Oak trees have been with us from the very beginning of time.

When God created the oak tree and the acorn, whichever came first, we were blessed with one of the sturdiest and useful plants for our provision.

Oaks are found on five of our seven continents, and they thrive in quite diverse environments. This hardiest of trees can apparently easily survive for well over 500 years.

Much has been written of the oak tree in prose and poetry throughout the centuries.

There are hundreds of species categorized into two distinct groups: white oaks and red oaks.

Admiring the mighty oak for its many attributes seems quite appropriate and a worthwhile topic of discussion.

In Isaiah 61:3b, the prophet proclaims, “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

Isaiah presents a metaphor representing the future generations who will obediently follow the Lord of Hosts. As Christians, we are the representation of those “oaks of righteousness” he prophesies to the Israelites 800 years before the birth of Christ Jesus.

In comparison to the thousands upon thousands of white oaks indigenous to Santa Barbara, we also have quite a large number of eucalyptus trees imported into our region during the last century.

Unlike oak trees, which have deep roots, these gum trees have shallow roots and quite frequently uproot falling over and causing damage and disruption to traffic and life in general.

It would have been best to keep these giant hazards Down Under where God originally placed them.

Let’s take this discussion into just how these mighty oaks represent Isaiah’s presentation of God’s greatest creation for His purpose.

Let’s first address the root system. Oak trees are known to send down a tap root for great distances in search of water vital for the tree to adequately flourish in moderate climates with light rainfall.

In a much similar fashion, a devoted follower of Christ must search deeply into God’s Word for the sustenance to be adequately nurtured and of true value to the Lord.

As the oak tree matures, it provides a great amount of shade for mankind and animals and birds that often live in its outstretched arms.

As the Christian matures and becomes much wiser, others will certainly benefit from what these blessed “oaks of righteousness” have learned through their many trials of life.

We can benefit from closely observing how the weather affects the oak tree and causes its trunk and branches to twist and turn as it resists the temptations that may well uproot and damage other trees in their close vicinity.

In essence, each tree has a story to tell to those who are willing to listen and learn.

And, many Christians in their twilight years also have stories that we should hear and, hopefully, learn from how they handled hardships and challenges during their many years weathering the storms of life.

Here’s my bottom line. We would all be wise to recognize that life is not easy and there’s no better foundation than the one available through our Lord Jesus.

Let me end with His words found in John 14:1: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God. Trust also in me.”

Passages to Ponder

Jim Langley has been writing for more than 30 years while working as a life and health insurance agent in Santa Barbara. In recent years, his passion has turned to writing about his personal relationship with God, and his goal is to encourage others to draw near to Him as well. As a longtime member of CBMC of Santa Barbara (Christian Business Men’s Connection), he started writing Fourth Quarter Strategies columns in 2014, and he now reaches an international audience through the CBMC International devotional Monday Manna. He can be contacted at jim@fourthquarterstrategies.com for more information. The opinions expressed are his own.