The Strength of a Willow
July 17, 2005
ILLUS: The following is a bit of information about the Weeping Willow Tree:
The weeping willow is an original native to China. It was long ago introduced into Europe and the Middle East and later on into this country. These trees were once thought to be the biblical willows of Babylon. The Weeping Willow is a fast growing and majestic tree. Growth can be six to eight feet or more a year. As the tree gets larger, the long thin branches hang down, creating a flowing umbrella of shade. It is widely grown where the soil is moist. This tree has to have plenty of water. You will usually find this tree where there is a good water supply. If the water supply is scarce, the roots of this tree will stretch as long as they have to find it.1
I have chosen the Willow Tree in order to illustrate my message this morning. Of all the trees that grow near water; the Willow Tree seems to best reflect the strengths and characteristics of the tree mentioned here in chapter seventeen.
In (vv. 7, 8), the prophet Jeremiah is using symbolic language in order to describe the man whose faith and trust, in comparison, is like the strength of a tree--a tree that has been planted by the water. You will find the same comparison in Psalm, chapter one. By the way, water in the Bible often represents God's Word because of its cleansing effect, which, of course, leads to forgiveness of sin and salvation. In John 4:14, Jesus said, Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
In (vs. 7), Jeremiah begins by telling us that the man whose trust and hope is in the Lord, is a blessed man. And not only is he blessed, but like the tree planted by the water, he is sustained and nourished; he is strong. When heat and drought come, he is not careful (anxious); he is not worried...his lea ...
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