Like most Americans, I am not familiar with the cultivation of olives. Therefore, it is easy for me to glean nothing from the simile used in Psalm 128:3—” Your children like olive plants…” With a little research, I have learned several powerful facts about olives which bring this inspired simile to life.
Like children, olive plants mature slowly. You cannot plant an olive seedling today and pick fruit from it within a year or two. A baby born today will not be full grown by its third birthday. Olive plants usually need about twenty years to reach maturity.
Like children, olive plants must be nurtured intentionally and continuously. Olive plants are raised. They must be purposefully cultivated, thoughtfully pruned, and tenaciously protected. Far too many children today simply grow up, instead of being raised/reared. Becoming a parent is not the same as being one.
Like children, olive plants can be destroyed quickly. A vineyard of olives that has been carefully tended by several generations of a family can be destroyed in a few hours by hostile invaders. Most olive trees in ancient days were grown in an enclosed space called a “garden”. The enclosure was designed to protect the olive plants from destructive animals. By divine design, children are to be born into a protective enclosure called the home. A father and mother are to guard and protect their offspring, just like an olive plant is.