What Does it Mean to Be Like a Tree? That’s a great question and we are glad you asked, Let’s see what the Bile has to say.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, (whose) delight is in the law of the Lord….
He will be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season.
Its leaf will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper.
The Bible tells us to be like a tree. Water is vital to trees. And positively, God’s word is the water, the counsel, for the person He’ll bless for living wisely. And negatively, the blessed avoid the counsel of the ungodly. His flourishing may be immediately apparent, but often it’s seen in the long term. The blessing becomes obvious for those with a heavenly view.
“Blessed is the man…whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters…and shall not fear when heat comes, but its leaf shall be green, and it shall not be anxious in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit (Jeremiah 17:7-8).
When the Bible speaks of hope, it doesn’t mean a possibility. The Bible’s hope is certain. God’s word tells us how to receive His promises. The person God blesses with hope is the one with faith in Him. Some rewards are freely given because we believe in His Son Jesus. God grants other blessings earned through faithful service.
When we drink the waters Jesus provides, we will never thirst (John 4:14).
Tree of Life
Wisdom…is a tree of life to those who take hold of her…and happy is everyone who retains her (Proverbs 3:13-18).
The Bible mentions a tree of life and the context determines whether it’s meant symbolically, or literally. In the verse above it’s meant symbolically. Wisdom blesses everyone. Wisdom is using knowledge to achieve the best possible outcome for the circumstances. It’s the opposite of foolishness.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise (Proverbs 11:30).
The fruit here is wisdom and how it affects others. People recognize when someone acts with wisdom and that encourages them to act wisely also. The mention of soul winning here suggests the affect the wise person has on others. Of course, the ultimate wise response is to receive the gospel—since we can’t save ourselves!–and put our faith in Jesus.
“To him who overcomes I will give permission to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God (Revelation 2:7).”
This tree is a literal tree! The overcomer in the Bible book of Revelation denotes someone who’s already become a child of God. And they’ve also faithfully endured the hardships that come by maintaining their faith during persecution. God gives these enduring believers access to the fruit of a tree that enhances their life in eternity. The Bible teaches that believers will live their lives in eternity on a renewed earth, not in heaven as most people think. Instead of us living with God in heaven, He’ll bring heaven to earth and dwell with His people:
“And I heard a loud voice from heaven, saying, “Look! The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them. They shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God (Revelation 21:3).
“I saw on the bank of the river very many trees…and upon its bank(s)…shall grow all kinds of trees for food, whose leaf shall not fade…and their fruit shall be for food and their leaves for medicine (Ezekiel 47:1-12).”
The tree of life won’t be the only tree available to God’s people. Ezekiel describes many trees during the future time when Jesus reigns on earth. These trees grow on the banks of the river whose waters flow from God’s temple. These trees provide healing as well as food. They provide spiritual benefits along with the nutrition.
“And there shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a Branch (Jesus) shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him (Isaiah 11:1-2).”
Jesse was King David’s father and King David was Jesus’ ancestor. The believing Jews understood Jesus, their Messiah, was THE Son of David. In figurative language Isaiah the prophet predicted the Messiah’s birth, in David’s line, about 700 years before Jesus was born.
“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being made a curse for us—as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (Galatians 3:13).”
Also, before Jesus was born, God pronounced a curse upon anyone hung on a tree. That curse represented us as sinners. And Jesus died for our sin. All of them! Every sin was nailed to the cross. Jesus bore our curse and God was satisfied with His death in our place.
Jesus’ resurrection proved God’s satisfaction with Jesus’ redeeming work. As the hymn says, “We serve a risen Savior.”
“For if you (Gentiles) were cut out of the (wild) olive tree…and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these (Jews), who are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree (Romans 11:24).”
Jesus came as a Messiah sent to the Jews, who this verse compares to a cultivated olive tree. But after the Jews rejected Him at His first coming, Jesus extended His offer of salvation to include the Gentiles, referring to them as the wild olive tree. God also saves believing Jews during this time of the Gentiles. Jesus offers salvation to all who believe on His Name.
- The Bible uses trees to illustrate truths:
- Walking according to wise counsel, especially God’s word, is a figurative tree of life.
- There is a literal tree of life as well as other healing trees available in the paradise of God.
- Jesus was the predicted sprouting shoot of Jesse who came in the Spirit of the Lord.
- Jesus bore our curse when He was hung on the wooden cross. God was satisfied with Jesus’ sacrificial death in our place, and He raised Jesus from the dead to provide salvation to all—Jew and Gentile–who believe in His Name.