In the Bible God uses certain agrarian terminologies in the Bible that we can apply in our lives to aid our understanding spiritual matters. He speaks of “seed”, “roots”, “ground”, “fertile”, “dry”, “growth”, “produce”, and other agricultural terms in this manner.
For instance, in maintaining a thriving (or surviving) lawn or garden, it takes quite a bit of work to be successful. I’ve spent a lot of money on “special” grass seed to try to get the right effect - some that are supposed to grow well in the shade or that need little maintenance, etc. But there’s a lot of other factors, I’ve learned: it also requires sufficient moisture, proper alkaline or acidic balance, the right kind of fertilizer to develop good root systems. It was reported that many trees were toppled in a recent wind storm (82 Oak trees on one golf course) because their roots were shrunken because of our drought conditions.
IN THE SPIRITUAL ANALOGY, our ROOTS must be grounded in ABSOLUTE TRUTH! GOD’S WORD is sometimes referred to as LIVING WATERS: Jeremiah 2:13 “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” Chapter 17:7 “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. 8. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat (trials) cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful (concerned) in the day of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
We MUST BE ROOTED IN THESE RIVERS OF LIVING WATERS!
That means in His WORD and in JESUS CHRIST!
Colossians 2:6 “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him. 7. Rooted and built up in HIM, and stablished in THE FAITH, as ye have been taught, abound therein with thanksgiving.”
I want to interject here what I feel is an important point. To have a CONNECTION between the roots of a plant or tree that produces FRUIT requires a trunk or VINE. By connecting certain passages of Scriptures we arrive at a beautiful TRUTH! John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2. Every branch in Me that beareth not fruit He taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye , except ye abide in Me. 5. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He who abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: WITHOUT ME YE CAN DO NOTHING.”
Christ is the connection - the MEDIATOR! I Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Jesus Christ.” (Hebrews 8:6 calls Him the “Mediator” of a better covenant, the new covenant.)
Jesus had some very valuable lessons to teach us in the following verses of Scripture:
Matthew 13:3 “And He spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4. And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up. 5. Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up , because they had no deepness of earth. 6. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had NO ROOT, they withered away. 7. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them. 8. but other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear”
(I recently read a “famous” Evangelist’s “answer” to a Biblical question on Verse 9. He thought that all, who claim to be Christians, “hath the ears to hear”! If he had read a few more verses, he should have seen that they cannot hear nor understand what Christ was teaching His disciples!) Verse 13 “Therefore speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” No, “them” nor “they”, the “uncalled” of this world, do not understand at this present time! They are those who have “hewed them out broken cisterns”, as we read about in Jeremiah 2:13! BUT, God’s true servants have this said to them:Verse 16. “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.”
Yes, God’s Chosen People do understand, IF our roots are grounded in LIVING WATERS!
Jesus explained the parable of the seed on down in the following verses, but even then, those who do not have the PROPER ROOTS, do not really “get it”. Verse 18. “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. 19. When anyone heareth the word (Gospel) of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one (Satan), and catcheth it away that which was sown in his heart. This is he that receiveth seed by the way side. 20. But he that receiveth seed in stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy (they’re excited about it for a while) receiveth it; (but they don’t act on it). 21. Yet hath he NOT ROOT in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”(Read Ver. 22)
It appears there are some who do not have the character, endurance in a trial, or just “intestinal fortitude” to complete their calling. (II Peter 2: 21 warns those, “For it had been better for them to have not known the way of righteousness, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”) But WE can be encouraged by Matthew 13:23 “But he that receiveth seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”
They produced “fruit” because they acted upon what God had given them in His Word: James 1:22 “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24. For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25. but whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and CONTINUETH therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”
It’s Imperative That We Have GOOD AND STRONG ROOTS
Mark 11:13 “And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if happily He might find any thing thereon: and when He came to it He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. 14. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever and His disciples heard it. Ver. 20 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up FROM THE ROOTS.” “Cruden’s Complete Correspondence” says this about the cursing of the fig tree: “is explained by the fact that the fruit of this tree appears before the leaves, and a tree so full of leaves indicated that ripe figs should be there, even though it was not the regular season. The meaning is then, that when one has the outward show of good character, without it’s fruits, he is but a hypocrite, and is of no value to the Kingdom of God.”
Did you notice that the fig tree “dried up FROM THE ROOTS?! Undoubtedly, it did not have GOOD ROOTS, nor was attached to those “LIVING WATERS”.
But God has great love and patience. Notice this demonstrated in: Luke 13:6 “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree; planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit on thereon, and found none. 7. Then said he unto the dresser of the vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? 8. And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung (fertilize) it: 9. And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.”
It appears to me that the dresser (a type of a minister) working with an unproductive member was to be patient with that person for about four years and then the Lord says to remove him from the Church (unless they repented - as was the case in I Cor. 5:1).
But, once a plant HAS GONE SO FAR WITHOUT WATER, IT’S ROOTS WILL DIE and you CAN’T REVIVE IT! Notice the warning given in: Hebrews 10:26 “But if we sin wilfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, 27. But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation (Gehenna fire), which shall devour the adversaries.”
These people were like the fig tree which had “DRIED UP FROM THE ROOTS”. They had not stayed close to the “FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS” that we read of in Jeremiah 2:13.
SOME DEVELOP “BAD” ROOTS
I Timothy 6:8 “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9.But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
This “water” KILLS instead of GIVING LIFE! 10. For the love of money is the (a) ROOT OF ALL EVIL: which some have coveted after, they have ERRED (“been seduced”- margin) FROM THE FAITH (Colossians 2:7), and pieced themselves through with many sorrows 11. But thou O man of God flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”
We have another very serious warning given in: Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently (examining ourselves) lest any man fail of the grace of God; LEST ANY ROOT OF BITTERNESS springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
One of the ways to become bitter is to despise chastening or correction from God’s ministry which is done for your benefit and development (and should always be done in a spirit of love, encouragement and mercy). Others may have bitterness or resentment because they feel they have been “passed over” in being ordained or “wronged” in some way.
Please do not let these attitudes of bitterness, resentment or hatred take you out of God’s Church and thereby deprive you of your crown!
God’s FERVENT DESIRE is for us to be ROOTED in His Son, JESUS CHRIST!
Ephesians 3:16 “That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened by His Spirit in the inner man;17. That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, BEING ROOTED AND GROUNDED IN LOVE.” (Read verses 18 through 21)
If you remain connected to the FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS, YOUR ROOTS will be STRONG and ENDURE FOREVER!. Please do not force God to exercise the following: Malachi 4:1 “For, behold the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them NEITHER ROOT NOR BRANCH. 2. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth , and grow up as calves of the stall.”