God uses His creation to grab our attention, reveal Himself to us, provide for us, and demonstrate His restorative power. Trees are an instrument He uses to capture our hearts and minds, and to put His plan into the physical realm where we can witness and be a part of it.
In the Bible, trees represent:
- God’s family
What Does the Bible Say about Trees?
“And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”—Genesis 2:9 (emphasis added)
“Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.’”—Genesis 2:15-17
From the very beginning of creation, you see trees playing a major role in life, growth, provision, and family. The tree is a symbol of where God meets with humanity and blesses them as part of His family.
But in verse 15 you notice something else—“tend and keep it.” God intended for us to take care of and give creation what it needed to grow and thrive.
Keep reading to find out how YOU can be a part of the growing and thriving Promised Land!
He wanted us to work the ground, partner with Him, and find joy in what we do; as a result, we are provided for and may freely eat!
Tree of Life
The Tree of Life is introduced in Genesis 2 and is credited with producing eternal life. The gift of life was within the fruit of this divine tree! God wanted humanity to enjoy and take care of this remarkable tree that was connected to Him.
We see the Tree of Life reappear in the Proverbs…
- “The fruit of the righteous is atree of life, and he who wins souls is”—Proverbs 11:30
Ultimately, we see the restoration, beauty, and provision of God’s creation again in the book of Revelation. The Tree of Life is situated right in the City of Jerusalem, surrounded by the River of Life.
- “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”—Revelation 22:2
Trees Represent Growth
Trees grow and change with every season, just like you. From a small sapling to a mature olive tree, we can relate to trees because they are a picture of us. Like trees, we grow in resilience and strength throughout our lifetime.
As time passes, we have experiences that shape us, and when we embrace the lessons learned, we gain wisdom. A mature tree bears marks of weathering the storm and lasting through the season—don’t we do the same with every passing year? A sapling might break in the wind, but the mature tree grows hardier and bends. Can you see your life represented in the imagery of the tree?
Trees Represent Provision
Trees produce fruit that is made for us to eat and enjoy. As mentioned earlier, the Tree of Life in Revelation will yield fruit much more rapidly in the future than we see trees doing today. It will also provide healing to the nations.
Imagine this today—a tree that bears fruit and brings nations together in peace. Could the olive trees in Israel be a glimpse of what is to come when all is restored? Those who sponsor an olive tree through My Olive Tree are providing a place of peace that is “healing the nations” now.
The olive trees you sponsor allow Jews, Muslims, Christians, and others to unite in a shared cause—planting. Under these branches something extraordinary happens—peace resides. This is why the Israeli flag dons the emblem of the olive branch.
God wants to set apart Israel as a nation of peace, provision, and prosperity, and He’s currently at work on this plan. He tells us what happens when we realign with Israel and pray for peace.
- “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces.’ ”—Psalm 122:6-7
Trees Represent Beauty
God said His creation was good in the creation account. The earth captures beauty for us to behold. Look around you today… whether it’s summer and the trees are full of lush leaves, or winter and the bare branches are frosted with snow, trees are beautiful.
Artists paint vivid images of budding branches in the spring to show new life and colorful leaves of fall to reveal the beauty in every season.
Trees Represent God’s Family
Have you ever thought about why we use a tree to represent family? It shows how we are all connected, ultimately to the root.
We read the words of the Apostle Paul as he uses the olive tree to represent HOW we are in God’s family.
“For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
“You will say then, ‘Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.’ Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.”—Romans 11:16-21
The branches are a picture of Israel. The Gentile nations are grafted in. We see the significance of trees in God’s story—but these aren’t just a representation of a past story…the same olive tree is alive and thriving today.
- Israel is still the branch
- The olive tree still represents God’s family
- We are still to keep and tend to God’s creation
You have an opportunity to physically apply these words of Paul in your life.
Today, in Israel, kibbutz farmers tend the land, plant olive trees, and harvest the crops. The harvests provide for them, as well as the nation and the world, various olive products and oils.
If embracing God’s beautiful creation and watching the miracle of His hands providing for the world through a single sapling is something you want to be a part of—we have an opportunity for you.
Sponsoring an olive tree in the Promised Land gives you the chance to live out your faith in a way that circles back to honoring your earthly and spiritual family tree. Be a part of tending and keeping God’s land!
Check out ways to honor your loved ones while blessing so many in Israel HERE!