Daily Bible Reading – Isaiah 25-28; Hebrews 13
Today’s Key Passage – Isaiah 27:10-11
Trees are interesting organisms. Unlike most other living things, sometimes removing parts of a tree can actually make the tree healthier. During this process of pruning, diseased or insect-infected branches of the tree are removed and discarded. If done properly, pruning can stimulate fruit production and make the plant stronger overall. In addition to scheduled pruning, all woody plants shed branches in response to shading and competition. Branches that do not produce enough carbohydrates from photosynthesis to sustain themselves die and are eventually shed. Branches that are poorly attached may be broken off by wind or the accumulation of snow and ice. Branches removed in this way often result in large, ragged wounds, which is certainly not ideal.
In today’s key passage, Isaiah is prophesying about the end times. He compares Israel to the branches of a tree and says, “When its twigs are dry, they are broken off and women come and make fires with them.” (Vs. 11) Trees in the Bible are often used as a metaphor for our relationship with God. Imagine a large, strong oak tree sitting in a meadow. The trunk and root of the tree are like God – strong and immovable with a solid foundation. The branches of the tree are like all of us – attached to God and being fed all of the nutrients we need by Him. The fact is, some of the branches are naturally not going to make it. Some of these branches are rotten and infected, and they will not be able to properly use the nutrients the trunk is trying to provide, so they will die and will fall off the tree. These are the people who will never accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, and these branches will eventually be thrown in the fire.
The other problem, though, is that some of the branches are so weakly attached to the trunk that they might be broken off by external forces. When people are not getting the nutrients they need from God because their attachment to Him is not strong, they are more likely to be in trouble when the storms come. They are more likely to be broken off the tree when the strong winds of life or the weight of their sin becomes too much for them to bear. These are the people we need to reach. These are the people that can be saved if we act quickly. Since we cannot tell from the outside which branches are the ones that are rotten internally verses the ones that can be saved, we must try to help both. Never stop spreading the Gospel. Never stop trying to reach people for God. The next branch you talk to just might end up being saved.
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.