Summary: How long should it take for us to bear fruit and mature in Christ? Here is a little insight from the book of Leviticus.
THE YIELDING YEARS
Today, I would like to jump back into the Book of Leviticus to check out a passage of Scripture that paints an incredible picture of the life of a believer.
Typically, most people kind of shy away from the book of Leviticus (as its name states) it is one of the most extensive books covering God’s Law – how His people could practice the Levitical ceremonies He ordained.
However, tucked away in this book of difficult context and obscure practice, there are some real treasures that God has left for us to glean from – that is what we will do today! I want to look at the YIELDING YEARS.
Leviticus 19:23-25 23And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of. 24But in the fourth year all the fruit thereof shall be holy to praise the LORD withal. 25And in the fifth year shall ye eat of the fruit thereof, that it may yield unto you the increase thereof: I am the LORD your God.
Now I know that we aren’t orchard farmers in here, and at first this passage really doesn’t have much significance to us today – but please bear with me and lets see if we can glean some practical principles that God was seeking to teach His people.
I want to start off by looking at the context in which this instruction is given:
Leviticus 19:22 22And the priest shall make an atonement for him with the ram of the trespass offering before the LORD for his sin which he hath done: and the sin which he hath done shall be forgiven him.
God speaks in the verse before about an atonement that would be made – a trespass offering for sin – and the forgiveness that would come by that offering (a ram without spot or blemish).
Right after mentioning this forgiveness that could come from the sacrifice of a ram (incredible OT picture of Christ – the lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world John 1:29) God speaks of coming into “the land”.
John 5:24 24Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
1 Peter 2:9 9But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
As they entered into this “PROMISED LAND” they were instructed to plant all manner of trees.
Leviticus 19:23 23And when ye shall come into the land, and shall have planted all manner of trees for food, then ye shall count the fruit thereof as uncircumcised: three years shall it be as uncircumcised unto you: it shall not be eaten of.
A) THE PLANT
This is where this passage really begins to COME ALIVE!! Because as we study the Word of God and compare Scripture with Scripture or (spiritual things with spiritual 1 Corinthians 2:13), we see some interesting parallels between trees and men!
Psalm 1:1-3 1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Mark 8:23-24 23And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking.
Luke 6:43-44 43For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
44For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes.
Really, if you think about it, our purposes are quite similar!
What are trees supposed to do?
1) Clean up the earth and make it a more beautiful place,
2) The are supposed to continually grow in strength and stature, and most importantly:
3) The are supposed to BEAR FRUIT and REPRODUCE after their own kind by spreading SEED.
Genesis 1:12 12And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.