“I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” – Hosea 14:8
In the endless search for exquisite works of art and examples of beauty that leave us speechless, we often don’t have to look further than our own back yard. God has crafted the world around us with such intricate beauty that it is impossible not to be moved by how wondrous the universe truly is. And when examined closely, these examples of natural beauty are full of deep, eternal meaning.
Take the evergreen tree, for example. Most see it as a symbol of new life and holiday cheer, but have you ever seen it as a picture of God Himself? Perhaps not, and yet that is exactly what God tells us in Hosea 14:8 – He refers to Himself as a fruitful evergreen tree! This connection reveals that God was very intentional in the way He designed an evergreen – from the beginning, He knew it would be used as a symbol of the Great I Am!
Why would the Almighty God refer to Himself as a luxurious evergreen tree? What does this tell us about the God we serve, and what lessons can we draw for ourselves?
We Serve a Living God
– Evergreen branches are used in Christmas celebrations because they remain green throughout the year. Unlike other trees and flowers, they don’t wither away or lose their color in cold winter conditions. In the same way, God wants us to know that He is, always has been, and always will be, full of life.
– Compared to the material things people often devote their lives to chasing, our God is living and powerful. There’s no comparison, and yet the Israelites had actually exchanged the Living God for their worthless idols! (Hosea 14:1-3)
– Perhaps the greatest message that has been tucked into every branch of an evergreen tree is that in spite of their unfaithfulness, God still promised to show love and mercy when Israel returned to Him (Hosea 14:4). Not only does God have eternal life, but He desires to impart eternal life upon anyone and everyone who is willing to receive it! (John 3:16)
-Because we serve a living God, we ought to strive to possess a living, growing faith.
We Serve a Fruitful God
-One glimpse of the universe around us, in all its beauty and grandeur, is undeniable proof that our God is fruitful in His work. Everything He touches begins to blossom with new life!
-Notice the blessings listed in Hosea 14 that we receive from serving this wonderful, life-giving God:
1.) We reflect His beauty (v. 5-6)
2.) We are deeply rooted in His strength (v. 5)
3.) We, like Him, bear great fruit (v. 6-8)
-Because we serve a fruitful God, each of us ought to strive to possess a fruitful, productive faith!
Notice the open invitation in Hosea 14:9: “Whoever is wise, let him understand these things.” God offers His everlasting, ever-growing, ever-fruitful life to everyone!
All we have to do is come to the God Who freely gives, so we can freely receive.
The evergreen is so much more than just another tree. Its exquisite beauty and intricate imagery makes it an incredibly beautiful symbol of our Living God. It continually points – like an arrow – to the heavens. Allow it to direct your gaze upward, to the One True God who can give you the fruitful, everlasting life your heart craves!
Today’s post is part of the A-to-Z Challenge, where participants commit to posting one article for each day during the month of April – one for every letter of the alphabet.
Check back here at “The Artistic Christian” for a daily slice of art (art reviews, practical tips, and motivation for artists), all steeped in a rich Christian worldview.