There are multiple ways to read the allegory of the olive tree. You can read with a global perspective: as a symbolic representation of the history and future of the house of Israel. But you can also read it on a very personal level, as a reminder of God’s love and patience toward us.
After quoting the allegory, Jacob takes a personal approach. He invites us to think of ourselves as one of the trees.
“How merciful is our God unto us,” he says, “for he remembereth the house of Israel, both roots and branches, and he stretches forth his hands unto them all the day long” (Jacob 6:4). There are hints of Isaiah in this statement, particularly the recurring reminder that “his hand is stretched out still” (2 Nephi 15:25, 19:12, 17, 21; 20:4). But the main image conjured up by Jacob’s plea is the Lord of the vineyard, patiently working with the trees in his vineyard day after day, never giving up on them, even when they fail to bring forth good fruit.
Then Jacob invites us to do three things:
- “Come with full purpose of heart”
- “Cleave unto God as he cleaveth unto you”
If God hasn’t given up on us, if He is still working diligently to help us, then shouldn’t we turn toward Him as well? Shouldn’t we at least try to show the same level of commitment and devotion to Him that He has shown toward us? In other words, shouldn’t we strive to love Him as He loves us?
Today, I will remember God’s enduring love for me and for all of His children. I will strive to emulate that love. Just as He stretches out His hand toward me, I will stretch out my hand toward Him. Just as He cleaves unto me, I will cleave unto Him.