PROVERB PRACTICALS   only god can make a tree, proverbs 11:30, audio

  Proverbs 11:30,  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

In Godís book of beginnings, the book of Genesis, God introduces to us a tree that He planted in the Garden of Eden called the tree of life.

This tree symbolized access to eternal life and it was only shown to be prominent after Adam and Eve disobeyed God.

The tree of life was taken for granted before the fall because there was no death.

It was understood to be a part of the garden, a special tree for their use.

Adam and Eve were to obey God as a family and perform their task of keeping the garden.

The implication is that they had access to all the trees in the garden, including the tree of life.

But God gave an explicit command not to eat of another tree called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

By disregarding that command sin interrupted the eternality of life God intended for them.

Their relationship to God changed radically when they disobeyed the command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Chief among the radical changes was that they no longer had access to the tree of life.

For in Genesis 3:24 God, ÖÖÖ..drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Beyond its triple mention in Genesis, the phrase "tree of life" appears in Proverbs four times and in Revelation three times.

Proverbs 3:18 says,  To lay hold of wisdom is to lay hold on "a tree of life"

Yet another proverb has this comparison: "a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" Proverbs 13:12.

The author of another proverb wrote, "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life" Proverbs 15:4.

And the proverb that we are considering today, The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, Proverbs 11:30.

None of these proverbs seem to refer to the literal "tree of life" mentioned in Genesis.

They all compare spiritual benefits to "a tree of life".

However all of the references in Revelation refer to a literal tree of life that is revealed to be in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem that comes down from God to the new Earth.

These references in Revelation are:

Revelation 2:7,  He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 22:2,  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Revelations 22:14,  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

We all know that a tree is a pleasing thing.

A tree makes oxygen, a tree distills water, a tree provides habitat for hundreds of species, a tree accrues solar energy and absorbs carbon.

It can take thousands of gallons of water from the soil and thereby prevent flooding.

It provides beauty, shade, and comfort.

It provides a nesting place, a place of protection, for birds and animals.

It is a place of sustenance and nourishment where feeding can take place.

Trees help control erosion. Most of our home and furniture is made from trees.

A tree is a place where Godís handiwork is displayed and His care for his creation is clearly shown.

Even in a treeís death it provides fuel to warm the body and to provide heat to the stove.

In other words a tree is a blessing to man and other creatures of God's creation.

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest

Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,

And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear

A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;

Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,

But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer. 1886Ė1918

God tells us in this proverb that the fruit of the righteous is a tree.

It is a particular kind of tree, because life is found in that tree.

God did not say that the fruit of the righteous is an apple tree, or a peach tree or a pecan tree, or any tree that we are familiar with.

He compares the fruit of the righteous to the noblest tree of paradise which God himself planted in the Garden of Eden.

This was "the tree of life", a tree that was distinguished above the beautiful trees of the beautiful garden that God prepared for the first couple on Earth.

After the fall of Adam, God guarded the tree of life from the first couple.

For they were now sinners and not allowed to eat of the tree because it would allow them to live forever while they were in a sinful state.

Not allowing them to live forever in a sinful state was an act of grace on God's part.

The tree of life represented eternal life and by its use in this proverb God reminds us that the fruit of the righteous person is eternal fruit.

Fruit that lasts.

A fruit that is alive.

It is not only fruit but it is a tree that bears fruit.

A tree that bears fruit will attract others to it so that they can partake of the fruit of the tree and they also can become a tree of life.

This is the plan of God.

Every creature of his creation is to be a bearer of fruit.

This is decreed by God and that which does not bear fruit is cast away.

What is the fruit of a righteous man?

What is a righteous man?

We know by scripture that a righteous man is a saved man, a man made by God as a new creation, a man in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.

This is not a self made man, or a self righteous man that the wise man is talking about in this proverb.

This is a man or woman in whom the Holy Spirit is working and his work is a work of making fruit for God:

Galatians 5:22,23, tell us that the  "fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:"

These then are branches of the tree of life.

The branch of love, The branch of joy

The branch of peace, The branch of longsuffering

The branch of gentleness, The branch of goodness

The branch of faith, The branch of meekness

The branch of temperance,

There are many branches to the tree of life.

Jesus said that he was the vine, but ye are the branches.

No branch can stand alone for once separated from the vine, no life is left.

Branches bear the fruit of the vine and always only derive sustenance for life from the vine.

One of my live oak trees was full of ivy but all the ivy derived its sustenance from a large vine attached to the trunk of the tree.

The ivy clung to the tree with its tentacles but they were not the source of its food.

When I cut the vine the ivy had some life left within itself but it was soon apparent that without the vine death of the ivy was inevitable.

The lesson is that without connection to the vine the branch cannot sustain.

