I was able to do one of my absolute favorite things in the whole wide world the other day! When I tell you what it is, you are going to say to yourself, “That man is crazy!” It is something I haven’t done for three or four years. The Friday after Christmas was the day it happened. I got my chainsaw out of the repair shop – just a simple look-over after not being used for a long time. Now I needed a project. All I had to do was look around. I spent four hours enjoying the sound of my old friend (the chainsaw). A couple of the hours I also got to hear my children singing as they worked along with me. Friday – what a great day!
How can I relate this to have anything to do with God’s Word? Easy. I love making something look better than it was. I will focus on one tree that just stuck out like a sore thumb. It looked terrible. Its branches were breaking and getting tangled in the lower branches and so on. It affected the other trees around it also. Its limbs were so low to the ground that vines and briars were climbing the tree. Something had to be done, or this would continue and spread to even more trees. The chainsaw is the answer or the beautifier, so to speak. So many people have the same problem the tree did. Something must be done!
God’s Word is the Beautifier. It has the power to change lives (Romans 1:16). Man is the messenger (Acts 8:4,5; 11:13,14; 17:2,3). So many people, even Christians, have problems that weigh them down. Little problems many times get bigger and other problems arise and bog one’s mind down to where they feel there is no hope. If one is a parent the problems are passed down to their children and it continues throughout many generations. Work many times is a place of refuge where one can get away from family problems. But the attitude and feelings of losing hope even continue there and are passed along to other employees. Some in the church even have the feelings that others are out to get them, while some have a special knack for causing drama and entertaining the ideas of doctrines of men.
In Judges 9, Jotham tells a parable about a time when the trees would anoint a king over themselves. They asked the olive tree, the fig tree, the vine, and they all said, “No, we will not reign over you.” But then the trees asked the bramble. In verse 15 the bramble said unto the trees, “If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow.” Too many people put their trust in the brambles, which is Satan’s vices and influence. Sin has dominion and reigns in their lives when it could be so different. Satan is their master. But God be thanked, we do not have to be the servants of sin. The Word of God is quick and powerful (it is the Beautifier), and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). We must choose life, abundant life and this comes through Jesus Christ. When we are in Christ, we have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts.
Now, going back to that tree that was in such terrible shape. After cutting away all the fallen and rotten wood, it started shaping up. It had been cut on before, but it went back to its old habits. It wasn’t pruned and trained to grow up, toward the light. It grew out and down and welcomed the brambles. It took some hard cutting, but in the end it looked strange to the brambles. Its branches were far from danger and with a little tender loving care it will be a tree that depends and grows toward the warmth and nourishment that comes from God. We were all like this tree at one time. But through God’s Word we can grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As Christians we are a peculiar bunch. We are a people that strive to be pleasing to God. The reign of the brambles is over. There is no pleasure in sin when it takes us farther away from our Savior.