Thursday, January 08, 2009

Different Fruit

I'm finishing prepping for our Thursday evening service (verse-by-verse through the Old Testament), and I ran across this gem from Jon Courson in his commentary on Deuteronomy 20:19-20

When the Israelites went to battle, their axes were not to fly indiscriminately. That is, they were not to cut down any fruit-bearing tree. This is a good word for us because in our battle against principalities and powers, against the devil, our Adversary, if we’re not careful, we can cut down trees that bear fruit, other believers, denominations, or churches who might have an entirely different flavor than ours, but from which we can be nourished. Wise is the believer who says, “Lord, help me to see what I can glean from that group, what I can learn from those people.”

So much of what I’ve learned has been from trees that, in my own fleshly tendency, I would have chopped down. Wouldn’t it be something if all the energy we expend analyzing ministry and criticizing Christians was harnessed against the real enemy? Yes, there’s a war to wage, a battle to fight. And some trees are apostate indeed. But others have fruit that we can glean, through which we can grow, from which we can gain strength for the battle against the enemy of our souls.

Courson, J. (2005). Jon Courson's application commentary : Volume one : Genesis-Job (596). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

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