The role of trees in the Bible – Day 12
The oak tree — pride comes before a fall
Even today, oak trees are known for their longevity and strength. The sturdy oak stood as a witness to many events. Jacob took the false idols from the members of the household and buried them under an oak at Shechem (Genesis 35:4). It was by an oak tree that, years later, Joshua took idols from the nation of Israel, who promised to serve only the true God (Joshua 24:14-26).
Despite its obvious might and strength, you’ve probably already noticed that the oak tree is one that has many negative associations as well. Some oaks served as sites for idol worship (Hosea 4:13), and the oak forests of Bashan symbolised pride and loftiness (Zechariah 11:2).
This tree serves as a warning to us — it’s easy to become arrogant, to take the credit for what we do well and bask in our successes. It’s easy to idolise money, to focus on worldly success rather than spiritual victories. When God gives us success in any area of our lives, let’s not forget the source of that success. May we choose humility, for God gives grace to the humble.