Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Tree is a Tree is a Tree


“The trees of the Lord drink their fill, The cedars of Lebanon which He planted, Where the birds build their nests…” Psalm 104:16-17a




In this Psalm we read about trees. They are the Lord’s trees. He “planted” them. In a devotion I heard by David Hamilton of the University of the Nations, he said the Hebrew verb used for the creation of the trees in Genesis implies that they grew. Could it have been a “natural” process of growing as opposed to the trees suddenly appearing fully grown? We don’t know, except that they are the “trees of the Lord.”

It is inspiring to consider what He planted them for.

On a hot days in India there is nothing like getting into the shade of a tree. This shade not only cools us, but also the ground under the tree. The cooler ground retains the water better. This affects the climate, as a group of Christians in Tanzania have discovered. They have planted many, many trees and this has begun to change a portion of Tanzania’s climate. It’s a cycle of life.

Trees provide an aesthetic effect. Do you enjoy birds singing? That is a pleasant sound for us. We have read that trees make a wonderful habitat for birds. Trees are pleasant to the eye as well. Whether covered by snow, or with leaves turning orange and red, or standing purple in the distance, tree covered landscapes are among our favorite simply by reason of their beauty. And what about the smell of trees? Isn’t pine a favorite scent of many? Or sandlewood? What could be the purely evolutionary purpose of having that odor?

The roots of the trees tend to hold the soil together as well. Hills with a forest are much less likely to slough off in a landslide than are treeless hillsides. In many places trees are planted as wind barriers to protect against the elements.

Trees are intensely practical. They can be a place of refuge and survival for an animal or person who is in danger! Trees make great places to tie things too, or to hang things. From trees we have a vantage point to see long distances. Cedar is a wonderful building material. Yet we burn the cedar for heat or cooking on other occasions. Many trees produce the very food we cook.
An even more basic benefit of trees is the process of photosynthesis in which they are an integral part. We survive by the oxygen produced in large part by the leaves and needles of trees. Possibly the one thing we do FOR trees is breath. There is a life nexus between us and trees.

From all this we can surmise that trees have purpose. They generally benefit man, rather than the other way around. We “use” them in many ways depending on our particular need.

It is highly probable then, that trees exist for man as well as for other creatures. This adds weight to the Biblical view that we live in an Anthropocentric Earth. It is a designer Earth made with man in mind. The “trees of the Lord,” then, are a provision for us. So there is a purpose for the Cedar tree. If that is so, don’t you think the one who “planted” them has a purpose for your life too? I do.

Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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