Psalm 52:8 But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God . . .
What is it about the olive tree that would make David want to be like one? Olive trees are fire and drought resistant. They live hundreds of years and are evergreen. They can grow up to 50 feet tall and their bonnet provides almost 30 feet worth of shade. Their roots sink deep to find underground springs of water, so in a desert climate, if you see an olive grove, you know water is nearby.
The trunk can be gnarled and twisted, but inside, the wood is breathtaking. Pests and worms find the wood unappetizing. The wood can be pliable enough to be carved and shaped by a Master hand, but when it dries it is hard, strong and full of gorgeous veins and lines. No piece of olive wood is alike.
The fruit provides an abundance of nutrients that human life needs to be healthy. Olive is such a staple, it is mentioned over 30 times in the Bible. It’s branch is the symbol of peace, because in the desert, all are welcomed under the shade it provides. (I learned all of this web surfing.) One thing else I learned. In order to give out the most abundant crop of fruit and also to provide the most shade in a scorching summer heat, they must be pruned regularly.
Hmm – all of this sounds like what a servant of God should be, doesn’t it? We may be gnarled and twisted, but inside God can creates something strong and beautiful. We need regular prayer and correction to provide more fruit- nutrients to a God-starved world. When our roots sink deep into His firm foundation of love, His living Water seeps into us. It makes us durable. Our faith can withstand times of drought, and neither pests nor the fiery temptations will invade our souls. We draw people to us. We are peace makers. We provide welcomed shade in their desert-like existence. No wonder Jesus prayed in his last hours for strength and endurance in a garden of olive trees.
Lord- make me more like an olive tree. Then, as David did, I will be able to boldly say the rest of the verse-
I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.