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When you besiege a city for a long time, while making war against it to take it, you shall not destroy its trees by wielding an ax against them; if you can eat of them, do not cut them down to use in the siege, for the tree of the field is man’s food. (Deuteronomy 20:19)

In the previous devotion, we addressed the idea that trees are emblematic of men and, in particular, fruit trees are symbolic of God’s people in that we are supposed to produce good fruit. However, it is also true that some trees don’t produce good fruit — or adequate fruit — and risk being hewn down. In the words of John the Baptist, “Every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matthew 3:10). Then there is this: some trees might be of another seed entirely, planted not by the Creator, but by His enemies. In fact, Messiah said this: “Every plant which my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted” (Matthew 15:13).

In the parable of the Sower, Messiah introduced the notion that the Word of God is a Good Seed that brings forth good fruit. In the parable of the Wheat and Tares, He introduced the idea that the Adversary likes to sneak into God’s field in order to sow a different type of seed — one that produces a plant that seeks to restrict the growth of the good plants (wheat). Not only does it try to choke off the good plant but also produces a fruit that is not good for food — you might even say, “deadly.” In the end, the tares are plucked up, bound and burned in fire.

All of this is to say, once again, God places great value on trees and plants that produce good fruit. He cares so much for the good fruit that He warns us not to get entangled with “trees” that produce bad fruit. Wheat and tares don’t mix well because the tares are not interested in co-existence; they are interested in choking off and destroying the wheat. Therefore, Paul warns believers that we should not be “unequally yoked together with unbelievers.” We must be diligent to assess our surroundings and who we let into our life. You see, tares are aggressive and unrelenting and will never be content to stay in their own field. Furthermore, it is very important that we produce abundant fruit that the Good Seed of the Word might be propagated in the earth to counter, and even overwhelm, the negative influence of the evil seed. If we do this, our Father in Heaven will be glorified and we, in due time, will be gathered into His barn.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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