Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Christian Outdoor Object Lesson 27: Faithful Nut

Key Verse

“Abram moved his tent, and came and lived by the oaks of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to Yahweh.” Genesis 13:18 (WEB)


One of the most well-known trees is the oak tree. There are over 600 species of oak tree around the world.1 Although the oak is a common tree in many parts of the world, this is not the main reason for its fame. The oak tree is so well-known because of its toughness. It is one of the hardest woods available. It is the wood chosen when a craftsman desires to make something durable, strong, and long-lasting. Oak is so tough, a ship made from oak in the American Revolutionary War named “Old Ironsides” could withstand cannonballs. When they hit the sides of the ship they just bounced off!2

The oak tree has been respected and valued in many cultures for centuries because of its durability. But why is it so durable? Because it grows very slowly.1 This allows the wood inside the tree to become very dense and tough. The tree has more time to build a strong foundation and root system because it does not rush to grow tall. Oaks grow so slowly some live thousands of years and can become a landmark. The oak tree Abraham pitched his tent beside in Genesis 13 was already a landmark because it was called the Oak of Mamre.

Oak trees also do not produce seeds until they are between 20 and 50 years old.3 They wait until they are mature before producing acorns to become other trees. People have wondered how such a mighty tree as the oak can grow from such a small acorn. It is because the tree is faithful and disciplined. It does not rush or hurry to be a great tree. Instead it faithfully absorbs the nutrients from the soil, the sunlight, and the rain. It waits to produce its seeds until it is truly ready-it is disciplined.

When fully mature, the oak tree gives back much. It provides acorn nuts for food, it provides shelter to many animals, and when it finally dies it continues giving through the use of its wood. But it can only give so much back because it was faithful and disciplined until it became something great. Every day it was faithful or dedicated to doing the little things. It was disciplined and continued doing them even when it might not have wanted to. It was disciplined and waited until it was mature before producing seeds. Abraham lived next to this mighty tree and worshiped there as well. This is ironic because Abraham was also a good example of faithfulness and discipline. He waited years to see God fulfill his promises but in the end was thankful he did. David Icke summed up the oak tree well when he said, “Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground."4


What is your favorite tree?

What are some specific ways that Abraham showed faithfulness and discipline?

How can you practice faithfulness or discipline in our lives?


Written by David F. Garner
Photo Credit: Alexandru Galamb (a.k.a. graphicus)