**Please be sure to read all around this passage so that you are getting it in context; and as always, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to the understanding that He would have you see. Passage: Matthew 3:6-12
John says a lot in this passage and so I decided to cover it some more on the next day. I'll try to look closely at another portion of what is said here, specifically verse 10,
"Even now the ax of God's judgment is poised, ready to sever the roots of the trees. Yes, every tree that does not produce good fruit will be chopped down and thrown into the fire."
I notice first that here we are talking about trees; trees that seem to symbolize someone. So, I looked up Isaiah 61:3 and find a passage describing the ministry of Jesus saying
"...To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness."
Who are the trees? Considering whom John is talking to I would think that the trees are the children of Israel. John is warning them that they will soon be cut down and thrown into the fire if they do not start to produce good fruit.
The immediate assumption of some might be "whoa this is harsh". But it is a warning meant to lead them back to God. I also think that the fire, in this instance, doesn't necessarily have to be the all consuming fire. Maybe it is the fire of trial, which sometimes helps us to see our need for God and who He really is, so that we come back to him. The Jewish nation had lost it's way. They are being warned that they are going to be cut down and replaced with trees that will produce fruit if they do not turn from their sins and turn toward God again. It becomes even more apparent that this is the meaning when John says that someone is coming who will "seperate the chaff from the wheat".
Dear Lord of Love and Justice,
Thank you for being willing to give us trials to bring us back to you. Often it is only when we feel our need that we can hear your knocking on the door of our hearts. Help me to recognize those trials that develop my character further and to go through them with Your joy in my heart. Help me to always see your hand in my life...the good or the corrective trial.
Please be with my family, friends, church, and especially my daughter. Please watch over and direct all of the prayer requests listed on that page. Lord, in all things may your good and true and perfect will be done.
Thank you for the trials that you have put in my life, especially the ones that helped to bring me back to you. Thank you for all that you supply. Help me to better use what you have given me to your glory. Amen.