“A man shall not be established by wickedness: but the root of the righteous shall not be moved.”
Over the last several years there have been a lot of storms come through where I live. Many of those storms produced very strong winds, even tornadoes.
I hate tornadoes.
But when I look at this proverb, there comes to mind mental images of trees uprooted and blown over, smashing houses, cars, etc. And when I think of those trees, I can remember what they looked like lying on the ground. Huge trees with roots that spread out in every direction – except down.
When we think of trees, we think of strong, healthy plants that grow tall and impressive. They are symbols of stability. They almost always win when challenged by automobiles, woodpeckers, or lovers with initials to carve.
The wicked and the righteous are both trees. Both have leaves, and both have roots. But only one has roots that run deeper than the surface. Only one can stand in a storm.
The roots of a tree primarily do two things: they bring nourishment from the ground and tie it to the ground. Without roots a tree would die. Without deep roots, a tree could fall over in a strong wind.
But strong winds aren’t the only danger trees face. Drought can kill a tree with shallow roots. Yet, if a tree has deep roots, it can find the water it needs to survive. Maybe you will remember the following verse…
“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” – Psa. 1:3 KJV
But we are not trees, are we? We are people. We don’t have roots; we have faith.
The deeper our root system, the less likely we are to fall over when the storms of life come our way, or when there seems to be little rain of hope.
Wickedness will not produce roots that will hold. Wickedness produces roots that grow outward and just below the surface. They bring in everything needed to grow a beautiful, leafy tree, just not one that can hold on in a gale. Nor can they soak up water from the dry soil when the blessings of God seem to be withheld.
On the other hand, righteousness goes deep and anchors the believer to the solid ground. The roots of faith find refreshment from hidden sources of hope.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” – Jer. 17:7-8 NKJV
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