Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
The Bible gives much attention to roots.
Good roots: 'So it was beautiful in its greatness, in the length of its branches; for its roots extended to many waters' (Ezekiel 31:7).
Bad roots: 'From the serpent's root a viper will come out, and its fruit will be a flying serpent' (Isaiah 14:29).
Jesus Himself comes through the 'Root of Jesse' (Jesse is King David's father, Isaiah 11:10).
When a weed shoots up, we must destroy its roots, or it grows back. Simply clipping a weed can cause it to grow back taller and stronger. Ignoring the weed is worse, as it can multiply and can take over a perfectly good garden. God desires to obliterate every weed in our lives, and His methods of elimination always target the source: the root.
Sometimes, God yanks out the root. 'Will He not pull up its roots..?' (Ezekiel 17:9). For deeper roots, He may chop them with an axe, as in today's verse. Sometimes He starves or scorches the roots with sun, fire, and wind so that they wither (Isaiah 40:24). One way or the other, God ensures the root is dead.
If Jesus is our perfect Root, we have been saved by Him 'In order that we might bear fruit for God' (Romans 7:4). But if we aren't firmly attached to the right root, if we don't tend our garden, we suffer: 'Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away' (John 15:2).
Christ followers must answer three questions: Are we bearing fruit? How much? Are weeds creeping into the gardens of our lives?
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the An Axe To The Root series.