Saturday, December 10, 2005

Allegory of the Olive trees

In the book of Jacob there is an allegory about an orchard full of trees. The lord of the vineyard and a servant work to bear good fruit from the trees throughout the allegory. On one level it is the history of the house of Israel in its varying states of faith and apostasy.

On another level though it is the story of each of us as individuals. There was good ground and bad ground, good fruit and bad fruit, even on the same tree. We are not all good nor all bad. We are very much a mixed tree or mixed orchard. We have an easier time believing in some doctrines or obeying some commandments than we do others.

There are two possible outcomes in the allegory. In one, the evil fruit overcome the good fruit and take over the tree. In the other outcome, the evil branches are purged from the tree as the good branches become strong enough to take the nourishment from the roots.

We are a mixed tree. Whether we become all bad or all good in the end will depend on whether we nourish the good branches in our lives and work to prune the bad branches out.

The neat thing about the scriptures are that they are like onions (no, they don't stink). There are many layers to the same text. At the most shallow layer, there is only the story about a bunch of trees. At a deeper layer is the story of the house of Israel. At an even deeper level is the story of the human soul. I'm sure there are other layers in this allegory alone that I haven't discovered yet. Time to strap on the scuba tank and dive even deeper into the scriptures.

1 Comments:

Blogger Burgess' Intermountain Martial Arts said...

what a great way to explain in simple terms a hard to understand story

6:47 PM  

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