After over a year of slowly making progress on this painting one day every month or two during First Fridays at school, I was excited to finally sign my name on this painting inspired by Jeremiah 17:7-8
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the YHWH,
And whose hope is the YHWH.
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
Because this passage metaphorically compares a Godly man to a tree, the tree in the painting loosely bears a resemblance to a human figure with arms up-stretched in a posture of praise and worship. Three large roots provide a strong foundation and support this tree, keeping it rooted firmly in the fertile ground. (Matthew 13:23). The three roots represent the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. They also depict how we are to love the Lord with all our heart, mind, and soul. (Matthew 22:36, Deuteronomy 6:5)
The tree also has a small branch just under the canopy of leaves that has a scar from where it was apparently grafted into the tree at an earlier time. This is a reference to Romans 11 and the understanding that all believers in Messiah are "grafted in" to the commonwealth of Israel. We become part of the the Father's family tree, adopted children, fellow heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:15-17). And as such, we become responsible for dutifully obeying all the "house rules" of our new family as a show of love and respect for the great generosity that has been shown to us.
As mentioned in the passage from Jeremiah, the tree continues to yield fruit. In thinking more about the family tree into which we've been added, I purposely included 12 fruit; 10 on the right, 2 on the left. This is symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel and the divided kingdoms that will one day be reunited under Messiah. We see this promised in Ezekiel 37:16-28 through the prophecy of the two sticks, which seemed to naturally lend itself to the tree concept I'm exploring in this piece.
The stream by which the tree is planted flows into the distance between two groves of mountains. These two mountains flanking a stream of "living water" are a direct reference to Mount Gerzim and Mount Ebal described in Deuteronomy 11 from which the children of Israel were commanded to proclaim the blessings and curses that would naturally flow from their obedience or disobedience. (In fact, I Googled a photo of these mountains to depict them in the painting.)
Each of us can be this tree, planted near a stream of living water, not fearing the drought, and continuing to bear fruit. In the same way, we all need to, at some point, pass between those mountains and decide for ourselves if we will, "carefully keep all these commandments which I command you to do—to love the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, and to hold fast to Him." (Deut. 11:22)
This original acrylic painting is 12” x 16” and is available for $260
Full Size fine art giclée reproduction prints are also available for this painting at $70
9" x 12" (approx. half sized) fine art giclée reproduction prints are for $35