“. . . you do not sustain the root, the root sustains you.” – Romans 11:18
In our area of Georgia there are so many pecan trees we say, “When it rains, it limbs!” because of the inevitability of branches falling after a storm. In many instances it is not unusual for a tree or two to come down as well.
I contrast this picture to a pecan tree in my wife’s grandparents’ yard that has stood guard for nearly a century and a quarter. They live in the Florida panhandle and the area took a beating after Hurricane Michael. The well-over one hundred mile an hour winds even this far inland toppled many trees and cleared whole forests of pine. The tree in our family’s yard is now simply leaning – slightly. For those who know the difference, the answer is that this old tree has a serious taproot that is sustaining it.
Romans 8–11 is one of the most challenging sections of all of Scripture. In it we delve deep into the waters of predestination and God’s purposes for Israel. Though those things are of great importance, let us not miss the forest for the trees.
None of us – Jew, Gentile, or otherwise – are capable of being saved apart from the mercy of God (Romans 9:18). The good news of Jesus is the power of salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 10:11). But just like none of us are able to save ourselves, none of us are able to sustain ourselves. The difference is the root, and we do not sustain the root, the root sustains us.
“Father, thank you for your mercy that has brought me the knowledge of salvation, may I live daily in light of your great kindness and may you sustain me by the deep root of your grace.”
John Blackmon serves as pastor of Meansville Baptist Church.