Summary: God saw Nathaniel sitting under the fig tree, and he sees us. Wherever we are, and whatever we are doing, he sees and knows.
From The Desk Of Pastor Toby Powers
Truth Baptist Church
Bremen, GA 30110
Sitting Under A Tree
Intro: v. 48 and v. 50 tell of how Jesus saw Nathaniel under the fig tree. He sees us as well. Wherever we are, he sees us. In the case of Nathaniel, however, he saw him sitting under a tree. I want to preach on that: SITTING UNDER A TREE.
I. GOD SAW NATHANIEL SITTING UNDER THE FIG TREE OF DOUBT: v. 46, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” We were all like Nathaniel… doubting whether what the Christians testified to us saying, we wondered if what they told us was true. Is he as powerful as they say? Does he really forgive sins? Does he really forget all your trespasses? Does he really change lives? Does he really move inside and fill the emptiness that is life without Christ? Well, my answer to you, O Doubter, is the same as Phillip told Nathaniel (v. 46), “COME AND SEE.” See that he is all that I have said and so much more!
II. GOD SAW THE MAN OF GOD SITTING UNDER THE OAK TREE OF DISOBEDIENCE: I Kings 13:14. God said go preach against the altar of Jeroboam and come home without stopping to eat bread and drink water, and don’t even come home on the same path you traveled on the way down there. Yet, in exhaustion, he sat under an oak tree for shade, and fell into the trap of a lying old backslider! Weariness, exhaustion, and emotional frustration have found many people sitting under a tree doing nothing. In disobedience they commit the sins of omission and leave themselves vulnerable to the roar of the devil!
III. GOD SAW ELIJAH SITTING UNDER THE JUNIPER TREE OF DISCOURAGEMENT: I Kings 19:4-5, and he told the Lord, “It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life.” He faithfully trusted God through the drought. He had faced King Ahab and with ice water in his veins. He confronted the prophets of Baal with no sense of apprehension. But the voice of the meanest woman in the world- Jezebel- had him discouraged so as to beg God to kill him. It seems that he was afraid of an odd thing, but it is often the most unusual things that cause discouragement to us. But God sees us, and he will send us the encouragement we need as he did Elijah.
IV. GOD SAW JONAH SITTING UNDER THE GOURD TREE OF DISDAIN: Jonah 4:6. Jonah preached to the Ninevites, but then he got angry when they repented! He hated them. He harbored disdain in his heart for these men. His prejudice and anger was so great it was impossible for him to be able to rejoice when others got right with God. God sees that. He knows whether you have forgiven others. Is there someone who you refuse to tell about Jesus? Love them? Pray for them?
V. GOD SAW THE SHULAMITE GIRL SITTING UNDER THE APPLE TREE OF DELIGHT: SOS 2:2, She sat in the shadow of the tree. Her beloved’s tree. There they romanced. He spoke sweet things to her. They fellowshipped. “As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.” Notice it was a fruit-bearing tree! It was a productive tree! It was a nourishing tree! There are benefits to sitting under the tree of delightful fellowship!