I am like a flourishing olive tree in the house of God; I continually trust in God’s loyal love. I will continually thank you when you execute judgment; I will rely on you, for your loyal followers know you are good.
Psalm 52:8-9 (NET Bible)
The Olive tree is used as a symbol of wealth and power throughout the Bible for several reasons. One reason is that the olive’s fruit is widely revered and enjoyed. The oil is widely used as a condiment and cooking supply. Olive oil has been used for anointing and for healing purposes. In consideration of the benefits of the Olive tree, it is made all the more amazing in that the Olive is capable of growing and thriving in difficult, desert-like environments. The olive is not just a wispy survivor, but is capable of producing much fruit in climates that would damage or kill other plants.
Like the olive tree, many believers are planted in difficult climates. We are surrounded by difficult circumstances, plagues and ills that seem to close in around us ever tighter. It is in these times that we often cry out for relief to God and a reprieve from the pain, and understandably so. However, we, like the olive tree, can be fruitful in spite of the pain. Our God is not just our judge and king, but He is most notably our Father, who in spite of the damaging environments that surround and impound us, gives us the nurturing and love that makes us fruitful in spite of the sparseness and barrenness of our surroundings.
It is difficult to be rooted in a harsh place with no relief in sight. It is in these moments that we are most likely to feel abandoned by God. Like Job, like David, we are in the very same process of going through the dry moments of life that we may be fruitful and healthy in the service of the Kingdom of God. It is in these dry climates that our most valuable fruits of love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, and joy can sometimes be most successfully cultivated that we may be as refreshing and valuable as the olive tree.