February 28, 2022

Day 28: Lessons from the Olive Tree

Read Psalm 52-53

My wife and I had the incredible opportunity to go to Greece this past summer. We began our trip in Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world. I love history, so seeing the Acropolis and Areopagus Hill, where the Apostle Paul shared Christ, was an incredible treat. We also went to the Island of  Crete where we took a boat on the Mediterranean Sea. We also took a cooking class at a historic vineyard. And we ate. Boy did we eat! And it seemed like olive oil was served with every dish we got.

Olive oil is a very big deal in Greece. Sixty percent of the land cultivated in Greece is dedicated to growing olive trees. Greece is the third largest exporter of olive oil in the world. While taking a tour in Crete we learned some interesting facts about olive trees. There are far more olive trees in Greece (156 million) than there are residents (11 million). Olive trees can live over 2,000 years. The oldest olive tree still bearing fruit in Greece is 3,000 years old. The olive tree is an extremely hardy tree that is resistance to drought, disease, and even fire.

You see olive trees mentioned numerous times in the Bible. Oftentimes they are a symbol of peace. In today's passage, in Psalm 52:8, David mentions the tree: "But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever." I think the idea is that David, amidst the attacks of the enemy, which was the occasion for this psalm, David trusts that God will protect and preserve him. Like an olive tree that is sturdy and can live a long time, so David believed he would survive the attack of King Saul.

The olive tree grows deep roots and actually thrives growing in the desert. David spent a number of years in the desert on the run from Saul. And just like the olive tree grows in the desert, David saw growth in his life while in the desert. How about you? Are you experiencing a season in the desert? If you know Christ, you have deep roots, and you can actually thrive not just survive in the desert. Why? David tells us in the second half of v. 8. It's because of "the steadfast love of God forever and ever".

God's love never fails. When we were adopted into the family of God at our salvation, we entered into a relationship with a Father who will protect and preserve us now and for eternity. That's why David could proclaim in the next psalm, Psalm 53 that the enemies of God wouldn't stop God's people. That he would restore the fortunes to His people.

We are olive trees. We are sturdy and we we outlast the storms of life and the desert seasons. We will bear fruit. All because of the steadfast love of God.

Are you in the desert? How could God be deepening your roots?

How could you celebrate God's steadfast love this week?

Prayer for the day: "Father, your love never fails. You protect and preserve me. You have secured my home in heaven. You fight against my enemies. Thank you Father, for being a good, good Father to me. In Jesus Name, amen."

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