Firmly Planted

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Some of you live where trees are scarce. That’s not the case around here. We see them in every direction. I am grateful.

When I think of my childhood, I remember the tall trees in our yard and the many mimosa trees in Mama Sue and Daddy Leland’s yard. How she loved mimosa trees. She dug up the baby ones and planted them all over, much to the chagrin of Daddy Leland, I imagine, as the one who mowed around them. They were beautiful.

The first time the Bible mentions a tree is in the first chapter of Genesis, when God said:

Let the earth sprout vegetation,
plants yielding seed,
and fruit trees on the earth
bearing fruit after their kind
with seed in them.
Genesis 1:11

The day before Easter we went to the yard of one of our children and watched their children hunt for eggs in their fruit orchard — social distancing, of course. I’m serious. Wow! I miss hugging our grandchildren.

I am amazed that God can turn these blossoms into apples.

Once God made trees, they show up in many events in the Bible and God used them to teach us lessons. The world is still reeling from the first sin when Adam and Eve ate fruit from a tree God had forbidden them to use for food.

Later God appeared to Abram by the oaks of Mamre (Genesis 18:1). The first time the Bible mentions someone planting a tree was when Abraham (God had changed Abram’s name to Abraham by this time) planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba (Genesis 21:33). Just two chapters later, Abraham purchased a field with a cave, to use as a burial place for his wife Sarah. His purchase included “all the trees which were in the field, that were within all the confines of its border” (Genesis 23:17).

Centuries later God led Abraham’s descendants from slavery in Egypt to the land He had promised to Abraham, a land with “olive trees which [they] did not plant” and with “fig trees” (Genesis 6:11 and 8:8).

 In the last chapter of the Bible, God comforts us with these words:

Blessed are those who wash their robes,
so that they may have the right to the tree of life,
and may enter by the gates into the city.
Revelation 22:14

As we look forward to that day, we can live as a “firmly planted” tree and train our children to live that way. Psalm 1 describes the hope we have for our children.

How blessed is the man who does not walk
in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:1-3

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