For the Love of an Olive Tree!
Psa. 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree
in the house of God.
I trust in the steadfast love of God
forever and ever.
9 I will thank you forever,
because of what you have done.
In the presence of the faithful
I will proclaim your name, for it is good.
The Psalm is one of comparison; those who are faithful and those who are not. David is faithful and like a green olive tree; young and full of life! Surgeon says, “But I, hunted and persecuted though I am, am like a green olive tree. I am not plucked up or destroyed, but am like a flourishing olive, which out of the rock draws oil, and amid the drought still lives and grows.”
David has seen spiritual drought and the onslaught of enemies and yet, he still lives and grows. The secret to that growth comes in the second half of the verse, “I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.” David trusts, but God’s love is steadfast, enduring throughout all of eternity.
God’s love for the olive tree is the sustenance which makes the tree fruitful, even in the midst of trials. The sustenance is possible as we are grafted into the main branch. He is the vine and we are the branches and as long as we remain in him, then his steadfast love pours through us and keeps us green and new and fresh, bringing forth new and fresh fruit. Because God loves the olive tree!
Today is Palm Sunday and we will celebrate Jesus’ triumphant entrance into the holy city. People will be excited about Jesus and what they thought he might have to offer them. However, the week will make a swift departure from this scene into a garden where Jesus will be found among the olive trees. The olive trees will bear witness to his preparation for death.
While there will be olive trees around Jesus when he is praying, so there will be disciples. Sadly, the disciples will fall asleep as Jesus travails in prayer.
Just as this Psalm is one of contrast so are the disciples and the olive trees. Which kind of follower will we be?
God’s nature, holy love springs from him and to those who are grafted into the family. His love flows through his children and they are fresh and vital! They are the beloved olive trees.
Then there are the children who try to make it on their own who try to look green and fresh, but are not grafted into the Father. They are the palm branches which will be waved today. There is nothing in them to sustain them and while they may look good at first, they will soon wither up and die.
Oh for the love of an olive tree! God needs more olive trees, not more palm branches. Faithfulness for the long run, grafted into the family, and flowing with God’s holy love. This is the invitation for this holy week.
Lord, may the celebrations of this day be seen in rootedness in you. Amen.