Monday, March 11, 2013

Three Men – Three Trees

A look at three trees in scripture display conditions of men and their relationship to God.  Each of these shares a special lesson.

A Man Behind A Tree – Adam (Genesis 3:6-10)
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" He said, "I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself." Genesis 3:6-10

Adam had disobeyed God.  This left him feeling shameful.  He was trying to hide from God and learned what we have learned…it is impossible.  Listen to the words of the Psalmist:
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, "Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night," Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You. Psalms 139:7-12

It does no good to try to use the trees to hide from God.  Adam soon learned that every man will have to deal with God in regard to his sin.

A Man Up a Tree – Zacchaeus (Luke 19: 2-10)
And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus; he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house." And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." Luke 19:2-10

Zaccheus had many money and position, but he was a lonely man without assurance of eternal security.  He was seeking the Lord who he had heard could give him what he needed most.  While he was determined to see Him, the Lord was the one who found him and called to him.  He heard Him call and answered His demand for repentance.  He came down from the tree and followed Jesus.

A Man on a Tree – Jesus (Luke23: 32-33)
Two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him. When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. Luke 23:32-33)

There are actually three men who hang on trees of death.  One was the sinless Son of God.  He is God’s gift to lost men who is giving His life for the sins of men.  Regarding the other men being crucified we learn that you can be that close to Jesus (right or left) and the BIG difference is faith.  One saw the Jesus for who He was and confessed his faith, but the other chose not to receive the gift Christ gave to the other.  Jesus forgave the one who believed.  You don’t need to wait until you’re dying to accept Jesus as your Savior. Believe NOW and receive eternal life.

These three trees reveal a sinner, a seeker and a Savior.  Each teach us something about the nature of man and the provision of God.

Scripture to Claim:
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28

Submitted By Gary Wood

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