In him was life and the life was the light of men.

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life only because it is connected to Jesus Christ.

Isnít it interesting that Jesus Christ was lifted up on a tree and in the doing of that he said he will draw all men unto him.

This is what this proverb is about.

How men are drawn by men who are crucified with Christ.

Their fruit is a tree of life.

It is easy to see that the tree of life is a full spreading tree that bids many to find comfort and shelter beneath its branches.

Don't you think that a place of love and joy and peace and longsuffering and gentleness and goodness and faith and meekness and temperance, is a place that will draw men and women, boys and girls to it?

Think about a flourishing fruit tree and how its fruit draws.

The orange, the apple, the peach, the plum.

Juicy fruit whose taste cannot be duplicated.

God promises the tree of life in the New Jerusalem with twelve manner of fruit which yields her fruit every month.

This is the picture of the righteous man who is a tree of life drawing souls to the fruit which never is exhausted.

The righteous man will pray, will instruct, will influence, will be an example and the having of life will be obvious in the righteous man.

Psalm 1 talks about such a man for we are given that:

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 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.

This then is the picture that God wants us to see as we consider the next phrase of this proverb. "and he that winneth souls is wise"

The first phrase on this proverb regarding the tree of life is a natural introduction to this second phrase and must be considered in its study to fully comprehend itís meaning.

The word winneth in this verse has been translated from the Hebrew word, laqach, law-kakh.

It is translated to the English in many ways but the basic meaning is to take:

In general the word "winneth" used in this verse means that something is being transferred from one person to another.

A movement by toil or labor toward the one toiling or laboring.

The word soul in this verse has been translated from the Hebrew word, nephesh, neh'-fesh; which means a breathing creature.

So, considering the preface of this verse concerning the "fruit of the righteous being a tree of life", it appears to me that the message of this phrase, "and he that winneth souls is wise"

means that the righteous man's fruit which is a tree of life, a life of labor and faithful service to God, will draw men and women to him because he evidences the fruit of life eternal.

His fruit is a tree of life and the fruit of that tree of life is desired by others and he will be a tree that brings forth fruit for God in the lives of others.

As a tree has long life and is long in fruit bearing, the souls that are described as won, are won continually by being taught of God and bearing fruit for God.

Winning a soul then, contrary to popular thought, is not a one time event called salvation, but a lifetime of that soul feeding at the tree of life where the righteous man dwells.

Winning his soul for God involves the person's continual enjoyment of the fruit of the righteous man.

Through the righteous man's love, joy, peace, longsuffering and gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, here called the tree of life, God will draw the soul to himself.

Another way of saying this verse is: God works his work in a man in such a way that fruit is grown for God's use.

That fruit is so carefully developed and husbanded by God that the bearer of that God produced fruit will draw other men to God so that other men can bear fruit for God.

Another aspect of course concerns good works.

The righteous man is created in Christ Jesus unto good works.

Jesus was a doer of good works.

His good works preceded him and drew men and woman unto him.

Crowds gathered to witness his healing for the sick and hurting.

Men sought to be given sight.

Jesus said in: Matthew 5:16,  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

There has been such a misuse of this proverb relative to reaching men, women, boys and girls for Christ.

This effort of reaching the lost is not a contest in how many can be chalked up to your account.

But the winning of souls for God is Godís effort, but he is gracious to endow you with fruit in order to be a tree of life to others.

He can use you in drawing men unto him by you allowing His Spirit to work in you that fruit may be apparent to those you may influence.

God will create in you another Son in the image of His Son Jesus Christ and you will bear the fruit of the tree of life and the natural outcome will be to draw souls to Jesus Christ.

For only God can make a tree!

 

Proverbs 11:30,  The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.

In the book of Genesis God introduces to us a tree that he planted in the Garden of Eden called the tree of life.

This tree symbolized access to eternal life and it was only shown to be important after Adam and Eve disobeyed God.

The tree of life was taken for granted before the fall because there was no death.

It was understood to be a part of the garden, a special tree for their use.

Adam and Eve were to obey God as a family and perform their task of keeping the garden.

The implication is that they had access to all the trees in the garden, including the tree of life, but God gave an explicit command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

But sin interrupted the quality of life God intended for them.

Their relationship to God changed radically when they disobeyed that command.

Chief among the radical changes was that they no longer had access to the tree of life.

The phrase "tree of life" appears in Proverbs four times and in Revelation three times.

Proverbs 3:18 says,  To lay hold of wisdom is to lay hold on "a tree of life"

Yet another proverb has this comparison: "a longing fulfilled is a tree of life" (13:12).

The author of another proverb wrote, "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life" (15:4).

And the proverb that we are considering today, The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, (11:30).

