Every fall, the leaves on my fruit trees turn colors and begin to fall, letting go as they prepare for winter. The tree is dormant throughout the brutally cold months and then, as spring emerges, so does the life of the tree. You can always tell which trees are healthy and full of life because they begin to bud and soon bloom! It’s my favorite time of year!
But there’s this one peach tree that has just never done well. It doesn’t have great soil, it’s at the top of the hill so the water runs off fairly quickly, and there was damage to it early on from the deer. It’s just never quite recovered. It will put on a few leaves but it just seems like it’s barely holding on. We actually just dug a hole in another spot to move it. Getting it out of that place and planting it in a new one might help strengthen it. There it can have better sunlight, water and better soil.
The children of Israel complain once again. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Seriously? Again? What’s wrong with these people? God has brought them through so much and yet they ignore those things and whine and complain. Now, after seeing those that defied God and cried out against Him die by being swallowed up in the earth or killed by a plague, they do it all again. They still think they should have just as much power as Moses and Aaron. So, God settles it.
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod. And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers. And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you. And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.” (Numbers 17:1-5)
All 12 rods were laid at the tabernacle and God would cause one to bud and bloom. Whose would it be?
“And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” (Numbers 17:8)
Aaron. He was the man chosen by God. His staff was the one that bloomed. Why? Because God had already established that the tribe of Levi would be the priests. Out of all the men, he was the one connected to God. Without the Lord, there is no fruit. The other rods had been cut off from the source of life, just like the men. They had chosen their own way instead of God’s. And now they saw the proof.
We can be just like them, though. We can be dormant, not showing any signs of life whatsoever. Maybe it’s because you were damaged by someone or something long ago and the effects still make you think you can’t have a healthy relationship with the Lord. Maybe you’re planted in the wrong place. There’s no source of nutrients, no way to be fed and you’re thirsty for the living water.
In John 15:5, Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Are you bearing much fruit these days? Or do you feel dormant? What needs to change? If you’re following after the Lord, you will be fruitful!