Jeremiah 17:8 NLT
But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit.
Those who put their trust, confidence, and security in the Lord are blessed. Blessed here means live with an abundance of God’s goodness, mercy, favor, health, and wealth.
Trees planted along a riverbank
Not many types of vegetation can survive in the riverbank. Because banks are steep, even if a seed manages to sprout, the smaller and weaker plants will just wash away. But the tree can withstand the water level and grow deep roots that help slow down erosion and stabilize the top layer of soil. Riverbanks lined with trees create a buffer zone and reduce flooding (1).
The blessed person are like a tree planted beside a riverbank
When someone trusts in God, and are secure in His character and His Word, they face life and its challenges that others would deem as hopeless. They are rooted deep in their faith and each experience or challenge causes their roots to grow deeper. When bad times come, their relationship with God buffers them from losing faith and gives them patience to wait for His divine intervention.
The leaves of the tree create shade lowering the temperature of the air, and aid in the cooling of the surrounding soil. Oxygen, the life supporting component of air and the most abundant element in the earth’s crust, is produced by leaves. Leaves also absorb pollutants from the air. At the end of a tree’s life cycle, it's trunk, branches, and leaves deteriorate, break apart, and drop into the river. Fallen tree parts generate a healthy habitat for marine life (1).
The blessed person are like leaves that remain green and never die
Just as shade cools and refreshes the soil, when the word of God is applied to any situation, we are refreshed by the truth, wisdom, and perspective it provides.
Leaves producing oxygen is an analogy for the Word of God that provides life. In fact, someone who submits and adheres to God’s words are like leaves that never die because they are so filled with life, God’s creative miracle working power. The miraculous is not only evident in their own lives, but spills over to those who are connected to them.
When someone is filled with God’s word, they have the ability to screen pollutants, or have the discernment to judge what is false or evil. Their filter gives them ability to pray accurately and act appropriately in order to change situations that are contrary to God’s will.
Leaves determine the size and the nutritional value of the fruit (1). God is saying that this person will always produce fruit, even when they leave this earth because of the legacy of faith they leave behind.
That’s what leaves mean in this verse.
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