For me, this is a sad story. There was once a tree - a very tall and strong spruce tree - that lived in Alaska. This tree was a bit too close to a certain house (my house), and a certain someone (my husband) decided it needed to go.
When that mighty tree fell, I was thankful my husband knew what he was doing (since my house was in immediate danger). It landed with such force it shook the ground. How the mighty have fallen! But even then, as a stump, it still had some potential at life. There was the hearty and extensive root system that gave it hope of life again.
It reminded me of Daniel chapter 4 where the king has a dream whose interpretation likens him to a great tree that gets chopped down. God planned to humble and then restore him. "Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump...while its roots remain in the ground... The command to leave the stump of the tree with its roots means that our kingdom will be restored to you when you acknowledge that Heaven rules." (4:23, 26)
As I watched this destruction, the phrase 'neither root nor branch' kept running through my head. So, I went to blueletterbible.com and looked it up. This verse describes the 'Day' of judgment:
"For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff, and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch." - Malachi 4:1
Its meaning now more clear than ever. The total destruction of the evildoer is indeed an unnecessary, sad story.
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