Janet and I went for a drive late this afternoon. We were in Zionsville at a church service this morning where a new pastor for the church our daughter works in was introduced to the congregation. Then we headed to a family brunch at the country club and before we knew it, it was mid afternoon.
It was such a beautiful day that we wanted to experience the full impact of fall before it was behind us and we were in the depths of winter. Anyway, we were driving down a tree lined street and the maple trees were turning crimson and couldn’t have been more beautiful. It was actually breathtaking. Then, coming off the short street, the moment was over and the intense colors of fall gave way to a more mundane row of trees that have not yet turned color.
I got to thinking about leaves and their references in the Bible. Did you know that there are only seven usages of the word “leaf” in the NIV Bible and 10 in the KJV. Considering the total number of words, that isn’t many. And I was surprised at some of the ways that they word has been used. The first appearance comes in the Scripture when a bird returns to Noah in the ark with an olive leaf in its beak. It was the sign that the water was receding and that new growth was happening on the face of the earth. And so the whole new order of things started with the recognition of a leaf.
Another occurrence comes in the book of Leviticus where the statement is made that the sound of a wind blowing leaf will scare the enemy so bad that they will run and fall, thinking they are being pursed b y their adversaries. And then there are several examples of using a leaf to describe a situation – such as a shriveled up leaf or a healthy and vital leaf. So God uses this relatively ordinary object to give us great insight into what is happening to his people.
The verse for this evening is is from the first Psalm. We are told in Psalm 1:3, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” Just like the water of the stream, Jesus Christ is the water of life for all believers. When we are listening to the Lord, we will not wither – in fact, we will stay evergreen. My encouragement this evening is to make sure that you stay in the will of God. There is nothing better that having constant nourishment from the God of the universe. My prayer is that you will never stray and become thirsty. Because that’s when we have to worry about drying up and blowing away. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…