By Jenny Lopez Lowe
One day the trees went out to anoint a king for themselves. They said to the olive tree, ‘Be our king.’ “But the olive tree answered, ‘Should I give up my oil, by which both God and humans are honored, to hold sway over the trees?’“Next, the trees said to the fig tree, ‘Come and be our king.’“But the fig tree replied, ‘Should I give up my fruit, so good and sweet, to hold sway over the trees?’“Then the trees said to the vine, ‘Come and be our king.’“But the vine answered, ‘Should I give up my wine, which cheers both God and humans, to hold sway over the trees?’ “Finally all the trees said to the thornbush, ‘Come and be our king.’“The thornbush said to the trees, ‘If you really want to anoint me king over you, come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, then let fire come out of the thornbush and consume the cedars of Lebanon!’ Judges 9:8-15
This parable is found in the book of Judges. Jotham, Gedeon’s youngest son, addresses the men of Shechem. He confronts them and holds them accountable for their actions. He does so wisely through a story that leads them to understand that the individuals who have low self worth usually sell their souls for a low prices. This action is devastatingly tragic.
Today, I meditate on my own identity and self worth, and I invite you to meditate on yours.
It is enriching to see the olive tree know its value before God and before men. It is there, that the olive tree discovers its reward. Jotham said, “To be king of the trees, it would have to stop producing oil, which is used to honor God and men” . The olive tree did not put a price on its value, in other words it did not compromise its value for the offer to rule. He knew that deviating from its divine design would cost him its identity.
In the same manner, the fig tree, very sure of itself, valued its fruit and the pleasure that it meant to God and to men … So also happened with the grape vine. Its fruit, wine, has a value that has transcended over the centuries, until today … The value of wine continues to increase although the process of fermentation continues to be very similar to that used in ancient time …
And you? Do you know how valuable your fruit is to God and to men? Do you know that even if your daily effort seems boring, outdated or insignificant, it is of great esteem for God and for men?
Be encouraged that like the grape vine and the olive tree, your fruit has a value that will live beyond your imagination. The one that designed you did it with purpose and no limitations. Do not look to the left or to the right to compare your life with the lives of others. God deals with us individually. Your task this year is to nourish the fruit that only you can produce.
Thank you Lord for your perfection, thank you for this fruit that you have only entrusted to me. You are my life, my reason and my confidence. Perfect my work with your love to be able to bless many with my fruit. In your name Jesus, Amen