“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.” Psalm 128:3Psalm 128
When I was a boy, my family had a mature olive tree in our front yard. Each growing season, hundreds of little shoots would spring up from around the base of the tree. The shoots were so leafy and dense that it was possible to let them grow into what looked like a thick bush around the tree.
In Psalm 128:3, the psalmist compares shoots like this to the blessing of children that God’s people could have when they obeyed God’s laws. But sadly, because of their disobedience, this hope was often dashed.
However, before the conditional blessings of the Old Covenant, God had made an unconditional promise to Abraham. “Number the stars,” He said. “So shall your offspring be.” And, in time, God fulfilled that promise by coming into the world as a man, fulfilling the requirements man could not. So not by our works but through faith in Him, we could become the olive shoots promised in Psalm 128. Encircled around Him, drawing our life from His, we are the reward for His obedience. And Jesus is the reward for our faith.
“Be glad, O children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you autumn rains in righteousness.” (Joel 2:23)