God’s Servants Are Like Trees—In What Ways?
SPEAKING about an individual who delights in and applies Bible principles in his life, the psalmist notes: “He will certainly become like a tree planted by streams of water, that gives its own fruit in its season and the foliage of which does not wither, and everything he does will succeed.” (Psalm 1:1-3) Why is this comparison fitting?
Trees may live to be very old. For instance, some olive trees in the Mediterranean region are said to be from one to two thousand years old. Likewise, the baobab trees of central Africa attain great ages, and a bristlecone pine in California is believed to be some 4,600 years old. In a forest, mature trees are often beneficial to their surroundings. For example, tall trees provide protective shade for saplings, and the leaves that fall from the trees enrich the soil beneath.
The tallest trees in the world are usually found growing together in forests, where individual trees support one another. Since their roots may be intertwined, several trees collectively may resist a storm much better than can an isolated tree standing in a meadow. A large root system also enables a tree to obtain sufficient water and nutrients from the soil. In some cases, the roots may penetrate deeper into the ground than the height of the tree, or the roots may extend horizontally well beyond the spread of the tree’s foliage.
The apostle Paul may have alluded to a tree when he explained that Christians should “go on walking in union with him [Christ], rooted and being built up in him and being stabilized in the faith.” (Colossians 2:6, 7) Indeed, Christians can stand their ground only if they are firmly rooted in Christ.—1 Peter 2:21.
In what other ways may God’s servants be likened to trees? Well, as trees in a grove receive support from nearby trees, so all those who stay close to the Christian congregation receive support from fellow believers. (Galatians 6:2) Faithful, mature Christians, having widespread spiritual roots, help newer believers to remain firm in the faith, even in the face of stormlike opposition. (Romans 1:11, 12) Newer Christians can flourish in the protective “shade” of more experienced servants of God. (Romans 15:1) And all members of the worldwide Christian congregation benefit from the fortifying spiritual nourishment provided by “big trees of righteousness,” the anointed remnant.—Isaiah 61:3.
How thrilling it is that all of God’s servants have the prospect of experiencing the fulfillment of the promise found at Isaiah 65:22, which states: “Like the days of a tree will the days of my people be.”
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