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March 1                 

Arrows of the Almighty



River Trees
"They will be like a tree planted by the water." (Jeremiah 17:8)
     Here in the deserts of Arizona you can always know where the arroyos are. These dry washes only run with water when there a strong desert storm but nevertheless they are lined with trees, large Mesquites and Cottonwoods. These trees do not worry about the weather reports for they have their roots down deep in the underground flow of water that is always were but unseen.
     Nourished and cooled by the underground water, these trees lift their branches to the sun, holding to the earth with their roots, cleaning the air with their leaves, they offer shade to all who needed refuge from the hot sun of the desert.
     By contrast, in Jeremiah 17:6 the prophet Jeremiah pointed to a shrub saying that when the rains stopped and the summer sun turned the ground to dust, the bush shriveled into itself, offering no shade or fruit to anyone while a tree's roots are deep and nourishes these around.
The prophet compared his people to a withering bush. When in the wilderness escaping from Egypt they had lived as trees planted by a river (Jer. 2:4-6) yet in the prosperity of the promised land they had forgotten their own story; they were relying on themselves and on gods of their own making (vv. 7-8), even to the point of going back to Egypt looking for help (42:14).
     There, through Jeremiah, the Israelites and we Christians are lovingly urged not to be forgetful children but to hope and trust in the Lord and be as trees planted by living water - not a withered bush. Lord, help us always to remember in good times what we learned in our days of trouble.






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