Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Good Fruits are Sometimes Rotten

I was reading the sermon on the mount today and read over the Christ's points on bearing good fruit. I was reminded of the fact that I sin in my life. I was also reminded of the fact that God looks at the whole of man and his life instead of just one moment. Jesus said:

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. (Matthew 7:15-20)

There are a few ways to discern who is a false prophet or teacher. One way of the Old Covenant was if their prophesy failed to come true. Christ notes that another way is to watch their character. This surely puts a lot of emphasis on the importance of the character of a follower of God. Why would someone who lived like the devil be sought after or believed on concerning the oracles of God? Would a man go to a thorn bush for grapes, or too thistles to try and find figs? Of course not. Those plants by nature or worthless to man and not sought after for good things. We go to plants we know are good, or useful for something, for fruits that we know are good.

Even though we know that a fig tree is good and worthwhile, does that mean that every single fig it produces is going to be perfect? Does it mean that every single fig that is produced will even be edible? Not at all. In fact, an occasional fig produced might end up doing harm to the one who eats it. Does that necessarily mean the whole tree is worthless though? Not at all.

Psalm 78 records an inspired thought about the character of God. The psalmist wrote:

And they remembered that God was their rock, and the high God their redeemer. Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath. For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert! Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. (Psalm 78:35-41)

The newly freed Israelite nation was by no means a perfect one. There were those who outright rebelled and were punished, some even by a quick death. God understood the fact that they faced temptations and sometimes, being weak humans, gave into them. The difference is one who strays from God's path, recognizes their wrong and returns, and one who continually acts in rebellion against God. One doesn't cut down and burn a fig tree that sometimes produces bad fruit, and he is often patient with the fruit even in a completely off season, but when the tree proves to be completely worthless, going against what it is supposed to do by nature without change, the tree can eventually be cast away.

Christians sin. We don't always walk in the light and do we are expected to do in our nature of being children of God. It does not mean that God is not patient and long-suffering with us. It does not mean that we will be cast into the fires of hell instantly. Indeed what we do is important, and is a measure of our heart, but we can be thankful that we have a God who looks at the tree as a whole.

1 comment:

  1. This was awesome and what a talent you have for our Lord!