Summary: We don’t feel like healthy trees that are planted by water because we ignore God’s word. Get into God’s word and become an "oak of righteousness" (Is 61:3).

-No good infantryman ever gets lost

-I’ll extend that out even more, no good man ever gets lost

-A map is only for those that are weak

-Men never get lost

-Temporarily misoriented yes, but never lost

-Oh, but have I been misoriented

-When I was stationed at Ft. Riley I had just come from spending four years at West Point which is a dream to navigate. There are lots of hills and valleys that are easily distinguished on the map and on the ground.

-I had spent a year at Ft. Benning, Georgia. A little different but still very easy to navigate. There were lots of hills and wadis and even the roads through the wooded areas were on the map.

-But then I got to Ft. Riley. The roads were not where the map said that they should be. The hills were indistinguishable on the ground because the whole training area is just a bunch of slow, rolling hills.

-I spent a few months there trying to figure out where I was.

-It was maddening.

-But then I cracked the code.

-I noticed that everywhere there was a little line of blue representing a stream or creek, there was always a long not so straight row of trees

-You see, Ft. Riley like Israel before irrigation is a very arid region

-The only thing that grows well in western Kansas is sunflowers. The thick clay soil holds enough moisture to sustain them and a bunch of wild prairie grass but not much else.

-They do not get enough moisture to sustain trees so the trees that lived and thrived were the ones that had their seeds planted near some bodies of water, near the many streams that run through the training area at Ft. Riley.

-I’m sure it is similar in the nation of Israel during their early history and also during Jesus’ day.{PAUSE}

-After being within driving distance of Ft. Riley for some time (when we were in Des Moines for 5 years and then here for over a year), I finally got the opportunity to take my family there and show them where I was stationed.for three years.

-The post has changed a lot. They are in the midst of building all new barracks and headquarters buildings and a whole brand new housing development. The area around the post has been built up as well.

-What I had forgotten but as we drove around I noticed was that the streams that run through Ft. Riley’s training area guaranteed a near constant supply of water. There are a couple of big damns that the Corps of Engineers built, I think around the Great Depression era when they did much of their building. One is in Milford, Kansas on the west side of the post, adjacent to the training area. The river that is now a lake feeds the streams that run through the training area so that even in a drought, the water that the Corps of Engineers have to let loose periodically will supply enough water to the vegetation and animals downstream to keep them all alive.

-And they do have a serious animal population as well. They actually have a small Elk herd (which I never got to see) that lives in the impact area (where all the bullets and artillery rounds land) of all places. {PAUSE}

-The Psalmist in Psalm 1 says that people who read and study and meditate on God’s word are like that tree that is planted by a stream at Ft. Riley.

-Does the tree have any worries?

-Absolutely not!

-It certainly has enough water to sustain it. I saw at least one really bad drought when I was stationed at Ft. Riley but even though my lawn was crispy and the prairie grasses were kinda crunchy, the leaves on those trees planted out in the training area were always green.

-The biggest thing the trees had to worry about was getting run into by all of our mechanized vehicles rolling through their backyard. {PAUSE}

-If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?

-Sounds like a goofy question that they might ask you in a job interview or during a psychological exam. Maybe better yet, what they might ask in a Miss America pageant.

-Do you think of yourself as a big strong Oak or a towering Pine? I think most Christians think of themselves as seedlings or saplings.


-Martin Luther in his explanation of the third commandment says, “Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.” What does this mean?--Answer. “We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred, and gladly hear and learn it.”

- Just a side note, you might be thinking that is the fourth commandment. Lutherans and Catholics number the ten commandments differently than do other Christians. We don’t count, “Do make for yourself any graven image as a separate commandment.” We see that as part of the first commandment. And since I’m on the topic, Jews also number them differently. They see the preamble as the first commandment. Just for your edification.

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Bible Study
PowerPoint Template
Essential Equipment
PowerPoint Template
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion