Monday, December 5, 2011

The Parable of the Apple Orchard

A farmer went into town to get a haircut. He brought an apple with him from his orchard to give to the barber. The barber took a bite and said, "This is the most delicious apple that I've ever eaten. Where did you get it?" The farmer replied, "I grew it in my orchard. You can come out and pick as many apples as want. Just call me first and I'll take you out there."

A couple of weeks later, the barber was driving by the farmer's orchard and remembered his offer to let him pick apples. He pulled his car over, got out, and picked an apple. He took a bite and it was the most bitter apple he had ever tasted.  He went to another tree, grabbed an apple, and it too was sour. He tried one more tree with the same results.

When the farmer came back to get a haircut, the barber said, "I stopped by your orchard and picked some apples, but they were all bitter and weren't like the really good tasting one that you brought me."

The farmer said, "Remember, I told you to call me first. I planted bitter apple trees along to road because people kept stopping and stealing my apples.  Once they taste my bitter apples, they don't come back. The delicious apples are planted further away from the road."

Satan uses this same tactic to keep people away from God.  He plants the most bitter and vocal church members out front for everyone to see and hear. Unbelievers are turned off by them and will say, "If that's what God is like, I don't want any part of Him!" Satan misrepresents God through "church-going" people who might not even be saved and don't act like Christ-like.

David said, "Taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34:8).  I can't taste something for you. You must do it for yourself. Just make sure are truly tasting the Lord and not a bitter apple that's pretending to be sweet. Once you've tasted the true God, you will see that He is good!