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A Leaf That Will Not Fall

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A Leaf That Will Not Fall

6 minuten leestijd

“...We all do fade as a leaf...” (Isaiah 64:6b).

Rev. J. den Hoed, Franklin Lakes, NJ

It is fall. All around us we can see this. The trees which a short time ago were laden with fruits are now letting their leaves fall. These falling leaves fill us with nostalgia. They show us that there is nothing in the world which is permanent. In the spring the trees stood with the promise of new life; the tender green shoots spoke of a great change which was coming. The beautiful blossoms promised a full harvest. Now the falling of those leaves sends us a message of death and dying. God’s Word uses this as an image of the life of man. We all fall from the tree of life as a leaf from the tree. Not one of us will remain.

Do you ever think of that, dear friends? Let us just stop and think about such a tree. Each falling leaf has its own message. Each leaf tells us that we will also fall from the tree of life of man. We all are going to die. Isaiah says, “And we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.” Notice that the leaves do not all fall at the same time.


This tree can only live and its leaf can only remain green andflourishing when it may be nourished by the rivers of water as they are in Christ Jesus. He is thefirm Foundation for His people. Only in Him there is life; therefore, all other resting grounds must be taken away.


There were young tender leaves which were perhaps torn off early in the spring. How sad it is when a young life is taken away in the springtime of life. There were leaves which fell during a summer storm. The Lord says, “What is your life?” It is only as a vapor. How foolish we are when we put the day of death far from us. There are still a few leaves remaining in the top of the tree. Will they continue to hang there? No, during a cold, stormy day they also will fall. The Lord says, “There is no one who will remain.” We all do fade as a leaf. The leaves which are falling off the trees in our backyards testify of the perishableness of our lives. Yet, the Lord speaks of a tree “that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither” (Psalm 1:3b).

God’s people are as a tree whose leaves will not fall. Here the Lord speaks of that new life which will never come to an end. We call this the new birth, a one-sided work of God wrought in the heart of man. Between the cradle and the grave this must be worked in us. By nature, we miss this new life. The knowledge which we may acquire, together with all our efforts, cannot work this life in us. None of our merits have earning power with God. This is difficult to accept; it fights against our proud nature.

How is it possible for a people who are lying in the midst of death to be like a tree that will bring forth fruit, whose leaf will not wither? Only by the eternal God, moving from within Himself. It cannot be that there is a climbing upward toward heaven from man’s side but that the Lord Jesus comes down from heaven to draw enemies out of the mire of sin and iniquity and bestows upon them the gift of life.

That new life is like all other life; it is subject to growth. Here the new man runs into so many obstacles, for he measures that growth so differently from Him who planted that life. Often, he must ask if he can be a child of God and be thus—when, more than he ever thought possible, he experiences a daily sorrow and is continually troubled because he is so overcome with the lusts of the flesh, with worldliness, and with his own corrupt heart.

What mark is there in my life that it is well with my soul when I am so easily and continually overcome by sin? Add to this, also, the days and the weeks when it is so cold and so hard within, when prayers are no more than words, when the sighings of the heart are not there. It is at these times that the Lord leads one in such a way that he can see no growth and there is no going upward.

One day I will fall and wither as a leaf. My iniquities must certainly take me away as by the wind. By grace, is that also your place, your sigh, my friend? Remember, then, this solemn truth—we must be overcome in order to overcome. This tree can only live and its leaf can only remain green and flourishing when it may be nourished by the rivers of water as they are in Christ Jesus. He is the firm Foundation for His people. Only in Him there is life; therefore, all other resting grounds must be taken away.

Is it not so that we endeavor to add to our strength from our own stockpile, weakly trying to increase it so that in this way we may obtain the victory in our own strength? No, there is victory only in Him who wept in Gethsemane and who died upon Golgotha. Paul, by faith, in seeing His victory, says, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).

For God’s people to gain the victory, they must know their weaknesses, and their weaknesses can only be known when their consciences may be opened. At such a time we experience defeat of all that is of self. Then we may bow in the dust with empty hands. Then we learn that outside of Christ there is no life and that life is only in and through Him. Every defeat in our life is a necessary experience so that it may become evident, by the grace of God, that we are as a tree whose leaf shall not wither.

Do you miss that life? Then the falling of the leaves this autumn still has a message for you. Make haste for your life’s sake! Soon your leaf will fall, also. May you, by grace, know something of that new life. True, the days of darkness are many; thus, with you it is more of a missing than a possessing, but the Lord says in His Word, and that Word is truth, “He shall be like a tree ... [whose] leaf shall not wither”—never to die, but to live to all eternity.

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Bekijk de hele uitgave van woensdag 1 oktober 2014

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

A Leaf That Will Not Fall

Bekijk de hele uitgave van woensdag 1 oktober 2014

The Banner of Truth | 24 Pagina's

PDF Bekijken