None of these proverbs seem to refer to the literal "tree of life" mentioned in Genesis.

They all compare spiritual benefits to "a tree of life".

However all of the references in Revelation refer to "the" tree of life that God placed in the Garden of Eden.

We all know that a tree is a pleasing thing.

It provides beauty, shade, comfort, it gives oxygen to the atmosphere.

It provides a nesting place, a place of protection, for birds and animals.

In other words a tree is a blessing to man and other creatures of God's creation.

God tells us in this proverb that the fruit of the righteous is a tree.

It is a particular kind of tree, because life is found in that tree.

God did not say that the fruit of the righteous is an apple tree, or a peach tree or a pecan tree, or any tree that we are familiar with.

He compares the fruit of the righteous to the noblest tree of paradise which God himself planted in the Garden of Eden.

This was "the tree of life", a tree that was distinguished above the beautiful trees of the beautiful garden that God prepared for the first couple on Earth.

After the fall of Adam, God guarded the tree of life from the first couple because they were now sinners and not allowed to eat of the tree because it would allow them to live forever while they were in a sinful state.

Not allowing them to live forever in a sinful state was an act of grace on God's part.

The tree of life represented eternal life and by its use in this proverb God reminds us that the fruit of the righteous person is eternal fruit.

Fruit that lasts. A fruit that is alive. It is not only fruit but it is a tree that bears fruit.

A tree that bears fruit will attract others to it so that they can partake of the fruit of the tree and they also can become a tree of life.

This is the plan of God. Every creature of his creation is to be a bearer of fruit.

This is decreed by God and that which does not bear fruit is cast away.

What is the fruit of a righteous man? What is a righteous man?

We know by scripture that a righteous man is a saved man, a man made by God as a new creation, a man in whom the Holy Spirit dwells.

This is not a self made man, or a self righteous man, that the wise man is talking about in this proverb.

This is a man or woman in whom the Holy Spirit is working and his work is a work of making fruit for God:

Galatians 5:22,23, tell us that the  "fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:" and Ephesians 5:9 adds righteousness and truth.

These then are branches of the tree of life.

The branch of love, The branch of joy

The branch of peace, The branch of longsuffering

The branch of gentleness, The branch of goodness

The branch of faith, The branch of meekness

The branch of temperance, The branch of righteousness

The branch of truth

There are many branches to the tree of life. Jesus said that he was the vine but ye are the branches.

It is easy to see that the tree of life is a full spreading tree that bids many to find comfort and shelter beneath its branches.

Don't you think that a place of love and joy and peace and longsuffering and gentleness and goodness and faith and meekness and temperance, righteousness and a place of truth is a place that will draw men and women, boys and girls to it?

This then is the picture that God wants us to see as we consider the next phrase of this proverb. "and he that winneth souls is wise"

The first phrase on this proverb regarding the tree of life is a natural introduction to this second phrase and must be considered in its study to fully comprehend its meaning.

The word winneth in this verse has been translated from the Hebrew word, laqach, law-kakh, it is translated to the English in many ways but the basic meaning is to take:

It is translated to: accept, bring, buy, carry away, drawn, fetch, get, infold, receive, reserve, seize, send for, take, use, and win.

In general the word "winneth" used in this verse means that something is being transferred from one person to another.

A movement by toil or labor toward the one toiling or laboring.

The word soul in this verse has been translated from the Hebrew word, nephesh, neh'-fesh; which means a breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstr.) vitality; sometimes translated into the words any, appetite, beast, body, breath, creature, desire, he, heart, life , lust, man, me, mind, mortality, one, own, person, pleasure, self, them soul, they, thing, will,

So, considering the preface of this verse concerning the "fruit of the righteous being a tree of life", it appears to me that the message of this phrase, "and he that winneth souls is wise"

means that the righteous man's fruit which is a tree of life, a life of labor and faithful service to God, will draw men and women to him because he evidences the fruit of life eternal.

His fruit is a tree of life and the fruit of that tree of life is desired by others and he will be a tree that brings forth fruit for God in the lives of others.

As a tree has long life and is long in fruit bearing, the souls that are described as won, are won continually by being taught of God and bearing fruit for God.

Winning a soul then, contrary to popular thought, is not a one time event called salvation, but a lifetime of that soul feeding at the tree of life where the righteous man dwells.

Winning his soul for God involves the person's continual enjoyment of the fruit of the righteous man.

Through the righteous man's love, joy, peace, longsuffering and gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, righteousness and truth, here called the tree of life, God will draw the soul to himself.

Another way of saying this verse is: God works his work in a man in such a way that fruit is grown for God's use.

That fruit is so carefully developed and husbanded by God that the bearer of that God produced fruit will draw other men to God so that other men can bear fruit for God.