. Then began a process of transformation as God by his Spirit worked in their lives and an awful lot needed to be put right as you will learn if you read this first letter to the Corinthians. It was the Lord’s intent that they should become trees of righteousness bearing fruit to His glory.
God has not changed. From the foundation of the Church nearly two thousand years ago, right up to this day, He has, and is still planting His trees. Countless thousands throughout the world can testify to the transforming power of Christ. This is not just religion, but spiritual rebirth whose source is God, whose power is the Holy Spirit and whose centre of attention is Christ!
So many human lives are like trees struck with blight. Sin, like canker has done its destructive work. They are spiritually dead and morally rotting away. Jesus is the divine tree surgeon. He heals, restores and doesn’t merely patch lives up, but makes them completely new! Not by removing all of life’s problems. Better than that, He proves his love by standing with those who trust in Him especially during the bad times. He gives to them the Holy Spirit, the third person of the blessed Trinity, by whose power alone the Christian is able to bear fruit. Christ yearns to exchange people’s sins for his righteousness and so transform them into trees planted by the Lord!

Amen.

Philip D. Tollett.

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