Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
- Weekly Pastoral Message -

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"Continuing steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine" Acts 2:42

Weekly Pastoral Message prepared by Rev. Murray Adamthwaite
for Sunday 5th October 1997

From the Pastor: Curious Comparisons I

"Like poplars by streams of water" Isaiah 44:4 (NASB)

Today we begin a new series of meditations which will continue for some weeks to come.

Scripture will often draw comparisons, usually with respect to plants or animals, to illustrate or reinforce God's promises, and equally His warnings. Sometimes these comparisons are lost on us because of a degree of ignorance about the plant or animal in the comparison. The Hebrews were not like the Greeks, a philosophical people (perhaps they had more sense!), but they were keen students of nature. When we are also keen students of nature the promises take on greater clarity.

The word translated "poplar" in the text above is really a type of willow which grows beside watercourses or rivers, unlike the poplar tree familiar to us, which grows elsewhere. The willow beside a small river imparts a welcome relief in the vista of a barren landscape. It tells of life in an expanse of death.

Two aspects of the willow stand out for comment:

    1. The tree is easily progagated by cutting off slivers and pushing them into moist earth. These take root and spring up quickly. So when the Spirit is poured out upon us (Isaiah 44:3) real life qickly reveals itself, and springs to life.

    2. The tree is heat-tolerant. As long as there is moisture the hot sun will not adversely affect it. So with one who has genuinely received the Spirit's touch: let the heat come, let adversity prevail, he will endure, since he draws from the undestructible life of the Spirit of God.

Is your life like this, a refreshing experience to yourself and to those around you?

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Caulfield Evangelical Methodist Church
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