For a little over three decades, we enjoyed the grapefruit tree beside our home. It towered to the height of 20 feet and more.This tree was one of the many citrus trees planted by my grandfather in the mid-1980’s. It has seen many fruitful years, but now it has become fungus-ridden and it appeared to be stifling for life. We had to chop it down.
But all was not lost, for it has sprung up again as the scripture verses in the book of Job describe: “There is hope for a tree that has been cut down; it can come back to life and sprout. Even though its roots grow old, and its stump dies in the ground, with water it will sprout like a young plant”. (Job 14:7-9).
The verses in Job also emphasis that this was not so for man. “Like rivers that stop running, and lakes that go dry, people die, never to rise”. (Job 14:11-12)
When persons die, there is no hope for them to spring to life again and their involvement on earth is finished. “Their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun”. (Ecclesiastes 9:6)
The book of Ecclesiastes then advises us:
“Go your way, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a cheerful heart [i.e. if you are righteous, wise, and in the hands of God], for God has already accepted your works. Let your garments be always white [with purity], and let your head not lack [the] oil [of gladness]. Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun—all the days of futility. For that is your portion in this life and in your work at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol (the place of the dead), where you are going.” (Ecclesiastes 9:7 – 10)